[aur-general] AUR & Copyright

Michael Schubert mschu.dev at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 07:25:36 EST 2011

I think there is one issue most people are overlooking: licensing is *not*
the same as ownership. Ownership allows you to release your code under any
license you want and other users are able to use it under the terms of the
license. Do not make the error of wanting to transfer ownership instead of
just a license release.

Also, I fully agree with Peter Lewis' sentiments 2 posts ago: it is dull,
but important to get right.

Adding to that, a license on an individual PKGBUILD may not be enforcable
(since it is unlikely to reach the complexity threshold), however, given the
vast amount of scripts in the AUR database as a whole, they will be. Thus I
would propose an "uploads are licensed under [...]" next to the submit
button, which should sufficiently cover the issue.

My general thoughts:
- PKGBUILDs should be freely distributable
- Attribution of the previous authors should be mandatory
- Commercial exploitation (i.e., using/modifying without giving anything
back) should not be possible

These points are all covered by the GPL. Plus it would be simple since most
of Arch is already under that license. BSD won't cover the third. Public
domain won't cover points 2 and 3. Thus, I think GPL would be the (only)
right choice.

2011/2/10 Xyne <xyne at archlinux.ca>

> On 2011-02-07 09:13 -0200 (06:1)
> Bernardo Barros wrote:
> > 2011/2/6 Ray Rashif <schiv at archlinux.org>:
> > > # Copyright 1999-2011 Gentoo Foundation
> > > # Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2
> >
> > But Arch is a legal entity? Can we put "Arch" as the copyright holder?
> That would make it possible for Arch to prevent packagers from distributing
> their own packages. It would almost certainly never happen, but naive
> optimism
> is a bad thing. I have seen OSS projects sell out to corporations before.
> That's also why I remove the "or any later version" clause from anything
> that I
> release under the GPL. No one can guarantee that there will never be a
> major
> loophole in a future version, or that all future versions will be in the
> same
> spirit.

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