Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Joshua Baergen <joshuabaergen@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] Duplicate licences
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 07:43:05
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] Duplicate licences by Ciaran McCreesh
1 Ciaran McCreesh wrote:
2 > The duplicate licences situation is getting rather silly... We don't
3 > include each variation for licences that vary only by the copyright
4 > holder (if we did, we'd need a zillion new GPL-2s and BSDs, but instead
5 > they just use <placeholder>s), and we don't care about whitespace
6 > variations.
7 >
8 > <snip>
9 >
10 >
12 I'll refer to the MIT license as the one in ${PORTDIR}/licenses,
13 although I'm sure it exists in roughly the same form under some other
14 names as well.
16 The reasons that this system was chosen were correctness and
17 maintainability. Many of these essentially use the good old MIT license
18 with various companies' and/or individuals' copyrights at the top, as
19 you have stated. However, the MIT license does refer to the copyrights
20 within the license script itself, and many of the licenses have been
21 slightly altered to include a company's name directly. I'm no lawyer,
22 but to me this means that the license does indeed include the
23 copyright. (Note that I'm not intricately familiar with other licenses
24 that often have copyrights associated, so I don't know if MIT is
25 unique). If this isn't correct, I'd be very happy to switch all the
26 packages that use various forms of the MIT license over to it instead
27 and you can blissfully ignore the next paragraph. However, I'd rather
28 be on the safe/correct side than save a few MB that have to be
29 downloaded once.
31 Now, that splinters the licenses a good amount already, and thus
32 maintenance becomes an issue. If one half of the licenses are unique,
33 and we only keep unique ones, packages start depending on other licenses
34 in a spaghetti-like fashion. We can't just go ahead and change any
35 given license since it will mess up other packages dependent on that
36 license. Like good programming practice, I would argue that less is not
37 necessarily better.
39 Although I'm happy to take suggestions, my warning is to think from the
40 maintainer's perspective while proposing. That doesn't mean I'll whine
41 and say go away, but rather that I'll expect you to provide some
42 reasonable thought about maintainability, and possibly, like above, some
43 data to help us out. To me, the argument first comes down to whether or
44 not my thoughts in the first paragraph are valid.
46 Joshua Baergen
47 --
48 gentoo-dev@g.o mailing list


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-dev] Duplicate licences Ciaran McCreesh <ciaranm@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-dev] Duplicate licences Joshua Baergen <joshuabaergen@g.o>