Re: Perl module licenses (was Re: libxml-filter-sax1tosax2-perl_0.03-1_i386.changes REJECTED)
On Sun, Jan 12, 2003 at 12:42:22PM -0600, Ardo van Rangelrooij wrote:
> He has some points, but I've got a feeling that a lot more Perl modules in
> Debian has the same issue. It's a common practice for modules to have
> something like
> This is free software, you may use and distribute this module under
> the same terms as Perl itself.
> and sofar this has not been a problem.
> What to do? Do we got back to all our upstream authors and ask them to
> clarify their license? Or...
"Under the same terms as Perl itself" is an extraordinarily common idiom
in the Perl community, and I think it means exactly what it says: any
terms that Perl happens to be distributed under are valid for the module
too. That makes sense when you notice that it's not uncommon for modules
to be "borged" into the Perl core, and this style of licensing
facilitates that. Porting/Contract in the perl source talks about this
We recognize that the Perl core, defined as the software distributed
with the heart of Perl itself, is a joint project on the part of all
of us. From time to time, a script, module, or set of modules
(hereafter referred to simply as a "module") will prove so widely
useful and/or so integral to the correct functioning of Perl itself
that it should be distributed with Perl core. This should never be
done without the author's explicit consent, and a clear recognition on
all parts that this means the module is being distributed under the
same terms as Perl itself.
Thus, I don't think it's reasonable to ask module authors to clarify
their licences; in context it's already clear and exactly what they want
to say. If referring to /usr/share/doc/perl/copyright isn't kosher then
I think we should just copy the licensing fragment from that file into
the copyright files that need it.
Colin Watson [email@example.com]