Re: Perl module licenses (was Re: libxml-filter-sax1tosax2-perl_0.03-1_i386.changes REJECTED)
On Sun, Jan 12, 2003 at 07:56:37PM +0000, James Troup wrote:
> Colin Watson <email@example.com> writes:
> > in context it's already clear and exactly what they want to say.
> I think you're being generous in claiming that it's exactly they want
> to say: as you pointed out it's extraordinarily common and I think a
> large number of modules authors will do it because "that's what
> everyone else does" (much in the same way that a fair amount of code
> ends up under the GPL despite the author not really understanding what
> that means).
> I don't think it's at all clear (what's "perl" in context of the
> license? what happens if perl (the real thing) is released under a
> new license?) and we wouldn't accept such an equivocal license in any
> other context, so I don't see why we should special-case perl modules.
I've always thought it amounts to delegating licensing to the perl
maintainers, and that it's actually desired that a changed perl licence
should apply (perl6 will be under GPL / Clarified Artistic Licence,
AIUI). Still, I can see there's clear room for contention and ambiguity.
Somebody with a firm grasp of the legalities and exactly why that kind
of delegated licensing is a bad idea should probably put together a mail
to, um, somewhere like firstname.lastname@example.org or maybe even
email@example.com (since e.g. perlmodlib(1) and pod2man(1)
explicitly suggest the "Perl itself" style, saying things like "This
makes it easy for people to use your module with Perl"). Contacting
upstream authors one by one isn't likely to be terribly useful without
getting general agreement from the Perl community that the idiom should
> > 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.
> That would at least give us less grounds on which to reject packages
> like this, but, personally, I do think there's a problem with this
> kind of "license" and (day-dreamingly) wish people weren't quite so
> keen to ostrich about it just because it affects a large number of
> packages :(
Those certainly aren't my grounds for thinking it isn't a problem, but
my legal knowledge is weak, so I'll defer ...
Colin Watson [firstname.lastname@example.org]