Hi Gunnar, hi Jeffrey, hi debian-perl folks,
Catching up to my mail backlog. I'm answering as one of the PAUSE (aka
Gunnar Wolf wrote:
So far, the CPAN -and the whole Perl community has been way more
relaxed than Debian in its licensing requirements and
Yes, we are mostly agnostic in legal things. The whole PAUSE/CPAN
administration is about making things work in a very pragmatic way. We
try to tread very carefully at all times but we are by no means trained
in legal issues.
However, the license chosen by Sys::Sigaction's authors is
not only unfit for Debian, it also constitutes a problem for CPAN as a
whole. There are several books including a CD-ROM with Perl modules. I
have somewhere on my bookshelf a ~1997 book that contained a (then)
complete copy of the CPAN. If such a book were to be published today,
it would immediately be violating Sys::Sigaction's licensing - as it
is for a comercial distribution media. Not only that - Adding this
restriction makes the regular Perl ("GPL or Artistic at your option")
licensing scheme fall back to "Artistic" only, as adding restrictions
to GPL distribution is not allowed.
Many such distributions exist. We would really prefer to have all CPAN
distributions carry a free license, but we don't enforce it. I believe
some of the important database interfaces might even carry
not-quite-debian-compatible licenses but we wouldn't want to lose them.
I read the reply saying that the author will change the license. That is
great. It's essentially a very good example of how we run the place:
Just ask nicely! That has been working in practically all cases.
I'm mostly writing to say that if you discover a distribution that is
entirely unfit for CPAN for some reason (for example if the license
makes it illegal to distribute via CPAN), please let us now at