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Re: making debian/copyright machine-interpretable

On Sat, Aug 04, 2007 at 07:17:59PM +0200, Sam Hocevar wrote:
>    Hello, I would like to gather comments about a proposal I have been
> thinking about during the GPLv2/v3 and GPLv2/CDDL discussions. I have
> finally written down what I have in mind here, and refined it with the
> help of many people on IRC:
>      http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat

What about providing a way to programmatically cathegorize licenses,
something that would work for licenses other than different versions of GPL.

I mean:
* BSD4 (or "BSD4-like") for stuff with the advertising clause
* BSD-like (as you used yourself in the 2nd example) for MIT, old X11, etc
* rename-clause (where modified versions need a different name)
* ...

Just putting random acronyms in the license field won't make it usable for
anything more than distinguishing between GPLv2 and GPLv3; there are too
many licenses for an exhaustive list.  What I'm suggesting is to define an
authoritative list of license types, and to have that list small.  Something
just to tell the difference between no-problems-no-copyleft,
no-copyleft-but-with-issues, copyleft-but-GPL-compatible,
copyleft-but-not-GPL-compatible and the GPLs.  The latter would get
cathegories on their own because of the GPL's prominence.

The exact type of the license could be placed after a colon, like:

1KB		// Microsoft corollary to Hanlon's razor:
		//	Never attribute to stupidity what can be
		//	adequately explained by malice.

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