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Re: making debian/copyright machine-interpretable

On Sat, Aug 04, 2007, Adam Borowski wrote:

> 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.

   All this information (GPL-compatibility, having issues etc.) is
external and should IMHO stay external. Otherwise if and when a GPLv4
is out, we'll need to change all the debian/copyright files to say
whether their license is GPLv4-compatible or not. Also the DFSGs can
change. I prefer to have license interpretation completely outside


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