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Re: making debian/copyright machine-interpretable

On Sat, Aug 04, 2007, Faidon Liambotis wrote:

> Some initial comments:
> - Even though the GPL/OpenSSL is mentioned explicitely in the rationale,
>  the rest of the document doesn't mention a good way to handle it.

   That has been mentioned to me several times already. I don't know yet
what the best way to express it is, but I think it'll be something like
"GPLv2+ | other" (or the appropriate GPL version).

   There are probably ways to express the OpenSSL exception but I don't
want to make it too complicated for the maintainer. The license's not in
the list? Just put "other".

> - It would be nice (but may be overcomplicated, not sure) to have a
> field for compatible licenses, probably only in the "other" license
> case. E.g. monsterz could have a Compatible-License: GPL or a
> Compatible-License: BSD. That would mostly solve the "other-bsd"/"BSD-like".

   Can't we assume that "other-bsd" licenses are compatible with each
other and also with every other license? Because if a BSD-like license
is not compatible with another BSD license, for instance because it has
an additional minor clause, then it's not BSD, is it? It's "other".

   Anyway, let's not spend too much time worrying about special cases.
A massive 80% of all free software (be it in Debian or on Freshmeat) is
under a version of the GPL or of the LGPL. Which means that we'll be
able to ignore around 14,000 source packages when looking for issues.

> - I'm not sure if "License: GPL, BSD" for a file makes any sense (it's
> GPL for all intents and purposes) and I'm afraid it will be (ab)used on
> a "Files: *" to mean "some files under the BSD, others under the GPL".

   And you know what? I'd be perfectly happy if someone abused
that and put "Files: *" and "License: GPL, BSD" because they are
too lazy to split the file list. Because 1. such packages would be
easily detectable, and 2. in the end, we essentially care about
GPL-compatibility anyway, so we have the most important information.


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