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Re: Script to generate common license texts

On 05/09/15 11:23, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> Quoting Balasankar C (2015-09-04 20:42:19)
>> Yeah. I know that. Why I asked for such a script is that some of the 
>> packages I dealt with just mentioned "Released under XYZ license. 
>> Copyright 20xx MNO" without any explicit license text (they should've, 
>> but they don't) which means they just use the _boilerplate_ license 
>> text that is commonly used.
> Either upstream states actual licensing terms, or refer to external 
> licensing terms.  It seems we use the term "boilerplate" differently: I 
> don't call it "boilerplate" when upstream states actual licensing terms 
> (e.g. Expat written out rather than by reference).

The three things the ftp-masters have stated the copyright file needs,
with their jargon names, are:

- the *copyright statement* (copyright holder, and dates if available)
- the *license grant* (statement by the copyright holder that you may
  copy/modify the work under a specified license)
- the full text of the *license* (which may be replaced by a reference
  to /usr/share/common-licenses if it is one of our common licenses)

The license grant is the statement by your upstream that tells you that
license A applies to work B. Some licenses (like the GPL and MPL) have a
conventional license grant ("boilerplate") that the license author
suggests should be used; but if your upstream has used a different form
of license grant, you should quote what your upstream actually said, not
the conventional boilerplate.

For short BSD-style licenses, the license grant and the license are
often the same thing: the conventional use is to paste the entire
license into each file. For longer licenses like the GPL and MPL, that
would be impractical, so authors put a short license grant in each file,
with a reference to full license text elsewhere.

For instance, take openarena-data:

Most of it is GPL-2 or GPL-2+, with several increasingly short license
grants. I refer to external GPL text because it is in common-licenses,
but if the license was something different (e.g. Creative Commons) then
I would have to quote the full license text instead.

A couple of files are under a simple all-permissive license, which is
included in the relevant files in its entirety (it's only three lines).
Those three lines have two roles: they are the license grant, and also
the full license text.


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