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Re: Perl module license clarification

On Tue, 4 Feb 2003, Ardo van Rangelrooij wrote:

>     This is free software, you may use and distribute this module under
>     the same terms as Perl itself.

This doesn't seem ambiguous (or at least harmfully ambiguous) or non-free
to me.  I have trouble reading it as anything more limited than "if you
can use and distribute Perl, you can use and distribute this module".

Why would they need to limit it to a specific license or version of Perl?  
Even if it's ambiguous, it's ambiguous in a too-much-freedom sort of way.  
I wouldn't mind a more specific license, but I don't think it should keep
it out of Debian.

>     Sorry to be pedantic but the only external files you're meant to
>     reference in the copyright file are the common licenses in base-files.

I have no objection to this rule, and it's very easily fixed by including 
the referenced Perl license in the package.

>     And saying it's "under the same license as Perl itself" is unhelpful;

Here, I disagree.  It seems sufficient to me.

>     which version of Perl?

Any version.  Most pessimistically, the version that's distributed by 

>  What if Perl changes licenses? etc.

It can't retroactively change licenses.  There will always be a free Perl.

>     this may be an upstream thing; if so please ask them to clarify it to
>     specify GPL/Artistic explicitly so you can do the same in the
>     copyright file.

This may be good advice, but I wouldn't personally require it to consider 
the module to be free software.

Of course, IANADD and IANADFtpmaster, so please take this message only
for what it is: one user's opinion.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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