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Perl module licensing, the next step


I've been contacted by Ann Barcomb (see her message below; below that is her
second message to me) about the Perl module license issue.  I've put her on
the Cc and would appreciate it if you could keep her on the list of recepients.

So, what information do we feed back to the Perl community in order for them
to "fix" their licenses.


----- Forwarded message from Ann Barcomb <ann@domaintje.com> -----

From: Ann Barcomb <ann@domaintje.com>
Subject: Re: Perl module licensing and Debian
To: Ardo van Rangelrooij <ardo@debian.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 02:32:06 -0800 (PST)


Someone forwarded your mail to the perlxml list to me.  I think it
is important to get this information out to module authors (for
example with a post to use.perl.org), but it is also important to
have clear steps authors can take to 'fix' their licenses.  Has
Debian stated whether it would be acceptable for modules to add
which Perl (license) version the module is available under?
For example, would the following text (a minute change for the
module author) be acceptable?
    This module is available under the same terms and conditions as
    Perl itself, versions 5.3 through 6.8.

Also, if there is some way for module authors to inform Debian that
the change of license has been made this issue can be addressed that
much more quickly.

I appreciate any information you may be able to add to your original

Ann Barcomb

----- End forwarded message -----

----- Forwarded message from Ann Barcomb <ann@domaintje.com> -----

From: Ann Barcomb <ann@domaintje.com>
Subject: Re: Perl module licensing and Debian
To: Ardo van Rangelrooij <ardo@debian.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 23:03:40 -0800 (PST)


> Thanks for showing your support to get this unfortunate issue resolved.
Your post came right on the heels of a heated discussion in Amsterdam.pm
over what Perl could do to keep from losing ground to other programming
languages ;)  Very timely.

> Unfortunately, this issue goes to the core of Perl.  E.g. perlmodlib(1)
> and pod2man(1) explicitly suggest to use the license as it currently
> is.  Even some of the core Perl modules have this license.  This is a
> very big fish to fry.  Hopefully Debian doesn't get burned too much.
Changing the documentation in those places is going to be a lot easier
than getting every module author to change her or his documentation,
if only for the fact that there are a lot of module authors and even
making them all aware of this will be hard.  The core documentation, on
the other hand, is handled by the Perl documentation project, which is
easy to reach via mailing list (which I did yesterday).  There was one
reply, of the 'wait and see' nature.  Information from Debian, rather
than speculation would be quite useful at this point.

> I'll ask on the debian-legal mailing list what exactly should be stated
> for the license to be acceptable for Debian.
Thanks.  I think most Perl authors will find the entire thing a bit silly,
but if it isn't much work to change their licenses, and the process is
well-documented, people will probably be willing to do it.

I'm a bit disappointed that Debian didn't choose to mention this matter
to the Perl community (or did they?) rather than simply not packaging
the modules and waiting until someone asked about it.

> Someone should probably also contact the "core" Perl people.  Are you in
> a position to do this gently?  If not, what would be the best means to
> bring this issue into the Perl community without causing a permanent
> rift between both communities?
I'm not a member of p5p, although I am on the Perl documentation project.
I do know most of the people who ought to be contacted about this sort
of thing, and how to contact them.  Maybe not the best position, but on
the other hand, this project interests me and I'm willing to work on
convincing people that Perl should not reduce the number of systems it
is on if what it takes to be on a system is fairly trivial.

> I'll get back to you.


----- End forwarded message -----

Ardo van Rangelrooij
home email: ardo@debian.org
home page:  http://people.debian.org/~ardo
GnuPG fp:   3B 1F 21 72 00 5C 3A 73  7F 72 DF D9 90 78 47 F9

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