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Re: How to determine all licenses involved?

Stefan Baur <newsgroups.mail2@stefanbaur.de> writes:

> I have a system where the output of vrms claims that there are no
> non-free packages installed.

The ‘vrms’ program checks only the software managed by the Debian
package manager. It doesn't check license terms; it checks which archive
area the package belongs to, relying on the fact that the ‘main’ area is
reserved for software which conforms to the Debian Free Software

See the ‘vrms(1)’ man page for more details.

Anything that is on the host but not tracked by the package manager is
outside the view of ‘vrms’.

> Does that mean all software on this system falls under one or more of
> the licenses that are stored under /usr/share/common-licenses?

No, it means that you can find the license grants and terms in
‘/usr/share/doc/PACKAGENAME/copyright’ for each ‘PACKAGENAME’.

That file might, in turn, direct you to ‘/usr/share/common-licenses/’
for some or all of its license terms, but in many cases it will not.

> If not, how can I find out which licenses are involved, other than
> manually checking every text file in every package for a licensing
> note?

That's the purpose of ‘/usr/share/doc/PACKAGENAME/copyright’; your task
is reduced to checking that for each package, not every single file.

Remember, too, that you're on your own for checking the license of
software placed on the system without using the Debian package manager.

 \           “We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives |
  `\          teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years |
_o__)           telling them to sit down and shut up.” —Phyllis Diller |
Ben Finney

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