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Re: recommendation for packaging license

On Fri, 02 Sep 2011 at 14:10:38 +0200, Thomas Koch wrote:
> Could you enhance the documentation of the copyright format or the policy with 
> a recommendation for the copyright in the debian/* files section? I couldn't 
> care less about the copyright and tend to use the "Do What The Fuck You Want 
> To Public License". However I really want to make life as easy as possible for 
> all humans. It'd also be nice if it could be a license where I don't need to 
> copy the license text in the copyright file to keep it as short as possible.

By Policy, the only licenses you don't need to quote in the copyright file
are the ones in /usr/share/common-licenses, and the license grant to put
something under one of those licenses properly is of comparable length to
a short license like Expat.

For minimal length for a comprehensive Free license, I still like the
GNU all-permissive license:

> Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification,
> are permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright
> notice and this notice are preserved.  This file is offered as-is,
> without any warranty.

and the ad-hoc license of IkiWiki's basewiki:

> Redistribution and use in source and compiled forms, with or without
> modification, are permitted under any circumstances. No warranty.

although Joey warns that the warranty disclaimer in the latter may not be
safe to apply to general software:

> Its warantee disclaimer is indeed weak. I don't know that I would
> want to use this on any software that could cause trouble if it broke.
> The files it was attached to are mostly templates that users go in and
> edit, and some documentation.

The no-warranty disclaimer is somewhat orthogonal to having a Free Software
license, but may be important to protect you from being sued by your users
over bugs in your software; the wording in the GPL is carefully chosen to
mention specific phrases ("as is", "fitness for a particular purpose") that
are significant in USA law.


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