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Re: Packaging text licenses

On Sat, 14 Dec 2019 17:41:14 +0100 Jonas Smedegaard wrote:

> Quoting Francesco Poli (2019-12-14 17:22:09)
> > I don't think the exception may also apply when the license text is 
> > the *actual payload* of the package (for instance, a package shipping 
> > the text for CC-by-nc-nd-v1.0, when nothing in the package itself is 
> > released under that license).
> That's an interesting view.
> Several packages now in Debian main contain license fulltexts without 
> those licensing terms being applied at all to the project covered by 
> that package.
> Examples:
>   * licensecheck - includes license fulltexts in its testsuite

I am perplexed: I fully understand the usefulness of packages such as
licensecheck, decopy, and so forth, and I acknowledge the need for
actual data in their test suites...

But on the other hand, can non-free data be shipped in the test suite
of a source package in Debian main?
For many kinds of package, DFSG-free data may be specifically prepared
for the test suite.
But can DFSG-free data be prepared for the test suite of a program
intended to identify licenses?!? How can I test whether the program is
able to identify CC-by-nc-nd-v1.0 *without* feeding it the actual text
of that same license?!?

This looks like a really hard problem.

>   * libsoftware-license-perl - purpose of project is to emit licenses

This seems to be even more troublesome: here the license texts are not
just shipped in the source package as test suite data. They are
included in the package as "functional" data, without which the package
cannot accomplish its goal.
Yet, a number of those license texts are non-free texts...

I understand the convenience of this library, but is it really

> I have several times discovered projects shipping with e.g. GPL-3 but 
> nothing in the project was licensed under that license.  I find it 
> highly likely that there are plenty of such cases still in Debian - 
> including ones where the "stray" license contain a non-modification 
> clause (which I guess is the most likely non-Freeness in license 
> fulltexts.

These cases really look like bugs to be fixed.

If nothing in the project is licensed under the terms of the
GNU GPL v3, then why does the project include the text of that
license at all?!?

> Are all such packages in violation of DFSG?

That's a hard question.

 There's not a second to spare! To the laboratory!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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