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Re: audiod-cd: license problems?!

-=| gregor herrmann, Tue, Sep 02, 2008 at 07:32:31PM +0200 |=-
> Two days ago Ansgar detected that audio-cd (binary package:
> libaudio-cd-perl) has an "interesting" license (it seems I was not
> looking closely enough when I adopted the package, sorry for that and
> thanks to Ansgar).

This is a good catch indeed!

> README and CD.{xs,pm} contain the following statement:
>   Copyright (C) 1999-2002 by Doug MacEachern
>   When included as part of the Standard Version of Perl or as
>   part of its complete documentation whether printed or
>   otherwise, this work may be distributed only under the terms
>   of Perl's Artistic License as included in the file COPYING.   
>   Any distribution of this file or derivatives thereof outside  
>   of that package requires that special arrangements be made
>   with copyright holder.
> I'm not sure I really understand the message of this paragraph, but
> the part with "derivates ... special arrangements be made with
> copyright holder" sound like a violation of the DFSG (at least #3).

I'd say it also fails DFSG#1 as any distribution is not allowed.

> Additional notes:
> * There is no mail address of the copyright holder anywhere in the
>   source. But at least Google and CPAN know him.

Yeah. Dough is one of the mod_perl authors. Seeing such a restrictive 
license is a big surprise to me.

> * The version of Audio::CD on CPAN is outdated (0.04), the current
>   version seems to be from the disc-cover homepage.
> * 0.04 does not have these notice. (In fact no copyright/license at
>   all.)

I don't know which is better :)

> * audio-cd has two reverse dependencies: disc-cover and yaret.

For reference, according to PopCon stats, disc-cover has about 200 
installs, last upload a couple of dais ago. yaret has about 100 
installs in PopCon, last upload in March 2006.

> Before I start to file bugs, move packages to non-free, contact the
> authors or whatever I'd appreciate thoughts from others on the
> situation and the best way to deal with it.

Well, a serious bug is to be filed as it seems that currently Debian 
distributes the package without permission. A (polite) mail to the 
author is in order too. Afer all, chances are that he meant "same as 
Perl, if you need something else contact me".

dam            JabberID: dam@jabber.minus273.org

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