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Re: Packages licenses

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Elliot Lee wrote:

>> I have extracted the 'License' tag of all RH9 packages, sorry FC1 is not
>> here yet. And I see a chaotic style, duplicates... A clearer policy and
>> style should be used in Fedora.
>> idea? Maybe, rpmbuild should check 'License' against a list of OSI
>> compatible licenses, otherwise a -nocl (--noOSIcompatiblelicense) flag
>> should be used to build it.
>Having a flag like that is not likely, because some of the licenses may be
>fine but not formally OSI-approved, and because the system used to build
>the packages doesn't allow passing options such as -nocl.
>You're right that there are many duplicates that could use fixing. Once it
>is decided which license strings need to change, you can file patches in
>bugzilla for all the ones that obviously need changing (e.g. s/Freely
>distributable/Freely redistributable/i).

I completely agree, however before people submit patches, or 
suggest changes, I think we really do need to make an official 
rubber stamped list of specific license names.  The list should 
NOT be considered a complete list of all licenses, but rather, it 
should be considered the official way to word the licenses that 
are contained in the list.  For example, the GPL license should 
be stated consistently as either "GPL" everywhere, or as "GNU 
GPL" or whatever is decided.  2 more would probably be "BSD" and 
"BSD with advertising clause", "MIT", etc...  In other words for 
each license which is rather well known or at least common, we 
should standardize the names, and put them on an official list of 
proper spelling for those licenses up on the Fedora site.

While this may be considered a very negligible and trivial thing
to many people, and it more or less is really, if we want to
clean something like this up, then it needs to be standardized
and have an official stamp of approval put on it by being on the
Fedora website, so that people can be pointed to it.  That also 
avoids different people from doing it their own way just to be 
different, using the argument "there is no standard, who cares".

Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat

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