[Fedora-packaging] Proposal: Standardized License tags

Stephen John Smoogen smooge at gmail.com
Wed Jun 14 21:18:01 UTC 2006

As of this morning, the Fedora Core and Extras repositories have 2884
src.rpm packages in them. Going through them, there are 191 different
licenses listed.. many of them variants of the same name (and
sometimes a mis-spelling). Some of the names are useful, and others
are odd:

libselinux -- License: Public domain (uncopyrighted)


cmucl -- License: Public Domain/MIT

needs an explanation on the mailling lists every now and then. [Like
can you license public domain stuff?

Some license tags give the version of the license.. others also add in
where the person can get a definitive copy of the license. I would
like to start a discussion on having a list of licenses names to be
put in these tags to make it easier for people to keep track of what
is installed on a system.

Something like

GNU GPL version 2 or higher [see /usr/share/fedora-licenses/GPL_v2]
GNU LGPL version 2 or higher [see /usr/share/fedora-license/LGPL_v2]
GNU GPL version 2 ONLY [see /usr/share/fedora-licenses/GPL_v2]
Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0 [see


in the cases of BSD-like/BSD-ish/etc you would refer to the packages
license.. but would use the same syntax.

it would also help to have something more clear on the packages listed
as Distributable (all ~100 of them).. having to figure out the
restrictions on each one is a pain.

Stephen J Smoogen.
CSIRT/Linux System Administrator

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