[Fedora-packaging] Proposal: Standardized License tags

Michael J. Knox michael at knox.net.nz
Wed Jun 14 21:23:15 UTC 2006

Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
> 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)
> or
> 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
> /usr/share/fedora-licenses/MPL_2.0]
> etc.
> 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.


these are the "valid" licenses as per rpmlint's config found in 

Apache Software License
IBM Public License
LaTeX Project Public License
NetHack General Public License
Public Domain
Python Software Foundation License
Ruby License
Sun Public License
SIL Open Font License
W3C Software License
zlib License

I don't think this list is "authoritive" however, FE packages are meant 
to pass rpmlint checks before inclusion.

Also after reviewing these, looks as if rpmlint's list should be trimmed 
to remove unacceptable licenses like "Commercial" and "freeware"


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