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djberg96 (2603)

djberg96
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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Saturday June 28, 2003
11:58 PM

Licensing Info

[ #13122 ]
It seems I've forgotten to include a LICENSE section in, well, all of my modules on CPAN. Someone wanted to create a Debian package for Net::SCP::Expect so it became an issue.

For the record I, Daniel J. Berger, hereby declare that all of my Perl modules on CPAN are licensed under the same terms as Perl itself.

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  • all of my Perl modules on CPAN are licensed under the same terms as Perl itself.

    Given how careful Debian are in these sorts of things, I doubt that that saying that here will enough for them. More interestingly, Debian is uneasy about the ambiguity in that particular choice of words. From this week's Debian Weekly News [debian.org]:

    Perl License Clarification. Marc Haber noticed that ftp people reject packages that are distributed "under the same terms as Perl itself". However, Perl is dual-licensed, using the GNU GPL and the Artistic license. Many people acknowledged this as a possible problem and recommended that upstream be made aware of the flexibility of interpretation of the Perl style copyright and licensing.

    The specific issue is this:

    And saying it's "under the same license as Perl itself" is unhelpful; which version of Perl? What if Perl changes licenses? etc. I realise this may be an upstream thing; if so please ask them to clarify it to specify GPL/Artistic explicitly so you can do the same in the copyright file.

    (http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200302/msg00039.html [debian.org])

    I think that their concerns are valid, although I'm not yet aware of them notifying "upstream" (which will include p5p given that part of the solution is going to be a patch to h2xs to change the default license for newly generated module skeletons)

    • Interesting. Thanks for the info. I suppose I should go through and just upload a new tarball for the modules I have out there.

      I think the information you provide should be submitted as a use.perl story. I doubt I'm the only one who doesn't know this.

      • Particularly if you can come up with some recommended wording:
        some nice boilerplate I can slap in my templates.
        --
          ---ict / Spoon
      • I don't think any of their concerns are valid, because Debian likes the GPL, and can just use the GPL and ignore the AL when it includes the module. Even if the AL changed some, the GPL didn't. And every version of perl that a perl module works under also is distributed under the GPL.

        It might not always last, but neither does saying something is licensed under the GPL. Those are not always specific either.

        And my rule of thumb is that if someone cares that much about it, they are not worth my time or co
        • I'm not sure why the "which version of Perl" matters, either. By default, GPLed packages are distributed "under the terms of version (2.0 or whatever) of the GNU GPL, or any later version." Debian distributes these fine. But, they also distribute a significant package that does not include the "any later version" clause: the Linux kernel.

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • Perl's Artistic License changes. Surprise!
            • Well, yeah, but so does the GPL. The GPL may change at a more glacial pace, but it's specifically wired to change with the phrase "or any later version." So, since Debian has no problem with packages distributed under "Version 2.0 of the GNU GPL or any later version," I can't see why they have problems distributing a package "under whatever terms Perl happens to be under at the moment or was under at any time in the past."

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers