[Sugar-devel] Full Licence field

Lyos Gemini Norezel lyos.gemininorezel at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 15:38:16 EDT 2009

Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> On 03/20/2009 08:52 AM, Lyos Gemini Norezel wrote:
>> Maybe it's because I'm not a lawyer, that I fail to see the problem with
>> that. As long as there exists some reference to the license and a location
>> where it can be read, doesn't that meet the requirements of those licenses?
> The short answer is not really. The more assumptions we make, the
> farther we get from reality, and for the majority of FOSS licenses, we
> (Fedora/Red Hat) bear the burden of informing the user of the licensing
> terms of the software that we are distributing.
> Here is a common scenario:
> The upstream for a package changes licensing from GPL to LGPL. If we are
> using a generic-licenses package, we are far less likely to notice this
> change, whereas, we would immediately notice that COPYING was replaced

That would be the package maintainers responsibility, no? If a change is 
that dramatic,
wouldn't the maintainer notice it right away? (I see alot of emails 
about packages changing

>> Wasn't there a discussion, somewhat recently, about libraries that are
>> shipped with the program instead
>> of being stored in /lib or /usr/lib?
> This is notably different. The licensing is part of our legal obligation
> to our users and downstream consumers.

I understand that, but how is a change of license file location going to 
or cause problems with, that obligation?

The licenses would still be available for the user to read, if they 
desire, and this change
won't really inconvenience anyone.

> In addition, this comes out to about 17 MB. It is not a huge amount of
> disk space, and certainly not worth the rather additional hassle it
> would cause.

In reality, a change like this really should be pushed to FHS.
Standardizing the %License_File location just makes good common sense.

> As it is now, each package maintainer is responsible for keeping the
> license text as provided by upstream in the package, and the License tag
> correct. If we were to generalize this into a central package, we'd have
> to do constant auditing to be sure that the license text in the
> generalized "LICENSE.rpm" exactly matched that of the package. And by
> we, I mean me. Even if Red Hat Legal signed off on such an arrangement,
> I'm not really thrilled by this prospect.
> Now, if there were a clever way to handle this behind the scenes so that
> these license files were not duplicated if they were identical, but
> instead, symlinked to the license files in a generic license rpm, I
> might be more interested. (If they weren't bit for bit identical, it
> wouldn't be symlinked).

Isn't it possible to figure that out with a bit of bash programming?
Eg., use the 'comm' command.
"comm     Compare two sorted files line by line"

and, if different, a diff could be generated to show you exactly what's 

Doesn't seem like much of a hassle to me.

How difficult would it be to add functionality in yum:
a.) to store the license value of each program, and
b.) to integrate a license reader for easy access/reading?

> ~spot

Lyos Gemini Norezel
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