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Re: permission to use spec files in other projects (Was Re: clamav)

On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 13:00:41 +0200
Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora leemhuis info> wrote:

> CCing Fedora-Advisory Board
> On 22.09.2007 03:01, Dag Wieers wrote:
> > [...] I also have no problem if the RPMforge SPEC files are to be
> > used by other projects, and I know some people have done this. I do
> > not feel that the SPEC files contain anything 'special'. In fact, I
> > would not be surprised if people can come up with (almost) exactly
> > the same SPEC file for a project. So I don't feel the need to add a
> > license or copyright, you can think of the SPEC file as being in the
> > public domain.
> > 
> > In fact, I prefer that people use existing SPEC files and improve on
> > them so that at least different packages have the same basis (and
> > naming). I welcome feedback and ideas, but can understand to need for
> > control and authority within a seperate project.
> +1 to this and I also have no problem if my spec files are used by other
> projects. I also would prefer if they are used that way and that
> improvements flow from one project to the other and vice versa. Using
> the pkgdb and the cvs-commits list it's easy for outsiders to already
> follow them -- I you want watchcommits access to some of my packages
> just let me know.
> I cannot speak for other peoples spec files and I suspect some packagers
> won't agree with the "SPEC files are public domain" statement -- making
> the license of the spec files explicit (a Wiki page that says "All our
> Fedora RPM SPEC files are free software and public domain if not
> otherwise specified in the spec file" might be enough already) in
> Fedora-land (EPEL, Fedora) would be best for all, as external projects
> (RPMForge, RPMFusion, Linva, freshrpms, <insert others>) than would be
> on the safe side if they use them.
> @FESCo,@Board, you have the power to do that -- are you willing to do
> something like that? Currently it's a bit a grey area IMHO and that
> sucks. tia!

I don't think you really want them to be considered public domain.  You
actually have to expressly say "This spec file is public domain" before
that becomes true, otherwise it still holds a copyright by default.
That's a lot of spec files to edit for no real gain.

Personally, I consider spec files to be contributions to Fedora per the
CLA.  And since the Distribution as a whole is licensed under the
GPLv2, the spec files are likely licensed under that too.  (I AM NOT A

Overall, I think it's just fine for the spec files to be used in other
projects.  The Board would ultimately have the call here.  It's above


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