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

On 22 Sep 2007 11:12:56 -0500, Jason L Tibbitts III <tibbs math uh edu> wrote:
> >>>>> "TL" == Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora leemhuis info> writes:
> TL> I cannot speak for other peoples spec files and I suspect some
> TL> packagers won't agree with the "SPEC files are public domain"
> TL> statement

(disclaimer: IANALY)

At least under US copyright law, it isn't at all clear that spec files
are copyrightable. When there are very few (or effectively one) way of
expressing a particular idea, courts typically will find that there is
no copyright protection for the expression(s) of the idea. This is
known as 'merger doctrine', since the idea is said to be 'merged' with
the expression of the idea.

I'd suggest that most specfiles probably are like this- there are only
so many ways to list which files need to be packaged, what the deps
are, etc., and they mostly derive from known facts rather than
creative choice on the part of the specfile author. (Dag, who
obviously knows a hell of a lot more about specfiles than I do, seems
to agree with me, but YMMV.)

That said, it wouldn't hurt for Fedora to expressly note that they
think that specfiles are not copyrighted/copyrightable, so that there
is no confusion.

Luis (again, disclaimer: IANALY)

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