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Re: [Bug 166254] Review Request: perl-Imager

On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 08:20 +0100, Paul Howarth wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 02:32 -0400, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> > On 8/19/05, Ralf Corsepius <rc040203 freenet de> wrote:
> > > IMHO (IANAL), this is a non-issue and the guidelines should be changed
> > > accordingly.
> > 
> > Are you the only person to hold this opinion or is there recent list
> > discussion you can point me to that suggests there is a consensous
> > view that this particular review guideline requirement needs adjusting
> > or a less strict interpretation when a license is implied by reference
> > to another package's license?
That's we currently do.

> >  I'm not a lawyer either so until the
> > guideline language is weakened to suggest there is some leeway I'm
> > going to lean on the provided guideline language which says its
> > required.  But please if you feel strongly about this,

As any legal issues can not be taken easily, I do feel strong about it.

It's quite simple: Either legal requirements force us to ship verbatim
copies or they don't. Setting up our own rules to fulfill non-existing
laws doesn't help anybody.

AFAICT, there is no requirement to ship the license files:
All the GPL does is to say (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html#SEC4)

"You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301, USA."

In my understanding, this does not imply authors MUST ship a copy of the
GPL with their packages, they SHOULD, but also can do otherwise.

Also, AFAICT, according to US laws, shipping a detached License file is
not considered legally binding and therefore is consider unsafe. The
only safe way of licensing is to include license conditions to each
source file (This is the reason why many GNU programs' sources such as
GCC often are being systematically overhauled to include the correct
licensing terms).

Applied to perl-modules, this would mean a sentence such as "same
license as perl" inside of a perl file is legally more binding than a
detached license, added by  would be.

Also I feel, a public discussion doesn't help ether. We need a lawyer to
give a clear judgment if there is necessity to add license files to such
packages or not.

> Suggestion:
> Why don't we do what Debian do and ship an "common licenses" package?

IMO, this causes more hassle than directly copying license files,
because licenses often vary in details.


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