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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Licensing questions



Joe Orton wrote:
I've got four licensing questions after reviewing all my packages:

1. perl-Newt: "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself."

- it is correct to simply list "License: GPL or Artistic", when this is the only licensing information given?

Upstream needs to include a copy of the licenses and specify the
licenses explicitly. This is required within the GPL license itself and
considered best practice for other licenses too.  Merely stating that it
is the same as some other software is vague. What if the software
licenses change in between versions?

2. mod_auth_mysql: inaccurate copyright attribution. This package carries ASL 1.1 copyright notices verbatim, including the "Copyright (c) 1995 The Apache Group.", when no copyright assignment to the "Apache Group" has ever taken place. Does that matter?

I interpreted the copyright statement within the license to apply to
itself and not to the software. Note that Apache 2.0 makes it more clear.

3. mod_authz_ldap: a convoluted one this; the source files contain the text header:

**  Read the files README and mod_authz_ldap.html for instructions on
**  configuring the module. Details of the license can be found in the
**  HTML documentation.
**
**  (c) 2000 Dr. Andreas Mueller

...the HTML docs contain the text:

This module is distributed under the terms of the Apache License, please check the LICENSE file in your apache distribution or the COPYING file of the mod_authz_ldap distribution for the exact terms of the license. In particular, the following disclaimer applies:

 [standard Apache-style warranty disclaimer block]

...and the COPYING file contains the GPLv2 (!). Any guesses on how to intepret that?

The software is under GPL but the documentation is under the Apache
license?  They haven't specified the exact version of Apache license
either. I would suggest asking upstream to clarify both the licensing of
software and documentation and version of licenses.

4. subversion: source files all reference following URL with GPLv2+-style "or later version" qualifier:

http://subversion.tigris.org/license-1.html

which is ASL 1.1 with the names changed, and clauses 4 and 5 are changed in the nature of what exactly they restrict. I don't think it's appropriate to simply list this as "ASL 1.1"?

It is still substantially the same as Apache 1.1 and can be listed as under the Apache license except that we probably should be a different tag for "or later". Maybe ASL 1.1 + . Spot?

Rahul



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