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This queue is for tickets about the DBIx-Simple CPAN distribution.

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The Basics
Id: 66228
Status: open
Priority: 0/
Queue: DBIx-Simple

People
Owner: Nobody in particular
Requestors: JAWNSY [...] cpan.org
Cc:
AdminCc:

Bug Information
Severity: Important
Broken in:
  • 1.33
  • 1.34
  • 1.35
Fixed in: 1.32



Subject: Please provide clear licensing terms
Hi there, Previously, you mentioned your module was Public Domain licensed, and at that time, it was packaged and is currently being distributed in Debian. However, in version 1.33, you changed it to whatever OSI license people want. Unfortunately, this terminology is not very explicit. In Debian, we require every package to have a copyright statement and licensing clause somewhere. If you are simply looking for a very permissive license, then I ask you to consider either the BSD or MIT/X11 licenses. Keep in mind that the majority of software on CPAN is licensed under the "same terms as Perl" (i.e. GPL-1+ or Artistic License). Copyright/license information is needed in order for us (and others) to be able to legally distribute the software. Could you please give us (replying to this bug report is fine): years of copyright, copyright holders' names, copyright holders' e-mail addresses (if appropriate). This is more than just a Debian issue. I'm not a lawyer, but it's my understanding that both copyright and licensing information is vital for the continued success of open source software. Copyright is what allows you to assert a license, and a license is what gives others the rights to use and re-distribute your software. A great article discussing some of this is "What is Copyleft?" by Richard Stallman: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/ (Note that I don't think giving people a choice of ANY OSI-approved license is considered a license in itself -- consider, for example, what might happen if the OSI changed its name or URL, or otherwise disappeared) Thanks for releasing your work to the CPAN. I apologize in advance for the noise, as I understand that the last thing most authors want to deal with is legal administrivia like this. I do hope, however, that you could (in your continued generosity) help us with this request. Please also consider adding these statements to your code/package README, since we must distribute some evidence of copyright information if it is not in the source package itself. Cheers, Jonathan On behalf of the Debian Perl Team
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On Sun Feb 27 16:58:28 2011, JAWNSY wrote: Show quoted text
> Previously, you mentioned your module was Public Domain licensed, and at > that time, it was packaged and is currently being distributed in Debian. > However, in version 1.33, you changed it to whatever OSI license people > want. Unfortunately, this terminology is not very explicit. > > In Debian, we require every package to have a copyright statement and > licensing clause somewhere.
Debian is allowed to redistribute this software under any of the specific OSI license they wish. I don't see why upstream should pick the license if Debian can also do this by themselves. The point of the change was to let distributors freely choose so I don't have to. I'll grant an explicit license if you wish, but please make the choice for me. :) Show quoted text
> Could you please give us > (replying to this bug report is fine): years of copyright, copyright > holders' names, copyright holders' e-mail addresses (if appropriate).
I'm not schooled in how copyright works and since parts of DBIx::Simple were written by other people, I'm not sure if I can even legally claim copyright on the whole thing. As for years and contributors (who possibly each have copyright on the part they wrote), please see the Changes file. I guess it could be summarized as "Copyright 2002..2010 by Juerd Waalboer et al", but I'm not sure if this is specific enough for the Debian Project. Show quoted text
> Copyright is what allows > you to assert a license, and a license is what gives others the rights > to use and re-distribute your software.
I'm licensing distributors to pick their own OSI compliant license, and I do so rather explicitly. The chosen OSI compliant license in turn allows for distribution and use. I'm aware that it isn't a very common practice, but I don't see why it wouldn't be good enough for Debian... After all, it's much more specific than "public domain", which under Dutch law apparently doesn't even exist at all and is thus entirely meaningless, and that was good enough! ;) -- Juerd
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As long as I'm browsing the queue, I'll kibbitz on this bug. Maybe a middle ground is to specify one license and append "or any other OSI approved license". For example: "This software may be licensed under the same terms as Perl itself, or under any other Open Source Initiative approved license." That's one less headache for packagers by giving them a default, and is just as unrestricted about license terms. As for copyright, generally, it seems that the primary author is listed in the copyright and contributions are contributed back under the terms of a license. I personally tend to use the Apache 2 license because it is very clear about contributors vs authors, but I support your notion of being as unrestricted as possible.


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