Drop of portindex

Michael Nottebrock michaelnottebrock at gmx.net
Sat Sep 18 06:07:32 PDT 2004

On Saturday 18 September 2004 07:49, Greg Lewis wrote:
> Since writers of RPM spec files face the same issues
> (keeping the tag in sync with the source and whether the tag is a
> guarantee of licensing or not) I simply wonder how they tackled them
> (if they did :).

SuSE for example packages kdemultimedia like this (excerpt from 

Name:         kdemultimedia3
License:      GPL
Group:        System/GUI/KDE
Summary:      KDE Multimedia Libraries
Version:      3.2.1

> Anyone know if this issue has come up in Gentoo?

No idea, but at the moment they deal with it even worse:

The kdemultimedia-3.3.0 ebuild gets the license evaluation from an eclass 
definition that's common to most kde module ebuilds, kde-dist:


The catch is, this information is wrong. One of the central applications in 
kdemultimedia, noatun, is BSD licensed. KDE in general contains programs and 
other material (such as icons, sounds) which come under a number of free 
software licenses: GPL, BSD, Artistic, etc.

What people seem to continually miss is that licensing is a legal thing. As 
such, it lacks the kind of standardisation and uniformity that would be 
needed to implement a lean yet clean representation of licensing that fits 
within a packaging system. Cataloguing licenses in a meaningful (that is, 
factually correct) way needs constant manual review and as you can see by the 
example of SuSE, even not-so-small commercial players seem to lack the 
necessary resources to do that. And, as has been brought up before, in the 
legal world, incorrect or vague information is worse than no information all.

   ,_,   | Michael Nottebrock               | lofi at freebsd.org
 (/^ ^\) | FreeBSD - The Power to Serve     | http://www.freebsd.org
   \u/   | K Desktop Environment on FreeBSD | http://freebsd.kde.org
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