ports licenses

Rob Farmer rfarmer at predatorlabs.net
Mon May 31 10:21:16 UTC 2010

On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM, Wesley Shields <wxs at freebsd.org> wrote:
> On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 02:29:45PM -0700, Charlie Kester wrote:
>> On Sun 30 May 2010 at 13:20:55 PDT Rene Ladan wrote:
>> >Hi,
>> >
>> >While adding license information to my ports (to be committed), I
>> >stumbled upon the following:
>> Is this something all maintainers should be doing?
>> Yesterday, while upgrading my installed ports, I noticed a message in
>> the output about LICENSE not being defined.  I also see that there's now
>> a bsd.licenses.mk and a bsd.licenses.db.mk in /usr/ports/Mk.  I don't
>> recall seeing those before, and don't know how long they've been there.
>> Anyway, it looks like we're going ahead with this infrastructure, and I
>> think that's a good thing.
>> What actions do you need from me as a maintainer?
> They are both fairly new constructs. I don't recall exact dates but they
> are new enough that the documentation for them has not caught up yet
> that I'm aware of. I'd wait until the Porter's Handbook is updated for
> further clarification on what to do.

If someone is preparing to update the handbook, I think clarifying the
intended goal for bsd.licenses.db.mk is important. Is this file
expected to grow rapidly and include anything used by multiple ports
(for whatever definition of "multiple") or is it primarily for the top
20 or so "big" licenses like the GPL?

The case I have in mind is the CeCILL
(http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html), which was
written by the French government for stuff they fund. It is basically
an uninteresting rewrite of the GPL adapted to deal with French patent
laws. As such, not a whole lot of stuff uses it (or probably will in
the forseeable future), but on the other hand it is explicitly listed
on the FSF's approved licenses page.

Rob Farmer

> I'd also say that if you have a regular update planned for a port that
> you submit the license information with that.
> -- WXS
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