Subject: Re: [RFC] Where to put license files?
To: Martijn van Buul <>
From: Greg Troxel <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 09/28/2005 20:26:19
Martijn van Buul <> writes:

> It occurred to me that Roland Illig wrote in gmane.os.netbsd.devel.packages:
> > while other packages have licenses that aren't listed in this directory.
> So they're being treated as having a general open source license? Isn't
> the package at err in that case, no matter what mechanism we use? 

Yes, having a LICENSE variable that does not point to a file in
licenses/ is a bug, currently.

> I see one problem with this: How will several, seperate, instances of the
> same license be prevented? Suppose package A uses the foobar-license.
> Considering that the package maintainer didn't see anything like that
> in licenses/, he'll just go ahead and add it to the local package dir. Some
> time later, package B comes along, using the same license. How will we
> prevent the package maintainer of package B from doing exactly the same
> as A did?

pkglint, I suppose.  But really such duplication is not a terrible
thing if the license files are the same, just inelegant.

> I'm a bit worried about having several instances of the same licence
> scattered around the place, possibly even using different versions.

If they are different versions, they aren't the same license.
Programs come with a license, and we can't use different/newer
versions in the general case.  (Typically, only GPL says this, and
that's Free so out of scope for this discussion.)

        Greg Troxel <>