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Re: LICENSE questions

Thomas Klausner <> writes:

> What do you suggest as criteria to decide if a random text is near
> enough to a BSD license? Especially with kind-of-BSD licenses I find
> it very hard to tell.

Basicially you have to diff the text and apply acceptable wording fuzz
judgement.  Licenses are legal documents so they really should be sort
of close.

But, the point of pkgsrc license tagging for Free/Open Source licenses
is not entirely clear to me.  The only use case I can think of is
someone who objects to some license that has unusual terms such as
trademark claims, or is too complicated to understand (apache 2?), or is
copyleft when they want BSD.  I can't think of a reason for someone to
object to a BSD-like license when they broadly do not object to BSD-like

So, we could

  A) have a license file "original-bsd-like" that says that the license
  is similar in spirit to the 3-clause BSD license, but not identical,
  and those that don't like this can

    1) take original-bsd-like out of DEFAULT_ACCEPTABLE_LICENSES
    2) get FSF and OSI to rule on the license in question

    3) send a patch to add the offending license as a file with or
    without -license depending on 2, and add it to
    DEFAULT_ACCEPTABLE_LICENSES also depending on 2

  I think we will find that no one cares enough to do the steps

  B) Do the steps above.  But I think no one cares enough.

I am in favor of encoding that we are being sloppy, rather than
pretending things are the same when they aren't.  The rule would be that
if anyone makes a credible objection on tech-pkg that a package tagged
as original-bsd-like has a license that is not substantially equivalent,
then we retag the package to generic-nonlicense until someone sends a
patch to add the actual license (again with steps 1-3).

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