I have been a gkrellm fan for a number of years. While gkrellm is distributed
as part of Fedora, gkrellm-themes is not being distributed starting with F8
(although the package is still available as part of the F7 distribution).
The reason gkrellm-themes is no longer distributed is that there is no
specific licensing indicated for almost all of the themes:
While themes are not necessary for gkrellm operation, they are nice "eye
candy" and some produce more readable displays than others ... it is a
I am volunteering to be a "limited time" upstream package "assembler" to
create a new base tarball (gkrellm-themes instead of gkrellm-skins) which
will have only themes with acceptable licensing starting with the two in the
current package. But, before diving head first into an empty swimming pool,
I wanted to determine if there is enough interest to warrent my efforts.
Using my friend google, I located:
all of which are marked in freshmeat as having GPL, OSI Artistic, freely
distributable, or freeware "licenses". While freshmeat marks these packages
as having licenses, examining a couple of the theme tarballs indicates that
no license is part of the theme tarball itself. [see (9) below]
First of all, I need guidance as to what licensing would be acceptable (e.g.,
GPL, OSI Artistic, freely distributable, freeware, BSD, etc.). I need
comments by (and perhaps some contact with) IP lawyers such as those working
for Red Hat.
If I proceed with this packaging, my plan is:
1. Use the two GPL'ed themes in the F7 package as the base.
2. Add any other themes which have licensing embedded in a theme tarball.
3. Go through the themes in the F7 package and the freshmeat list to identify
author(s) for each theme ... if there is no author (e.g., anonymous), drop
4. Send each theme author an email asking them for appropriate licensing. If
I get a "NO" answer, drop that theme. If the email bounces (or I have not
heard from the author after a month), drop that theme. For themes which have
multiple authors (the "last" author hacked a theme of another author), lack
of response or a negative response for anyone in the chain results in the
theme being dropped.
5. My preferred response is for the theme's author to send me (or provide me
access to) an updated tarball with appropriate licensing embedded ... add this
theme tarball to gkrellm-themes.
6. If I get a response that indicates to use "xxx" acceptable licensing and
provides me with a copy of that license, add the theme tarball and then add
the email message and the license info to the gkrellm-themes but do not
modify the theme tarball itself ... the rpm package will need to put the info
in the appropriate place ... maybe make them doc files distributed
in /usr/share/doc/gkrellm-themes.../ as license.<themename>
7. If I get a response that indicates to use "xxx" acceptable licensing but
does not provide a copy of the license but I can locate a copy, proceed as
8. If I get a response of "whatever ... do what you want" (or words to that
effect), my action is ??? [add the theme, the email message, and a "GPL
license??] ... what to do ... what to do?? Guidance please.
9. With respect to the packages listed on freshmeat, how do I handle packages
where freshmeat indicates a license but none is embedded? I found one a theme
with a README embedded in the tarball which says:
"If you wish to alter this theme or redistribute it, please give me credit
or I'll hunt you down and rip your eyes out with my teeth.
How do I handle this? There is an implication that the theme is under some
sort of "freely available" license.
There may be other responses which is why I am interest in IP lawyer contacts.
This may be need where a theme has multiple (chained) authors which have
different ideas as to what the licensing should be.
As I said, I Am Not A Lawyer and I intend to take all claims of authorship at
face value ... if an author says he created the theme and puts it under an
acceptable license, then that is it.
Similarly, I will be making no artistic judgments on what is bundled into
gkrellm-themes. Naturally, if anything is truly offensive, then that theme
may be rejected similar to what was done with screensavers a number of years
ago. In any case, turning gkrellm-themes into a Fedora rpm package will
involve the usual review process which should kick out anything really
I am not currently a Maintainer on any other package so I would prefer to turn
the result over to a "regular" Maintainer. That is, if I can pull enough
themes together to be worth the effort ... right now, two themes does not
seem to be worth the effort. If nobody raises their hand, then I guess I
will have to learn how to be a Fedora Package Maintainer.
Questions, comments, guidance, etc. are solicited.
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