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Old 01-13-2009, 04:07 AM
Robert Collins
 
Default Impact of GPL packaging on non-GPL packages...

I've noticed a lot of 'GPL licenced packaging' on REVU. Ignore the
question of whether the packaging data is even large enough to
copyright, what is the impact on the end user.

(I suspect its a case of simple case of combining rather than derivation
in the common case). But more important than my knowing, is for our
users to know: e.g. if they see a packaged binary library that claims to
be e.g. BSD, but the shipped copyright claims both BSD and GPL[for the
packaging] what should the user assume - that they have received a BSD
library, or that they will have to not use the packaged version if they
are building BSD code on top of it.

I can see further corollaries to this, but first-steps-first.

-Rob

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Old 01-13-2009, 02:55 PM
Scott Kitterman
 
Default Impact of GPL packaging on non-GPL packages...

On Tuesday 13 January 2009 00:07, Robert Collins wrote:
> I've noticed a lot of 'GPL licenced packaging' on REVU. Ignore the
> question of whether the packaging data is even large enough to
> copyright, what is the impact on the end user.
>
> (I suspect its a case of simple case of combining rather than derivation
> in the common case). But more important than my knowing, is for our
> users to know: e.g. if they see a packaged binary library that claims to
> be e.g. BSD, but the shipped copyright claims both BSD and GPL[for the
> packaging] what should the user assume - that they have received a BSD
> library, or that they will have to not use the packaged version if they
> are building BSD code on top of it.
>
> I can see further corollaries to this, but first-steps-first.

My general recommendation is that people license the packaging under the same
terms as the upstream package. It avoids confusion. If people find the
upstream licensing objectionable, then perhaps they should package something
else.

Scott K

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Old 01-14-2009, 12:46 AM
Emmet Hikory
 
Default Impact of GPL packaging on non-GPL packages...

Robert Collins wrote:
> I've noticed a lot of 'GPL licenced packaging' on REVU. Ignore the
> question of whether the packaging data is even large enough to
> copyright, what is the impact on the end user.
>
> (I suspect its a case of simple case of combining rather than derivation
> in the common case). But more important than my knowing, is for our
> users to know: e.g. if they see a packaged binary library that claims to
> be e.g. BSD, but the shipped copyright claims both BSD and GPL[for the
> packaging] what should the user assume - that they have received a BSD
> library, or that they will have to not use the packaged version if they
> are building BSD code on top of it.

I'd recommend leaving a comment on REVU asking the packager to
license the packaging under a license at least as permissive as that of
the packaged software. In cases where the packager has taken previously
GPL licensing as a base, it may be better to look for other example
packages with more permissive packaging licenses, or re implement the
packaging without reference.

This topic came up in the Debian Games team some time ago, when a
neat way to work around an issue was discovered in some GPL packaging,
and people were looking for a way to do a clean reimplementation for
some BSD-licensed packages in the archive. While the resulting
discussion did not reach a general conclusion to my memory (instead
addressing the specific issue), it may be interesting to recommend that
all packaging be performed under more permissive licenses to encourage
closer coordination in packaging between different packaged software.

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Emmet HIKORY


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