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Re: [RFC] all-permissive license uses

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: [RFC] all-permissive license uses
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 22:21:00 -0600
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According to Ralf Wildenhues on 5/5/2009 2:28 PM:
> Hi Eric,

Hi Ralf, and adding relevant lists for the question you raised:

> * Eric Blake wrote on Mon, May 04, 2009 at 05:50:02PM CEST:
>> The GNU Maintainer standards were recently updated to revamp the
>> wording of the recommended all-permissive license.
>> Any comments on this patch, 
>> particularly if there are any files listed below that I should keep under a 
>> different license than all-permissive?
> For files containing personal data (and yes, a name and an email address
> _is_ personal data) as in AUTHORS and THANKS, I always have an awkward
> feeling when these have even so much as any kind of FLOSS copyright
> statement on them.  But that may be just me.  Put around another way
> though, who would you be helping with an all-permissive statement on
> these files *except* maybe for spammers and other questionable uses?

The GNU maintainer standards are clear that README and INSTALL files can
and should be placed under the all-permissive license.  But they are
silent on what license to use for ChangeLog, THANKS, and AUTHORS.
Obviously, to preserve the user's freedoms under the GPL, the user must be
able to append information to these files if any modifications are made to
the package, so the files cannot be under a verbatim-only license.  On the
other hand, Ralf raises a good point about all-permissive being too easy
to exploit for unintended purposes.  I'm guessing that they should thus be
under GPL (or LGPL) along with the rest of the package, but a statement to
that effect in maintain.texi would be helpful.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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