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Re: Automake: use of modified Perl modules & GPL

From: Elaine -HFB- Ashton
Subject: Re: Automake: use of modified Perl modules & GPL
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 22:34:15 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

Russ Allbery address@hidden quoth:
*>> Were we to get into the business of requiring licenses we would also
*>> have to do the task of checking for and possibly removing items that are
*>> of potential legal liability.
*>You seem to be under the impression that not requiring license statements
*>somehow reduces your legal liability.  I'm fairly certain that this is not
*>actually correct.

Russ, who would they sue? We are not incorporated and we do not guarantee
anything on CPAN. 

*>It may be more work than the benefit justifies; I'm not disagreeing with
*>that.  But the phrasing of your response sounded like you were objecting
*>to an attempt to force license terms on people, and I think that's a straw

That's precisely what I'm objecting to. This is the first time that I'm
aware of that an issue over licensing has been raised. Even Schwen
mentioned that he releases modules without an explicit license statement
as he belives the 'licensed under the same terms as Perl' is implicit
enough not to warrant such a statement. Again, we aren't CPAN, the authors
are and if they wish to explicitly license their work they may, if they
don't want to, we are't in the business of forcing it on them. This issue
here may be education, but we are here to keep the mirrors running, not
run a police force for licensing issues.

I submited a patch for h2xs today that adds a place for a license in the
POD framework but that is merely a placeholder and can be removed by the
author if they wish to do so.

The second you start forcing people to do something is the moment they
begin to think of ways to circumvent it. I was under the impression that
Open Source was about freedom, both for the author and for the user. If
people find the licensing or lack thereof a problem, they are free to use
something else if they are unable to satisfy their licensing needs. 


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