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Porter's handbook: GPL licenses installation
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Authored by salvadore on Wed, May 4, 10:55 PM.

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salvadore created this revision.
pauamma_gundo.com added inline comments.
documentation/content/en/books/porters-handbook/makefiles/_index.adoc
3213–3215

Do BSD-licensed apps typically come with the license text in COPYING?

This revision now requires changes to proceed.Thu, May 5, 6:04 PM

@pauamma_gundo.com: Thanks for your review. I think indeed that COPYING is mostly used with GPL licenses: thanks for noticing it. I changed it to LICENSE: does that work?

@pauamma_gundo.com: Thanks for your review. I think indeed that COPYING is mostly used with GPL licenses: thanks for noticing it. I changed it to LICENSE: does that work?

I'm not sure offhand why 13.20 asks not to copy a bunch of GPL license files but seems fine with copying a bunch of non-GPL license files (is it because the GPL is much longer than eg the BSDL?), but since it makes that distinction, yes, it looks fine with this change.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Sat, May 7, 4:13 AM

@pauamma_gundo.com: Thanks for your review. I think indeed that COPYING is mostly used with GPL licenses: thanks for noticing it. I changed it to LICENSE: does that work?

I'm not sure offhand why 13.20 asks not to copy a bunch of GPL license files but seems fine with copying a bunch of non-GPL license files (is it because the GPL is much longer than eg the BSDL?), but since it makes that distinction, yes, it looks fine with this change.

Thanks again Pau Amma, I will commit the patch as soon as I understand if approval from docs is enough or if I need approval from a doc committer (and in that case I would wait for doc committer approval too).

As for the reason for avoiding copying GPL licenses but not other licenses, I think it is simply because other licenses require it (BSD2CLAUSE included: "Redistributions of source code [or in binary form] must retain [or reproduce] [...] this list of conditions"), while GPL does not (I think it is sufficient to state that the software is GPL licensed, then the user can search for a copy of the license and read it). Maybe other licenses that do not require license copying exist, but they are shorter and it is probably not a big deal. But, as it is always useful to say in these cases, I am not a lawyer and I might be wrong.

carlavilla added a subscriber: carlavilla.

Approved from docs

mat added inline comments.
documentation/content/en/books/porters-handbook/makefiles/_index.adoc
2556

I disagree with that, if a LICENSE_FILE is not provided, a generic one will be installed, which is wrong, we should install whatever license actually comes with the software.
Most of us are software developers, not lawyers, when porting some software, when the software says:

my license is FOO, here is the file for FOO

We don't have legal knowledge sufficient to determine if the file actually contains a license named FOO, so what we do is actually provide the file, as to make sure we don't mess things up.

As a side note, if you don't provide a LICENSE_FILE for a known license, the one in Templates/Licenses will be provided, this is for the case where the software says something like:

License FOO applies to this software.

But the author does not actually provide the license file.

Please revert this change.

@mat: Thanks for your review, I am sorry for the mistake. I am going to revert the change as requested.

What about the recommendation from https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/porters-handbook/porting-dads/#dads-misc about the same topic, which has not been introduced by this commit? Should I remove it then?
There is a bit of confusion on the topic (see https://reviews.freebsd.org/D35028 for an example), something should be done to clarify it.

@carlavilla, @gerald: I guess I have your doc and mentor approval for reverting this commit, isn't it? (Also, feel free to revert it by yourself if you can: it would be quickier than having me to wait for any approval).

Mmmm, if you are talking about the line saying

Do not copy more copies of the GNU General Public License into our system, please.

I don't know where it comes from, but it is likely very old, not relevant any more and should probably be removed too.

@mat: Yes, I was talking about that note, thanks.

Here is the documentation fixed:

  • I reverted the old commit.
  • I removed the note from 13.20.

Is it approved from portmgr@ ? Is there anything else I should fix?

Thanks.

I don't see anything obvious that was wrong before, so, no need to go further. Thank you for your quick responses.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Fri, May 13, 2:36 PM

Go ahead with the revert

mat@ wrote:

We don't have legal knowledge sufficient to determine if the file actually contains a license named FOO

Just for the record, "diff $LICENSEFILE Templates/Licenses/$OURCANONICALCOPY" does not require legal knowledge. :-)