Bug#884227: debian-policy: please add zlib to common licenses

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Bug#884227: debian-policy: please add zlib to common licenses

Markus Koschany-2
Package: debian-policy
Version: 4.1.2.0
Severity: normal

Hi,

as discussed on debian-devel [1] I would like to request that more DFSG
licenses are added to /usr/share/common-licenses and that package
maintainers are allowed to reference them.

License: zlib
Source: https://opensource.org/licenses/Zlib
Example packages:
https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#The_zlib.2Flibpng_License_.28Zlib.29


Regards,

Markus

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/12/msg00209.html








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Bug#884227: debian-policy: please add zlib to common licenses

Jonathan Nieder
Markus Koschany wrote:

> License: zlib
> Source: https://opensource.org/licenses/Zlib
> Example packages:
> https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#The_zlib.2Flibpng_License_.28Zlib.29

Hm.  The license says

  3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.

And part of 'This notice' is a copyright line that varies from package
to package.  Since the license text is very short, it seems simplest
for packages to keep reproducing the license text --- it's not too
painful disk space-wise and it is much clearer license-wise.

So I don't believe it belongs in common-licenses.

Thanks,
Jonathan

> [1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/12/msg00209.html

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Bug#884227: debian-policy: please add zlib to common licenses

Markus Koschany-2
Am 13.12.2017 um 19:21 schrieb Jonathan Nieder:

> Markus Koschany wrote:
>
>> License: zlib
>> Source: https://opensource.org/licenses/Zlib
>> Example packages:
>> https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#The_zlib.2Flibpng_License_.28Zlib.29
>
> Hm.  The license says
>
>   3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.
>
> And part of 'This notice' is a copyright line that varies from package
> to package.  Since the license text is very short, it seems simplest
> for packages to keep reproducing the license text --- it's not too
> painful disk space-wise and it is much clearer license-wise.
>
> So I don't believe it belongs in common-licenses.
I respectfully disagree. The zlib license is one of the most common
permissive licenses in the world. The license text ("this notice") is
always the same. The only line that differs is the copyright holder but
the name is not part of the license text itself. So writing:

File: foo.bar
Copyright: 2017, John Smith
License: zlib

is exactly the same as saying

The file foo.bar is

Copyright 2017, John Smith

This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied
warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages
arising from the use of this software.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose,
including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it
freely, subject to the following restrictions:

    1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must
       not claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this
       software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product
       documentation would be appreciated but is not required.

    2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must
       not be misrepresented as being the original software.

    3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source
       distribution.


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Bug#884227: debian-policy: please add zlib to common licenses

Russ Allbery-2
In reply to this post by Jonathan Nieder
Jonathan Nieder <[hidden email]> writes:
> Markus Koschany wrote:

>> License: zlib
>> Source: https://opensource.org/licenses/Zlib
>> Example packages:
>> https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#The_zlib.2Flibpng_License_.28Zlib.29

> Hm.  The license says

>   3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.

> And part of 'This notice' is a copyright line that varies from package
> to package.  Since the license text is very short, it seems simplest for
> packages to keep reproducing the license text --- it's not too painful
> disk space-wise and it is much clearer license-wise.

> So I don't believe it belongs in common-licenses.

I agree.  I don't like the idea of including very short licenses in
common-licenses.  I think it just adds indirection to no real purpose and
won't really save maintainers significant time.  I'm less opposed to this
one than to the MIT or BSD licenses that have substantial variation in
wording, but I still don't think it's a good idea.

common-licenses has the most benefit for very long licenses that people
then copy verbatim.

--
Russ Allbery ([hidden email])               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>