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Integrating license related things of CPAN

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From:
Gabor Szabo
Date:
October 22, 2008 04:09
Subject:
Integrating license related things of CPAN
Message ID:
d8a74af10810220409j5ee66b20lcf6f2c7a01d88389@mail.gmail.com
I am trying to push forward simplifying and clarifying the
licensing issues on CPAN.

Here are a couple of issues I identified. I'd like to get
your input on these issues hoping that we can have an
agreement and then the people with the commit bits can
implement them.


1)   META.yml license field is required.

http://module-build.sourceforge.net/META-spec.html#license
says the license field is  "required" but FAIK when calling
"make dist" or "./Build dist" both EUMM and MB will happily
create META.yml files without a license field. If there is an
agreement on the field being required then I think the tools
should not create a distribution without a valid license key.
Obviously they should keep installing modules without a
license in META.yml.

2) The list of valid values should be in
http://module-build.sourceforge.net/META-spec.html#license
instead of its current place, which is
http://search.cpan.org/dist/Module-Build/lib/Module/Build/API.pod

3) Software::License http://search.cpan.org/dist/Software-License/
has a growing list of licenses with full text in it. The list of licenses
is not the same as the values in META.yml and even in the cases
where the license seem to be the same their "short name" is not
identical. IMHO these lists should be unified.
If we can accept http://www.opensource.org/licenses as the official
list of open source licenses the short names should be coordinated
with them.

4) Module::Starter and similar tools should use the same list
(maybe taken directly from Software::License) to guide the users
when they create a new module.

5) search.cpan.org is using the META.yml to display the license name.
Once we have a better list it will probably reflect that.

6) In this mail I have not yet dealt with how exactly the license is
spelled out in the distribution (eg. LICENSE file) and in the
individual files (the blurb we have in the =LICENSE entries of
the modules). There is also an optional resources/license
field in the META.yml spec:
http://module-build.sourceforge.net/META-spec-current.html#resources
which can be a URL to the full text of the license.

TPF, more specifically Allison took upon herself to check this with
real lawyers so we'll have a clear recommendation on *how* to
declare our license in the distributions.
I hope the recommendation will also include specific instructions
on how to say we are using the "perl license" as that is what the
majority is using now.

Anyway this 6th issue will be dealt with later when we have the
recommendation.

For now, please let me know if you have any opinion on 1-4 ?


regards
   Gabor
   http://szabgab.com/blog.html

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