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Re: Some hard numbers on licenses used by elisp packages

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Some hard numbers on licenses used by elisp packages
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 21:55:34 -0400

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500 (roughly) packages is a lot of packages, and checking them by hand
would be a fair amount of work.  The only way to check so many packages
efficiently is with tools.

But we don't need to study 500 packages to understand the _general
causes_ for which packages show up as "unlicensed".

I propose that people pick 10 of these packages, perhaps randomly, and
study each of the 10 by hand.  Does it have any license that the
existing tools did not notice?  If so, is there a way to fix them to
notice that license?  Was it a typo in the licence notice?

Or was that package simply published with no license?

10 packages is a much smaller task.  Small enough, I think, that there
is no need to worry about making any special tools.  It's enough to
look at the source files.

Once we understand what KINDS of problems appear among these
"unlicensed" packages, I expect it will be clear what questions to
pose for the other 500 or so "unlicensed" packages, and easy enough to
write automatic tools to characterize almost all of them.

Wha do you think of this approach?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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