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Re: non-gnu elpa issue tracking

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: non-gnu elpa issue tracking
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:40:40 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Stefan Kangas <stefankangas@gmail.com> [2020-12-10 00:48]:
> Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support> writes:
> >> Are there any packages out there that don't use the GPL?  Could you
> >> point us to some examples?
> >
> > Just to name a few, among more of them:
> Thanks for the list.
> > anki-mode-20200703.739.el
> >   - no license, proprietary by default
> It seems to be under the GPL:
>     https://github.com/davidshepherd7/anki-mode/blob/master/LICENCE

Not that I am personally asking. Please think of conveying software
and end user receiving software without license. If it is received
without license software is proprietary for the end user.

Software can be double licensed and be "same" inside. If there is no
license distributed with the software together a receiver cannot just
stumble upon some license on Internet and assume to put it
together. Then the repository is not verified to be author's
repository, it could be fork and licenses could be added there. For
GNU ELPA is good to verify apparently dubious packages if they are
licensed or not, and that they are sourced from their authors. There
are many problems related to licensing specifically on Github:

> MELPA requires a "GPL compatible license", according to
>     https://github.com/melpa/melpa/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.org
> so I guess the "proprietary by default" packages you are speaking of are
> simply missing the license information in the library itself?  Sounds
> like that should be reported as a bug against those packages.

Who am I to decide? If fetch a package from MELPA git repository and
there is no license in the file, it is proprietary for me. As simple
as that. Ask attorneys in the FSF if my statements do not make sense
but you still think there could be something.

Your software you may give to person Joe without license rendering it
proprietary for Joe. And you may give it to Jane under free software
license. Joe cannot ask Jane to give him a license to make it
free. Legal world does not work that way as he did not receive the
license from the author or other person licensed to convey software
and license to new receiver. 

> PS. I've opened a pull request against anki-mode to add the license
>     header.

Good if that package is destined for the non GNU ELPA, but if not
destined, then doing reports for licenses should be made by priorities
for those packages that developers want to have in non GNU ELPA.


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