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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [libreplanet-discuss] programming language package

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [libreplanet-discuss] programming language package manager
Date: Fri, 06 May 2016 15:19:05 -0400

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  > Yes, but I should mention some limitations in the license information
  > recorded in Guix.  We associate with each package a list of licenses,
  > but we do not distinguish between the following cases:

  > * Recipients who wish to redistribute may choose to follow the terms of
  >   one license from a set of options.

It is very important to indicate such disjunctions explicitly.

  > * Recipients who wish to redistribute must follow the terms of all of
  >   a set of licenses.

Do you mean, a conjunction of licenses for the same code?
I don't know if that ever happens in a way that matters.
Can you show us a real case of this?

  > * Some code in the program is covered by license A, other code is
  >   covered by license B, etc.

This is quite common.  I urge you to state explicitly that this
is the relationship between the licenses.

We could call this a "separate licensing" or "heterogeneous

  > We sometimes include a comment in the Guix source code to disambiguate
  > between these cases, and also to include details such as additional
  > permissions, but these details are not so easily extracted.

Indeed, that is not a very helpful way to record the information.

I recommend using | for a disjunction, & for a conjunction (if that ever
happens in a significant way), and comma for heterogeneous licensing.
Comma would have lower precedence.  Thus, it could be

Plus could indicate added special terms.

  LGPL, GPL | Artistic, GPL + added permission

if there are three components.


Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (,
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