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a LICENSE file does not necessarily apply to everything in a repo

From: bill-auger
Subject: a LICENSE file does not necessarily apply to everything in a repo
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 21:06:32 -0400

> On Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 1:39 PM Adam Faiz <> wrote:
> > It puts a LICENSE file ...
> > ... It applies to everything in that repo, unless stated otherwise.

just as a side note, i do not believe that is quite correct -
people do conventionally assume that is the case; but the
licenses themselves do not justify that assumption

for example, there is nothing in the GPL, which states that it
applies to every file in the code-base - the license header of
each source file serves that purpose - in fact, the GPL
explicitly states that it only pertains to source code; but not
other files such as images, documentation, or sounds - those are
presumed to be licensed separately

take the MIT licenses, as another example:

> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
> obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
> files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software ...

obviously, images and audio are not "software" nor
"documentation"; which means that this license does not claim to
cover those files

so an image file which happens to be in the code-base, but
without declaring which license applies to it, is not licensed
at all, and really should not be there - it is probably tainting
the entire code-base from being distrbutable as a whole (eg: as
a complete tarball or VCS clone, which is the most common way
people would acquire it)

as the GPLs and MITs are probably the most common libre licenses
in use today, people should be aware of this - it is a shame
that most forges do not explain the different license, their
implications, and how to apply them properly; because forges are
probably the only place that most people would be likely to be
introduced to licensing

none of this is a specific criticism of codeberg or any other -
most forges do not have any documentation about licensing - that
is a missed opportunity, at a strategic point in the supply
chain, and a general dis-service to their users and the wider
free software community

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