Specific license field

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at googlemail.com
Mon Nov 9 06:46:57 EST 2009

On Mon, 2009-11-09 at 15:05 +1100, Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:
> Neil Mitchell wrote:
> > I just got approached by Fedora maintainers with the query that HLint
> > doesn't specify it's license fully. The License field in the cabal
> > file says "GPL", and the LICENSE file has a copy of the GPL v2, but I
> > never say GPL version 2, or GPL version 2 and above etc. What is the
> > Cabal approved way to indicate your licensing constraints? I suspect
> > all other distro's packaging HLint have just guessed, or gone GPL 2
> > because that's clearly a subset of what I might have intended.
> There is a similar problem with some packages (ie bzlib) having
> BSD3 in the .cabal file but having a 2 clause BSD LICENSE file.
> This caused problems for me when I packaged bzlib for Debian.

Ah yes, I was going to add in:

3. This clause is intentionally left blank.


We need a consensus if we're to add an extra license name.

The OSI do not list the 2-clause BSD license at all. The FSF describe it
as the FreeBSD license or "2-clause BSD license".

We currently have "BSD3" (and the outdated "BSD4"). We could add the
2-clause BSD license as "BSD2". What do other people call it, eg

I don't like the possible confusion over "BSD-$N" vs "GPL-N". The latter
is a version while the former is not.

If we'd had better foresight we would never have added BSD4 and could
then have claimed that "BSD" covered both the 2 and 3 clause versions.
We're not trying to nail down every last nuance in the licenses (e.g. I
don't think we need to be trying to distinguish GPL-2 from GPL-2+).


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