Specific license field

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+hs at mega-nerd.com
Mon Nov 9 16:55:23 EST 2009

Duncan Coutts wrote:

> 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 We currently have "BSD3" (and the outdated "BSD4").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
> distros?

I have no problem with a BSD2 license being added, or with BSD3 being
removed in favour of just BSD (which encompasses 2 and 3 clause

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

Neither do I, but even the versioning gets complicated. To cover the
commonly used GPL licences in existence now, you would need: GPL2,
GPL2plus, GPL3, and GPL3plus. Similar for the LGPL.

> 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+).

Sorry, as a debian maintainer I think you really do need to care about
this if you are interested in making cabal packages easily converted
into Debian packages.

The Debian project (and therefore also Ubuntu) are real sticklers for
getting the copyright terms correct and making them well known. They
go to great lengths to distinguish between GPL2, GPL2plus and GPL3.

Now if cabal only listed BSD, GPL and LGPL then it would fall to people
getting the LICENSE files right.

Erik de Castro Lopo

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