Cabal && license combinations

Vivian McPhail haskell.vivian.mcphail at
Mon Feb 7 13:44:43 CET 2011

Dear All,

There was recently a discussion on haskell-cafe ( about
licenses of libraries such as hmatrix and the combination of various
different licences.

One question was about per-package versus by-file licenses:

In Haskell the compilation unit is the module, and the per-file cabal header
allows for a license field.  It seems then that a package should be the
least restrictive combination of all the licenses in all the contained
modules.  If this has to become a hand-coded fancy function of various GPLx,
BSDy, OpenSource, and other licenses then so be it.  That is the legal
reality.  And use of a BSD3 module in hmatrix that does not depend upon
GPL'd GSL modules would be acceptable.

In short, I argue for a per-file(module) license regime.

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