[Haskell-cafe] Licenses and dependencies

Rogan Creswick creswick at gmail.com
Sat Jan 11 19:49:46 UTC 2014

On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM, Mateusz Kowalczyk <fuuzetsu at fuuzetsu.co.uk
> wrote:

> Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.

I'm also not a lawyer.

So overall, I think you're safe publishing under whatever license suits
> you and it's up to the programmer using your code to decide whether or
> not they want to build and/or distribute it as-is.

I can't comment on the legality of this; it sounds like it may be correct
in a technical sense, but in any case, I would like to plead that you /do
not do this/, for one reason:

Someone may want to use your project (and, transitively, the dependencies
you rely on) in a binary distribution someday, and it's unlikely that they
will think to check all the licenses all the way down.

Granted, that *is* their responsibility, but I think it's irresponsible to
create a product that "silently" causes a license violation based on how
the compiled result is used.

Please make a good faith effort to keep your software license compatible
with the licenses on your dependencies.

This is just my perspective on the question, and not something I'm
interested in debating, but I wanted to put it out there since it will
impact the usability of your software in some situations.


> Does making a project "PublicDomain" only refer to the code contained in
> > that project, or would it (unintentionally and unlawfully) give
> > distributors of that source code the freedom to not include the BSD3/MIT
> > license files from dependencies?
> Making your code public domain would not affect the dependencies at all,
> after all, someone can come later, take half of your code and use it for
> something totally different.
> > Essentially my goal is to waive all intellectual property rights to most
> of
> > my Haskell projects, to the extent that, were I to unintentionally sign
> > away my intellectual property, my open-source contributions would be
> safe -
> > what's the easiest way to do this?
> I think you'll be fine just choosing the PublicDomain license option.
> Things you can't do with such an option:
> * bundle other people's code which isn't under public domain
> * somehow enforce that only certain libraries will run with your
> program: the user should be able to replace the BSD3 licensed
> dependencies with their own if they want to
> I think in the end, the fact that pretty much every package ever depends
> on ‘base’ which is BSD3 and PublicDomain option exists in Cabal should
> be convincing enough that you are in fact able to publish your part of
> the code under more lenient license.
> > Thanks,
> > Ben Foppa
> If anything's wrong in my post, I hope someone can correct me.
> --
> Mateusz K.
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