[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and Free Software

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Sat Feb 28 19:15:28 UTC 2015

On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM, fr33domlover <fr33domlover at riseup.net>
> Hello haskellers!
> I'd like to make a suggestion: have Hackage accept only packages released
> free software licenses.

Anything that excludes software that we could use, or otherwise
discourages people from making software available to the community, is
a bad idea. A restriction to OSF-approved licenses would exclude
anything released under a Creative Commons license, since the OSF
doesn't list those, which makes sense as they aren't "software
licences" per se. And your restriction of "released under a license"
would exclude public domain software - at least in countries that
recognize such a thing.

Yes, these are nits, but these are nits that could cause someone to
decide not to put software that is otherwise perfectly acceptable on

> Actually the all-rights-reserved tag in Hackage [1] has only two packages
> tagged by it - the dummy no-op project HNop, and another package whose
> file contains a broken link and whose README says "BSD style license".

This is a general problem on any site that offers downloads with a
license type tag. What happens if the selected license tag and the
included license have different rights? My suspicion is that if it
went to court, you could justify using it under either license,
meaning that such things are effectively dual licensed. We might make
add a statement making that explicit.

In particular, an "all-rights-reserved" tag implies that you may have
to ask someone's permission to even download the package from Hackage,
so it doesn't make a lot of sense. Given that - with the dual license
interpretation - it effectively isn't used, removing it might make
sense. Or renaming it to "other not listed" may be more appropriate.

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