[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and Free Software

fr33domlover fr33domlover at riseup.net
Sat Feb 28 19:43:46 UTC 2015

Hello Mike,

First of all, thanks for the feedback.

On 2015-02-28
Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> wrote:

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

As to creative commons - indeed they aren't meant for software (maybe except
for CC0, which is basically like public domain). But I also don't think people
want to use them once they see the problem: If you want it permissive, you have
Apache for example (also BSD/MIT), and if you want copyleft you have GPL (also
AGPL, etc.).

As to public domain: It's actually just fine! It's true than most countries
recognize lack of license as "all rights reserved", but I also think it's a
very small and trivial task for a maintainer to add a few license lines to
state that the software should be globally treated as public domain.

So public domain software is just fine, free software.

In some websites it's common to publish code snippets under Creative Commons -
if I'm not mistaken StackOverflow is like this - but Hackage is a package
database and not a snippet manager, so the snippet situation is probably
irrelevant, I hope.

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

That depends on what "acceptable" means. In the worst case you can have
separation between free and nonfree software by tag, and make it possible to
turn nonfree software on/off using a cabal-install commandline option.

This will allow people to upload first, and then think and understand the
licensing situation. Once they do, they can properly tag their project. Could
that work?

> > 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.

That's what I thought too when I saw all-rights-reserved.

>        <mike

fr33domlover         <http://www.rel4tion.org/people/fr33domlover>
GPG key ID:          63E5E57D (size: 4096)
GPG key fingerprint: 6FEE C222 7323 EF85 A49D  5487 5252 C5C8 63E5 E57D
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 801 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/attachments/20150228/8b3aa9cc/attachment.sig>

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list