[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and Free Software

Francesco Ariis fa-ml at ariis.it
Sat Feb 28 20:59:38 UTC 2015

On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 01:15:28PM -0600, Mike Meyer wrote:
> 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
> Hackage.

Those restrictions would be, in my opinion, a good idea. Rejecting
say CC-SA (CC0 is FSF approved), etc. code means rejecting licences
with clear and documented problems in them, problems which would
cause quite a lot of headaches down the road.

Having to pick a licence from the bazillion ones [1] approved by the
FSF or the OSI streamlines the choice and avoids licence creep with a
minimal risk of scaring the uploader away.

I must admit, as fr33domlover notes, that this problem isn't present
in hackage as now (I yet have to meet a library not licenced as GPL/
MIT/BSD3), but after finding this gem on github

    <Software> may be used in commercial projects and applications
    with the one-time purchase of a commercial license.

    For non-commercial, personal, or open source projects and
    applications, you may use <Software> under the terms of the
    GPL v3 License. You may use <Software> for free.

I say: "Better safe than sorry" ;)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_free_and_open-source_software_licenses#Approvals

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