[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and Free Software

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at googlemail.com
Thu Mar 5 23:41:37 UTC 2015


Hackage has of course always been for open source Haskell software (and
has always rejected "AllRightsReserved" packages).

Prompted by this recent discussion, Gershom, SPJ, and the hackage admins
have come up with a few changes to make our current implicit open source
policy a bit more explicit:

      * The hackage homepage will say "Hackage is the Haskell
        community's central package archive of open source software."
      * The signup and upload pages will have a new blurb on open source
        licenses. See below.
      * We will accept a patch along the lines of
        https://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/cabal-devel/2015-March/010019.html to continue to reject "AllRightsReserved" on hackage (though we may move the check from cabal into hackage).
      * And on a somewhat related topic: we will finish the discussion
        on hackage trustee guidelines (mostly about editing package
        metadata) and post them.


Here's the new blurb:

        Open source licenses
        The code and other material you upload and distribute via this
        site must be under an open source license. This is a service
        operated for the benefit of the community and that is our
        policy. It is also so that we can operate the service in
        compliance with copyright laws.
        The hackage operators do not want to be in the business of
        making judgements on what is and is not a valid open source
        license, but we retain the right to remove packages that are not
        under licenses that are open source in spirit, or that conflict
        with our ability to operate this service. (If you want advice,
        see the ones Cabal recommends.)
        The hackage operators do not need and are not asking for any
        rights beyond those granted by the open source license you
        choose to use. All normal open source licenses grant enough
        rights to be able to operate this service.
        In particular, we expect as a consequence of the license that:
             1. we have the right to distribute what you have uploaded
                to other people
             2. we have the right to distribute certain derivatives and
                format conversions, including but not limited to:
                      * documentation derived from the package
                      * alternative presentations and formats of code
                        (e.g. html markup)
                      * excerpts and presentation of package metadata
                      * modified versions of package metadata
        Please make sure that you comply with the license of all code
        and other material that you upload. For example, check that your
        tarball includes the license files of any 3rd party code that
        you include.

We hope this will be uncontroversial as it is just the status quo.

Note that the hackage admins are not getting involved in a license
debate, and we are not asking for any grant of rights (implicitly or
explicitly) when you upload stuff. The open source license you use
grants all the rights we need to be able to run the site.


On Sat, 2015-02-28 at 19:27 +0200, fr33domlover wrote:
> Hello haskellers!
> I would like to make a proposal regarding the license of software in Hackage.
> One of the major parts of the Haskell community infrastructure in the package
> database server Hackage. As far as I know - please correct me if I'm wrong -
> Hackage makes no restriction on the license of packages upload to it. But as a
> community working in cooperation to make good software, the Haskell community
> has embraced licenses like (L)GPL, MIT and BSD, which are free software
> licenses.
> 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 COPYING
> file contains a broken link and whose README says "BSD style license".
> Software freedom is an ethical basis for collaboration on making software
> that's truly good and loayl to its users, and providing them control and
> freedom to access and use their computing resources.
> It seems to me that the Haskell community is already enbracing this ethical
> basis, but Hackage doesn't provide any guarantees and it means that you'd have
> to check each package to be sure. By having that all-rights-reserved tag it
> also in a way welcomes software that doesn't go by these rules - however it
> seems that no packages do that even in the presence of the possibility.
> I'd like to make a suggestion: have Hackage accept only packages released under
> free software licenses. This is probably true for most/all packages there, but
> making it official will both send a strong message to and from the community,
> and provide people with the security and peace of mind, knowing their software
> is free as in freedom.
> It is also possible that companies use Haskell to create proprietary software
> using permissive-licensed libraries and tools from Hackage. I hope this isn't
> true, but even if it is, this software isn't offered by Hackage and I hope its
> existence doesn't affect the community's use of Hackage and free software.
> Would you consider to embrace free software officially, including in Hackage?
> Thanks for reading,
> waiting to hear from the community and from haskell.org maintainers,
> fr33domlover
> [1] http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/tag/all-rights-reserved
> ---
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
> http://mail.haskell.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list