great discussion, Neal and Richard!

Just a ping that it'd be great to hear from others in the Fedora community on this topic (see questions in original posts)


On 5/24/22 8:46 AM, Richard Fontana wrote:
On Mon, May 23, 2022 at 5:17 PM Neal Gompa <> wrote:

The weirdest license expression is the one for perl-Exporter-Tidy[1],
which requires us to evaluate the entire list of acceptable licenses
and export them to the License tag since the license terms state as
such[2]. Outside of that, only crazy packages like Chromium wind up
having complex licensing. The rest are reasonably simple.

I think for that one it would be better to treat the contents of that
LICENSE file as a unique license (that happens to incorporate some set
of OSI-approved licenses that may vary at any given point in time).

The point of the License tag in Fedora is to provide good guidance on
leveraging the software. If you want total accuracy, then you need
per-file license metadata. That's even *more* prone to errors, and
isn't even useful in most cases. I would prefer simpler,
understandable expressions than crazy accurate ones. For example, if
we changed to per-file accuracy, we'd need to start documenting all
the autotools bundled licensing, which we've never done.
Well, I assume that "license of the binary" is designed in part to
easily exclude autotools.

You could have per-source-file accuracy but only for files that are
"in" the binary, if you will. But then you have the overhead of
figuring out what is "in" the binary.

If you give up on per-source-file accuracy, this seems to imply the
overhead of making a legal or quasi-legal (e.g. what I call
'folkloric') conclusion.

Maybe instead of that we can come up with simple rules with the
understanding that the (generally very simple) result is sometimes
going to be fairly inaccurate.

I don't know which of these options is better. There are probably
various other ones.