Make license/licenses field mandatory

Eric Hodel drbrain at segment7.net
Wed Oct 19 14:05:21 EDT 2011


On Oct 19, 2011, at 6:21 AM, Pavol Rusnak wrote:
> On 18/10/11 22:34, Eric Hodel wrote:
>>> * What if I want to publish my gem with no license?
>> 
>> put "unlicensed" in the field
>> 
>>> * ...with a personally crafted license?
>> 
>> If you can't give a name to your license? ("beer ware" and "WTF" licenses are relatively new licenses that were given clever names.  If you're not creative like me then uou can have the "Eric Hodel license")
>> 
>>> * ...in the public domain?
>> 
>> "public domain"
> 
> Let me react on this part. Please, please, please do not use "public
> domain", your own crafted license or no license. If you think you need
> to, please rethink and don't use it! There are plenty of nice licenses
> written by lawyers and software experts from which you can choose from.
> If you use some "funny" license you are basically blocking your gem from
> being used in some areas and my guess is you don't want this.

RubyGems cannot stop authors from picking a license of their choice.

> Some examples:
>  - Public domain is not valid outside US

Then if you want to use such software you'll need to make arrangements with the original author, it's not up to RubyGems to mediate.

>  - Beerware makes your work non-redistributable (as a part of bigger
>    FOSS project)

FreeBSD contained PHK's malloc() and crypt() implementations (since replaced, not due to license) that are under the Beerware license.  Last I checked FreeBSD was a big FOSS project.  PHK's crypt() was also shipped in some Cisco products.  If you think you can't use PHK's beerware in your project, FOSS or otherwise, I think your lawyers are crazy.  The lawyers for FreeBSD and Cisco certainly aren't.

See: http://people.freebsd.org/~phk/


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