[zeromq-dev] Debian packaging licensing (was Re: Debian packaging fails (Debian/Lenny, Ubuntu 9.10))

Adrian von Bidder avbidder at fortytwo.ch
Sat Apr 10 13:05:50 CEST 2010


On Saturday 10 April 2010 11:40:21 Martin Lucina wrote:

> 1) Email me another patch against the 0MQ git which explicitly states that
> the patch is licensed under the MIT license.
> 2) Possibly remove/change the "are distributed under the GPL" above, but
> I'm not sure if that's neccessary, maybe Pieter can advise?

zeromq is distributed under the GPL, and it's not unusual to distribute the 
packaging scripts under the same terms as the package itself.

Distributing the packaging scripts under the MIT would mean that I'd have to 
include the MIT license in debian/copyright, adding yet another license 
(zeromq licensing is complicated enough as it is, with GPL, LGPL, AFPL and 
BSD-alike-as-long-as-it-stays-in-zeromq.)  So I'm not keen do add yet another 

> Note that I am no licensing expert, I'm just trying to follow the "MIT
> license for contributions" policy as described by iMatix in the Licensing
> FAQ and also here:
> http://www.zeromq.org/blog:why-the-mit-license-for-contributions

Ah, of course, should have guessd :-)

Ok. as per this article:

I, Adrian von Bidder, Switzerland, license my work on the Debian packaging of 
the zeromq library to iMatrix under the MIT/X11 licsense.

This allows me to avoid dragging yet another license into the mix in the 
Debian package, and still allows iMatrix to handle the debian/ directory the 
same as the rest of the code.  (I also modified debian/copyright to say the 
packaging is LGPL instead of GPL, so we truly have the same license as 

Obviously Peter needs to either approve or acknowledge that I modified the 
packaging sufficiently for him to hold no copyright.

> Further, you can leave hgpkg out of the patch altogether since that doesn't
> need to be in the 0MQ git.

Yes, I do not license hgpkg under these terms, and it doesn't make sense to 
include it in git..  I'll probably package it on its own one of these days as 
I use it for several packages.

So, here we go...  (Note that this is a few commits after the version that's 
currently in Debian.  Nothing significant, though.)

What would be cool is if somebody wrote a patch that 
 -> detect that debian/rules is being run not from an extracted tarball but 
from git, so run autogen.sh before comnfigure.

 -> ... and optionally tweak the version of the package to include the git 
commit or something like that.

Since, as I've said, I plan to continue working off tarballs I won't write 
that code.  But it might be useful for people wanting to package the latest 
and greatest from git directly.

-- vbi

Protect your privacy - encrypt your email: http://fortytwo.ch/gpg/intro
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