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Bug #748

PKGBUILD Licenses

beadleha - over 4 years ago - . Updated about 4 years ago.

Status:
open
Priority:
freedom issue
Assignee:
-
% Done:

0%


Description

It appears to me that the Arch PKGBUILDS are ambiguously licensed. As scripts, they would seem to be copyrightable and licensable material. Many Parabola packages are generated with these Arch PKGBUILDS.

Other Parabola packages are generated by PKGBUILDS that are derived from the Arch ones. For example, see Abiword: https://projects.parabola.nu/abslibre.git/tree/libre/abiword/PKGBUILD

The issue is whether or not a PKGBUILD is copyrightable. I currently suspect that they are.

History

#1

Updated by beadleha over 4 years ago

Edit: I should clarify that the implication of this would be that we are building all our packages with nonfree software.

#2

Updated by Giedrius over 4 years ago

https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/44893
Allan McRae: "I'd find it difficult to believe that we could ever enforce a licence for a PKGBUILD. They are typically not substantial enough to have copyright."

#3

Updated by beadleha over 4 years ago

This is a difficult question. Deciding that there is some lower bound for being substantial enough to be copyrightable would set a precedent that could cause problems in other areas. How substantial is most substantial PKGBUILD? How is that quantifiable?

I know that names, titles and short expressions are not copyrightable. (These can be trademarked) A PKGBUILD is typically much more substantial that that, however.

When a program is under a license such as the GPL3, every part of that program is protected. Even insubstantial segments of it are just as protected as the whole. I think this might be a question for the FSF.

#4

Updated by fauno about 4 years ago

iirc official arch pkgbuilds would be gpl2 since that was the license used by arch back when we started, but i can't find anything related to this, except for a guy believing the same as i.[^1]

i agree most of them aren't copyrightable... but ianal :)

i thought we discussed this when we applied for fsdg?

[^1]: https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/aur-general/2011-February/013653.html

#5

Updated by fauno about 4 years ago

here's the discussion about parabola on the gnu-linux-libre list: https://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/gnu-linux-libre/2011-01/msg00023.html

i can't find any mention of pkgbuilds licensing...

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