You are not logged in.

#1 2020-01-17 14:05:34

clupus
Member
From: Saarbrücken
Registered: 2017-01-31
Posts: 8

License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

Hello everyone,

I have a simple but disturbing question about licences. I am not takting of the license of a program/library/... but the license of the PKGBUILD scripts provided by AUR.

May I use them to write my own and publish mine on AUR afterwards? How do I have to pay attribution? Are there any "good practices"? When does it count as copying, when as learning from another example and doing myself?

The reason I ask, is that I had quite a few times the case that it would simplify my life if I could just modify a PGKBUILD script.
Example: There is e.g. a package glabels-qt-git. I would consider creating a non-git version of it. However, I'd like to avoid having to rewrite all the PKGBUILD but instead start with the -git version and adopt piece by piece.

All I found in the wiki and the internet always points to the license variable in the scripts which is completely different.

Thanks
Christian

Offline

#2 2020-01-17 14:16:49

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,631
Website

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

clupus wrote:

May I use them to write my own and publish mine on AUR afterwards?

Yes.

clupus wrote:

Are there any "good practices"?

You can include a "contributor" or related acknolwedgement line in the initial comments if another user helped with solving troubles with packaging the software in question.  But there is no need, certainly not if it's only for the structure of a PKGBUILD.

clupus wrote:

When does it count as copying, when as learning from another example and doing myself?

Copyright law has components defining what can and can't be copyrighted and there are numerous examples on either side of the line: e.g., recipes are not subject to copyright.  PKGBUILDs are recipes for packages.  IANAL, but I doubt any court anywhere would uphold intellectual property of a PKGBUILD.  They follow a standard format and meet almost every criteria of material than is not subject to copyright.  (e.g., there is no literary expression, certainly not "substantial literary expression").

Further, I can't find it at the moment, but I remember seeing eplicity notices that PKGBUILDs submitted to the AUR are placed in the public domain (I'd like to find this again if I'm not imagining it).  But even if not explicitly so placed, they are public domain by case-law over software licensing.  In fact, software itself is only copyrightable "to the extent that they incorporate authorship in programmer's expression of original ideas, as distinguished from the ideas themselves" (Computer Associates vs Altai cited from wikipedia).  "Purely utilitarian" elements of recipe or software are not copyrightable, and are in the public domain.  PKGBUILDs are entirely purely utilitarian with no novel expression.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-01-17 14:32:59)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

Offline

#3 2020-01-17 14:19:39

eschwartz
Trusted User/Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 3,015

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

It's considered good etiquette to modify the "Maintainer" comment to "Contributor" when reusing someone else's PKGBUILD (either to update it or adapt it to a different pkgname).

My personal belief is that a PKGBUILD is not considered an original work, and therefore cannot be copyrighted, and therefore I provide an explicit grant for my PKGBUILDs under the UNLICENSE just in case: https://github.com/eli-schwartz/pkgbuilds#copyright


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

Offline

#4 2020-01-17 14:29:36

WorMzy
Forum Moderator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2010-06-16
Posts: 9,389
Website

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

Trilby wrote:

Further, I can't find it at the moment, but I remember seeing eplicity notices that PKGBUILDs submitted to the AUR are placed in the public domain (I'd like to find this again if I'm not imagining it).

I vaguely remember seeing something to that effect too, but I also can't find it.

The closest I can find is the Arch Linux privacy policy: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ar … acy_policy (notably the public forums section but this doesn't mention the AUR, which is possibly an oversight).

I suggest asking on the aur-general mailing list. You're more likely to attract the attention of the custodians of the AUR there vs. this forum.


Sakura:-
Mobo: MSI X299 TOMAHAWK ARCTIC // Processor: Intel Core i7-7820X 3.6GHz // GFX: nVidia GeForce GTX 970 // RAM: 32GB (4x 8GB) Corsair DDR4 (@ 3000MHz) // Storage: 1x 3TB HDD, 5x 1TB HDD, 2x 120GB SSD, 1x 275GB M2 SSD

Making lemonade from lemons since 2015.

Online

#5 2020-01-18 14:09:20

Lone_Wolf
Member
From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 7,701

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

It took some searching, but there was a discussion about copyright on AUR in 2011 .

https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/a … 13484.html

It doesn't look like a consensus / decision was reached though .

I kinda remember a proposal to add  code for files uploaded to aur that would make license of those files very clear , but can't find it .
Could have been when we switched from aur3 to aur4 .


Multi-init booting with apg Openrc and systemd coexisting
Automounting : not needed, i prefer pmount
Aur helpers : makepkg + my own local repo === rarely need them

Offline

#6 2020-01-18 14:19:41

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,631
Website

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

There is so much ignorance in that thread that it is painful.  Using an analogy to BASH being GPL such that all bash scripts should also be automatically GPL is complete nonsense.  This is absolutely absurd in terms of copyright law and has been very clearly stated to *not* be the case by the FSF.  The license of a compiler, interpreter, filter, or any other program that processes input data has absolutely no bearing on the license of the data that you feed into it, nor the output of it.

It was umpteen posts in before the actual relevant point came up:

I think this discussion is pointless anyway: PKGBUILDs are build recipes, not code. They usually do not contain enough information to be license-able. So even if someone stuck a copy of the GPL at the top of a PKGBUILD I would simply ignore it, because he had no right to put a license on "./configure; make; make install" or something similar in the first place.

Debating what license archers would want to use is irrelevant.  PKGBUILDs cannot be protected by copyright.  We can discuss appropriate community etiquette to encourage or even enforce, but this is not about copyright and licensing.

It would make far more sense (but still very little at all) to talk about licensing of forum posts.  At least forum post (often) have original expression.  By the way, before I can license this post, I need to check with the author of the quoted material to ensure that I can indeed quote their email and if doing so puts restrictions on the license that I can offer for this post.  So don't quote this post yet as it has not been licensed for copying or redistribution!

Last edited by Trilby (2020-01-18 14:34:41)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

Offline

#7 2020-01-18 19:33:38

clupus
Member
From: Saarbrücken
Registered: 2017-01-31
Posts: 8

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

OK, I think there is a consensus that the PKGBUILDs are unprotected by copyright law but a short list in the comment might be beneficial to keep the etiquette up.

Thank you very much for your thoughts on it and your clarifications. I'll stick with that.
Christian

Offline

#8 2020-01-19 11:36:21

clupus
Member
From: Saarbrücken
Registered: 2017-01-31
Posts: 8

Re: License of PKGBUILD files in AUR

PS: I just found this paragraph in https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Cr … a_PKGBUILD:

To start building a new package, first create a new directory for the package and change current directory into this one. Then, a PKGBUILD file needs to be created: a prototype PKGBUILD found in /usr/share/pacman/ can be used or you can start from a PKGBUILD from another package. The latter may be a good choice if a similar package already exists.

The latter sentence suggests even to use other packages.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB