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1 GLEP: 23
2 Title: Handling of ACCEPT_LICENSE
3 Version: $Revision: 1.5 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2006/11/19 22:46:27 $
5 Author: Jason Stubbs <jstubbs@gentoo.org>, Marius Mauch <genone@gentoo.org>
6 Status: Accepted
7 Type: Standards Track
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 9-Mar-2004
10 Post-History: 8-Mar-2004 10-Mar-2004 25-Oct-2004 18-Nov-2006 19-Nov-2006
11
12
13 Abstract
14 ========
15
16 Currently, every ebuild in the main gentoo repository is required to have a
17 valid LICENSE entry. However, the syntax of this entry is not officially
18 defined and the entry itself is only used when outputting package
19 details.
20
21 Status Update
22 =============
23
24 Repoman has been updated to check for the LICENSE syntax.
25 A development portage branch with support for ACCEPT_LICENSE
26 and license groups exists.
27
28 Motivation
29 ==========
30
31 Many users wish to regulate the software they install with regards to
32 licenses for various reasons [1]_. Some want a system free of any
33 software that is not OSI-approved; others are simply curious as to what
34 licenses they are implicitly accepting.
35
36 Furthermore, some software requires that a user interactively accept its
37 license for its author's to consider it legally binding. This is
38 currently implemented using ``eutils.eclass``.
39
40
41 Specification
42 =============
43
44 Ebuild LICENSE Variable
45 -----------------------
46
47 Most ebuilds are for software which is released under a single license.
48 In these cases, the current LICENSE variable can remain as is. For
49 example:
50
51 ::
52
53 LICENSE="single-license"
54
55 However, there are several ebuilds for software which is released under
56 several licenses, of which the user must accept one, some or all [2]_.
57 To complicate this, some ebuilds include optional components which fall
58 under a different license.
59
60 To accomodate these cases, LICENSE syntax should accomodate all
61 functionality offered by a DEPEND string. To keep things simple, this
62 GLEP proposes that the syntax be identical. For example:
63
64 ::
65
66 LICENSE="mandatory-license
67 || ( choosable-licence1 chooseable-license-2 )
68 useflag? ( optional-component-license )"
69
70
71 License names may contain [a-zA-Z0-9] (english alphanumeric characters),
72 _ (underscore), - (dash), . (dot) and + (plus sign).
73
74 License Groups
75 --------------
76
77 Almost all users are willing to install any software that is
78 FSF-approved. Other users are willing to install any software and
79 implicitly accept its license. To this end, implementations will also
80 need to handle grouping of licenses.
81
82 At a minimum, there needs to be the groups ``GPL-COMPATIBLE``,
83 ``FSF-APPROVED``, ``OSI-APPROVED`` and ``NON-MUST-HAVE-READ``.
84 ``NON-MUST-HAVE-READ`` licenses are those that don't require manual
85 acceptance for to be considered legally binding. This is the current
86 behaviour of portage.
87
88 These groups are defined in a new file ``license_groups`` in
89 the ``profiles`` subdirectory of the tree (or overlays).
90 Details of handling groups defined in overlays is implementation dependent.
91
92 The format of this file is
93
94 ::
95
96 <groupname> <license1> <license2> ... <licenseN>
97
98 Also any line starting with # is ignored and may be used for comments.
99 Group names use the same syntax as normal license names. Also license groups
100 may contain other groups.
101 License groups may not contain negated elements, so a group
102
103 ::
104
105 mygroup foo -bar -bla
106
107 is illegal.
108
109
110 ACCEPT_LICENSE
111 --------------
112
113 This GLEP proposes that a user be able to explicitly accept or decline
114 licenses by editing a new variable ``ACCEPT_LICENSE`` in
115 ``/etc/make.conf``. Again, to keep things simple, the syntax should be
116 similar to that of other incrementals. For example:
117
118 ::
119
120 ACCEPT_LICENSE="-* accepted-license -declined-license"
121
122 As an extension, ``ACCEPT_LICENSE`` must also support `license groups`_.
123 This GLEP proposes that the license group be prepended by the special
124 character "``@``". For example:
125
126 ::
127
128 ACCEPT_LICENSE="-* @FSF-APPROVED"
129
130 License groups may be negated with the result that all elements of that group
131 are also negated.
132
133 Portage will also offer a package.license facility to offer this functionality
134 on a per-package base (analog to package.keywords), other implementations may
135 implement such a facility differently or not at all.
136
137 Behaviour
138 ---------
139
140 Unaccepted licenses will be treated like any other masked package, that is
141 the user interface of an implementation will display a message listing any
142 license that has to be accepted before the package can be merged with a
143 pointer to the exact license text.
144
145 Past versions of this document proposed to handle license-masked packages
146 like blockers, but this would be inconsistent with other visibility
147 filters as well as the current blocker system (as a blocker affects two
148 packages) and be more complicated to implement.
149
150 Rationale
151 =========
152
153 An implementation of this proposal should make it easy for users wishing
154 to regulate their software without affecting those that don't.
155
156
157 Reference Implementation
158 ========================
159
160 Available in portage svn repository under main/branches/license-masking
161
162
163 Backwards Compatibility
164 =======================
165
166 There should be no change to the user experience without the user
167 explicitly choosing to do so. This mandates that the
168 configuration variable be named ``ACCEPT_LICENSE`` as some users may
169 already have it set due to ebuilds using ``eutil.eclass``'s
170 implementation. It also mandates that the default ``ACCEPT_LICENSE`` be
171 set to ``@NON-MUST-HAVE-READ`` in the main gentoo repository as implementations
172 are not required to provide an internal default.
173
174 References
175 ==========
176
177 .. [1] Gentoo Linux Bug 17367
178 (http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=17367)
179 .. [2] Gentoo Linux Bug 34146
180 (http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34146)
181
182
183 Copyright
184 =========
185
186 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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