Extending the licensing policy: BSD license for cmake files

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Sat Sep 5 20:20:51 BST 2009


our licensing policy mentions source files, icons, documentation, but not 
cmake files. I think this should be added.

So, I strongly suggest that we require all cmake files must be BSD licensed.

Which files does that apply to ?
This applies to all Find<package>.cmake files we have in KDE svn, especially 
those which are installed. It also applies to other *.cmake files containing 
macros or scripts, especially those which are installed.

I don't think we need a licensing policy regarding the actual CMakeLists.txt.

At least in kdelibs/cmake/modules/ all files are BSD licensed (except 
FindPolKitQt.cmake, which will be changed soon to BSD).

Why BSD ?

* CMake itself is BSD licensed and Kitware will not accept files with a 
stricter licenser (e.g. GPL or LGPL) in CMake cvs. So by licensing our cmake 
files under BSD we make it possible that cmake files we wrote might get 
accepted in CMake cvs.

* Assume a cmake file would be GPL, and this file would call configure_file() 
to create a config.h, and that config.h would be included in some source 
file. Would this maybe apply the GPL from the cmake file via the generated 
header to the source file which includes this header ?
I don't know, maybe yes, maybe no, but at least developers of non-GPL software 
may potentially see an issue with that.
By using BSD there is no such potential problem.

* It makes mixing and copying code between different cmake files 
straightforward if everything is just BSD.

* After all, the code in the files is usually not that sophisticated that it 
would justify the special protection (L)GPL gives. I also don't see a 
realistic opportunity that some evil company could take some cmake files from 
us, extend them without contributing back and then make big profits from 

So, what do you think ?
Objections ?


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