darcs repository web UI and hosting app. This is the main darcsden trunk, which also runs hub.darcs.net. (http://hub.darcs.net)

#73Require license for public repositories

We don't want to end up with the situation GitHub is in, where there is a lot of public code with no stated license. This is a boring problem so I don't expect anyone to work on it in a hurry, but it needs to be said!

However, how to go about avoiding this needs consideration:

  • Should nonfree repositories be accepted at all? If so, it just means having an "All Rights Reserved" or "Other license" option, but the decision needs to be made.
  • Should any license be OK - you just need to be explicit about the terms - or should there be a fixed set of licenses or something like "OSI/FSF approved"? What about non-code content and Creative Commons / documentation licenses?
  • Private instances might want to be able to disable this all together.
  • A repository might contain content with multiple licenses.
  • We might not want to make it too difficult to set up new repositories, so maybe a default "All Rights Reserved" could be better than nothing, or maybe a user setting for preferred default license? The latter might have legal implications and might require clauses in a Terms of Service agreement. IANAL
  • UI wise the licensing information could perhaps be displayed as some kind of badges, like these, color-coded for "freeness" e.g. with non-free licensing shown in red to encourage users to change it if they mean for the code to be free.

Perhaps optimally, licenses would be detected automatically so no user interaction is required, and so users are encouraged to properly add LICENSE files and copyright notices, but this would probably be much harder to do, especially reliably.