[tz] re SPDX, I'll do the work, if you'll use the tag

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Tue Jun 30 10:32:50 UTC 2020

    Date:        Mon, 29 Jun 2020 11:51:06 -0700
    From:        "Mark Atwood" <mark.atwood at gmail.com>
    Message-ID:  <25a51bf5-22c1-425d-90c6-1b86cc8f977d at www.fastmail.com>

  | Looking at the TZ database history,

If we're just considering tzdata...

  | it has a very long history with lots of contributors,
  | its mostly just a collection of facts,

There are two aspects, the data itself, and the form in which it is
presented.   The data is just facts, and it makes no sense to license
any of that (in any way at all) or to apply anything to indicate that
status.   If I were to tell you that today is Tuesday, and consequently
tomorrow is Wednesday, would I also need to issue you some kind of
licence (however identified) before you could use that information?

The very concept is absurd.

On the other hand, the form in which it is presented could very likely
be subject to copyright, and could be protected - but for that there are
only a small number of authors (perhaps really just one or two) - most of
the contributors simply state facts, which are then converted into the
appropriate form - and those who don't could just as easily be considered to
be breaching copyright (were any asserted) by copying the form to use
rather than owning any rights to that form themselves, kind of like
making a copy of a form and filling it in, assuming the information supplied
is not subject to copyright, then the fact that it is on a form that is
means nothing as far as the person filling in the form is concerned (but
they could have breached the copyright owner's rights when they copied the

   because of the need to get the past contributors to assent,

for tzdata that is not a real issue, there are actually only a small number,
and those have already indicated assent by placing the "public domain" notice
in the files in the first place - but can easily be asked again.

What matters more, though to less people, is tzcode, that is all
copyrightable (but all intended to be available to anyone, for free,
no restrictions at all, no responsibility at all)  and does have a much
larger number of actual contributors of code that could be subject tp
copyrights (but all being donated to the project).


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