Recently I tried to download the official node.js source debian packages, as described here.

For my largest surprise, their source repositories are simply empty (although they are part of their official apt source download list).

The (not debianized) node.js source code can be downloaded, that is okay. But their package repository, while it contains deb-src entries in the apt configuration file, it has no source packages.

As a quick Wiki scan shows, node.js is originally in MIT license. In the case of GPL, I think it would be an obvious case, but with MIT license I am not so sure.

Can we consider it as a license breach? If yes, what would be the steps to do?

  • I'm not aware of any license that requires that Debian source packages be provided. What do the terms of the license say? Even GPL only says that source code must be provided on request from users. Feb 25 at 12:24
  • @curiousdannii 1) The debs are derived works, usually meaning that they must follow the same license. 2) I doubt that GPL would be so loose, do you have some reference?
    – peterh
    Feb 25 at 12:48
  • It's certainly weird that the source package is empty (and probably a bug), but which part of section 6 of the GPLv3 do you think is being violated? Feb 25 at 13:25
  • @curiousdannii Not the source deb is empty, but their repository has no source packages. I made it clear with a post edit.
    – peterh
    Feb 25 at 15:19
  • @curiousdannii node.js is not GPL, but MIT. But if it would be GPL, I think it would be an obvious breach.
    – peterh
    Feb 25 at 15:21

The MIT licence provides that

Permission is hereby granted ... to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software ... subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Note the absence of any language requiring the provision of source. So no, in this case, no licence is being violated.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.