[Catalog-sig] Troubled by changes to PyPI usage agreement

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Fri Dec 4 12:27:07 CET 2009

Ben Finney wrote:
> Howdy all,
> The new wording is one that I can't agree to:
> =====
> […]
> +             <li>Content is restricted to Python packages and related information only.</li>
> +             <li>Any content uploaded to PyPI is provided on a non-confidential basis.</li>
> +             <li>The PSF is free to use or disseminate any content that I upload on an 
> +               unrestricted basis for any purpose. In particular, the PSF and all other 
> +               users of the web site are granted an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, 
> +               nonexclusive license to reproduce, distribute, transmit, display, perform, 
> +               and publish the content, including in digital form.</li>
> +             <li>I represent and warrant that I have complied with all government 
> +               regulations […]
> =====
> The content that I submit to PyPI is licensed under specific license
> terms. That certainly does *not* allow the PSF to “use or disseminate
> any content that I upload on an unrestricted basis for any purpose”,
> etc.; it allows only those acts permitted by the license terms granted
> in the work.

AFAIK, the part 3 you are referring to is meant to allow the PSF to
publish the content you upload on PyPI to users of PyPI.

The same text can be found on the general legal page:


so, in theory, you don't even have to reconfirm the PyPI
terms, since you're automatically bound by them via the general
legal page terms.

The wording of the clause is indeed a bit broad, in particular,
granting a redistribution right not only to the PSF, but also to
any web site user.

Note however, that you don't grant a right to sub-license.
Since you typically upload package archives to PyPI, content only
refers to those archives, not what's in the archives. The files
in the archive are still covered by their respective licenses
and there's nothing the PSF or the web site users can do to
change those licenses, since they did not get the right to

OTOH, you lose control over the dissemination of your package
archives, since the terms are irrevocable and that could result in
some legal problems in case you get e.g. a DMCA-like take-down notice
for one of your packages.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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