Removal Policy

schwern edited this page Jan 6, 2013 · 1 revision
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Gitpan does not yet have a formal policy for removing content. This document is intended to explain the issues, provide guidelines for making decisions and record previous decisions and rationales. If you feel a distribution must be removed please open an issue.

BackPAN is everything that ever was on CPAN. CPAN is an archive of freely redistributable software related to Perl. Gitpan is an archival project of BackPAN made without judgment of the content. Everything which exists on Gitpan already exists on BackPAN. In this sense, we are librarians organizing what already exists.

A distribution removed from Gitpan or CPAN still exists on BackPAN. Various projects have been removed from CPAN for various reasons, but as a consequence of its design it there is no way to remove a module from BackPAN without contacting individual BackPAN server owners and requesting their deletion. Removing a distribution from Gitpan does not make it unavailable. Gitpan does not and cannot control what is on BackPAN.

Because Gitpan is a historical archive of existing content, because removing content from Gitpan will not make it unavailable, and because we wish to retain our neutrality, we only remove content under extraordinary circumstances and only after careful review. We would remind people that just because it is published on Gitpan does not mean anybody's ever going to find it.

Rejected circumstances

Here are some circumstances for removal we have considered in the past and rejected. The judgements are not final, you may put forward a rejected rationale with extraordinary circumstances.

Potential uses of the module may violate a user agreement

This rationale was rejected because the code is a tool and we cannot predict how it is used. The code contained no proprietary content. The requester was encouraged to adopt the distribution and release a version which better conforms to their user agreement.

Distribution X isn't used any more, distribution Y is much better

Gitpan is a historical archive and does not judge content based on its current utility.

The author requests removal

This alone is not enough to have content removed, though it will be taken into consideration in combination with other circumstances. Part of releasing freely redistributable code is accepting that it now has a life beyond your control.

Acceptable circumstances

Contains sensitive or proprietary content which cannot be changed

Examples include sensitive personal information which might be used for harassment or identity theft such as home address, government identification numbers (social security, tax payer number, etc...) not otherwise publicly available.

Proprietary corporate content will only be removed if it can be shown it was released without the corporation's permission, the release of the content is shown to be harmful, and an effort is being made to have it removed from BackPAN as well.

Accidentally publishing passwords and other secret keys is not an acceptable rationale unless you can show that it would be nigh impossible to change the password or key.

Github says so

Github is generously donating us their services, servers, storage and support for free. Not that we expect them to get involved, but if they say something has to go it has to go.

We do not expect this situation to come up, but if this ever becomes too onerous we will consider moving to another location.

Unknown circumstances

These are up in the air.

Content is in violation of local law

This depends on the locality, the law, the severity of punishment, the likely hood of prosecution, and how sure we are the content is actually in violation.

Content is hate speech