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Re: What is the licence of Debian-specific files (Was: Intent to package "vibrant" graphical library

On Tue, Feb 16, 1999 at 11:48:52AM +0100, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> On Tuesday 16 February 1999, at 9 h 2, the keyboard of Craig Sanders 
> <cas@taz.net.au> wrote:
> > if it's public domain, remember to GPL your changes :-)
> It meets a problem I have for a long time. I take a program. I add
> some Debian-specific files (programconfig, postinst, etc). What is
> the licence of these files? Can anyone take my work and close it, for
> instance?
> Note that I do not mention the patches I make to the original files. I
> refer only to the new files added. What is the licence of a Debian
> package, if the original (upstream) licence is Berkeley-style, for
> instance?

you can license your work (both patches and original extra files) under any
terms you choose, including the GPL.

because the original work is public domain, you can even re-license the
entire work under your own terms...e.g. the GPL.  

nothing would stop anyone else from treating the original as PD (because
it *is* PD), but your version (including all your enhancements) would be
GPL.  so nobody can steal your work into a proprietary program.

interestingly :-), similar re-licensing can be done with BSD licensed
software - the BSD license allows for the code to be swallowed up into a
product with another license...usually proprietary/closed-source, but i
don't think there's any reason why GPL should be excluded.

you can certainly release a BSD-licensed work with your patches and
license your changes under the GPL. this puts the entire derived work
under the terms of both the BSD license and the GPL. 


craig sanders

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