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Re: gkrellmoon - maybe a stupid question

Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> i am working on gkrellmoon[1]. 
> First of all, this package aims to be published under GNU Public 
> License.

That's "GNU General Public License"; GPL means "General Public License",
*not* "GNU Public License".

> In the tar.gz i found the following notice:
>         This is just the code from glunarclock[2] warmed over and
>         stuffed into a gkrellm plugin. Of course, glunarclock is just
>         wmMoonClock[3] stuffed into a gnome applet.
>         Anyway, all I did was the write gkrellmoon.c, all the rest is
>         from somewhere else.
> I looked for the two other packages and it looks like they are both
> published under the GPL as well.

Nice that they at least did document the origins.

> But examining the sourcecode (the c-files) of the package[1] i only
> found
>         (C) Mike Henderson <mghenderson@lanl.gov>
>         Josh Buhl <jbuhl@users.sourceforge.net>
> without listing under which license this stuff is published. Is it
> enough that the whole package says it is published under license X
> without mentioning this in every file?

If, in the package, there is a notice explicitly saying that everything
in the package is covered by the GPL, then that's acceptable, unless
there are clear signs that it isn't accurate.  On the other hand, if the
only indication is the presence of the COPYING file at the top level, I
believe we don't generally consider that sufficient to safely assume
anything.  In any case, explicit license statements in the source files
are generally preferable.

> What should i do?

Check for a blanket permission included in the package.  If one exists,
go ahead and package if you like; if one does not exist, politely ask
the author to clarify the license by either including such a blanket
permission (such as in the README), adding license notices to each file,
or preferably both.

- Josh Triplett

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