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Re: Bug#431109: [PROPOSAL] Disambiguate of Section 12.5, Deprecate GPL/LGPL symlinks

Santiago Vila <sanvila@unex.es> writes:

> Well, we can't pretend that "the GPL" is GPL-2 forever, so it would be a
> bad idea to keep the GPL pointing to the old license.

> The GPL is there for informative purposes only. Packages under GPLv2 or
> later will still be under GPLv2 or later, and the fact that we say "the
> latest GPL is in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL" in the copyright file
> should not be interpreted as a relicensing. Moreover, the GPL-2 will
> still be there as far as it's a "common license".

Right.  So what I think we should do is deprecate that symlink and that
language, which addresses all of those problems without introducing the
new problem of pointing all packages that don't specify a version at the
latest and greatest GPL instead of the version that the package actually

In the meantime, the least harm seems to me to be to keep the symlink
pointing to the GPL-2, since that's what it meant when all the packages
currently using that language and link started using it.  Packages that
are licensed under GPL-3 and later need changes to their debian/copyright
files anyway and can update to point to the appropriate file.

The root problem here, in my opinion, is that we have a ton of packages in
Debian that were sloppy about GPL versions in their copyright file because
there was only one version of general interest at the time.  The solution
is to get less sloppy.

> What is clear is that packages under GPLv2 (without "or later") should
> point to the GPL-2, not to the symlink. Packages not doing that are
> already buggy and we should start fixing them.

I think we can all agree on this, yes.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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