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Re: upstream has license which is an edited GPL

Stanislav Maslovski <stanislav.maslovski@gmail.com> writes:

> On Mon, Aug 04, 2008 at 07:20:09PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > You are, as far as I can tell, free to obtain a verbatim copy of
> > the GNU GPL as described in the specific license grant (e.g.
> > "either version 2 of that License, or, at your option, any later
> > version") and exercise the license under the terms you find there.
> One thing that I have to note also that after this standard header
> the author writes: "For more details see the file COPYING." which is
> the changed GPL.

That's not so good. (Referring the license recipient to the terms of
the GPL via an included file is good; that they've violated the
copyright on the GPL document itself is bad.)

I would expect the explicit word of the license grant "For more
details see the file COPYING" to indicate the explicit wishes of the
copyright holder, and hence have significance in determining what the
license is.

It might be that, since the copyright holder has explicitly referenced
that document for specific terms, you cannot legally just substitute
the correct GPL document in place of their copyright-violating
document. Of course, you cannot legally redistribute the
copyright-violating document either.

Certainly the best way to resolve this is for the copyright holder in
the work to ship a verbatim GPL document as the COPYING file to which
they refer.

 \          “Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” —Donald |
  `\                                              Robert Perry Marquis |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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