[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: License of modifications

On Sat, 24 Nov 2012 00:28:25 +0100 Alexander Toresson wrote:

> Hello!


> One file of a software (software A) I'm working on packaging was
> originally taken from another project (software B), and had a public
> domain license.

Strictly speaking, "public domain" is not a license: it is actually the
state of not being copyrighted.
Please take a look at
or possibly at

> Then a contributor of software A modified it. The main license of
> software A is GPL-2+. There's no copyright or license statement in the
> file itself, but I've had to hunt it down from the readme of software
> B.
> Do I assume that the changes of the contributor are GPL-2+, or public
> domain?

I am not sure...
I tend to think that, since the contributor was contributing to a work
which is released under the terms of the GNU GPL v2 or later
(software A), he or she was supposed to license his or her contribution
under GPL-compatible terms, such as, for instance, the GNU GPL itself.

But, of course, an explicit permission notice would have helped a lot in
clarifying the contributor's intent...
Can you get in touch with this contributor and ask him or her?
Any GPL-compatible license would be OK and should not pose major issues
to software A...

> Can different parts of a source file have different licenses?

I personally think that this is possible, although a bit tricky (it
would require clear permission notices and explanations about which
parts are under which license...).


 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

Attachment: pgpvFbD6wE7BW.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: