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Re: Upstream GPL-3+ vs debian/* GPL-2+

Le Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:15:46AM -0300, Eriberto Mota a écrit :
> I have a doubt about a situation.
> The upstream source code is GPL3+. Packaging is a derivative work and
> I think that it must be GPL. So, GPL-3+, right? Or can the debian/* be
> GPL-2+?

Dear Eriberto,

if your packaging work contains copyrightable parts (note that some typical
files in debian directories are definitely trivial and therefore
non-copyrightable), then their license need to be compatible with the upstream
sources if they are combined in the same work.  The GPL-2+ is compatible with
the GPL-3+, because the “+” means “or (at your option) any later version”.
Without that clause, the GPLv3 and the GPLv2 are not compatible.

Note that the importance is compatibility.  You can definitely chose a more
permissive license, like CC0, MIT, etc. if you wish so.  Also, for works that
are not combined with upstream sources (like a manual page written from scratch
for instance), you can chose any Free license you like.  But I think that it is
best practice to pick the same license as the upstream work in such cases, so
that you have better chances to contribute it upstream instead of keeping it as
a Debian-only modification.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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