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Re: Upstream pointing to COPYING file in headers

Eriberto Mota <eriberto@debian.org> writes:

> ---
> (C) 2007-2009  Lluís Batlle i Rossell
> Please find the license in the provided COPYING file.
> ---

That is an assertion of copyright without a grant of license.

It may be *intended* to grant some license, and that intention may be
meaningful if a case is ever heard in court.

But as it stands, that text does not IMO inform the recipient what they
may and may not do with the work.

In particular, as you point out, there is no word on whether the
recipient may redistribute the work under “(at your option) any later
version” of the GPL “as published by the Free Software Foundation”.

> IMHO, this "generical" case imposes a GPL-2 license, not a GPL-2+,
> because the upstream didn't explain his intent in source code.
> What is your opinion?

I advise you make efforts to convince the copyright holder to follow the
guidance in the COPYING document on “How to Apply These Terms to Your
New Programs”. What they have is needlessly ambiguous.

 \     “[F]reedom of speech does not entail freedom to have your ideas |
  `\    accepted by governments and incorporated into law and policy.” |
_o__)                                   —Russell Blackford, 2010-03-06 |
Ben Finney

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