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Re: New upstream changing license, typo and SPDX-License-Identifier

Jens Reyer writes ("New upstream changing license, typo and SPDX-License-Identifier"):
> 1. LGPL-2+ --> LGPL-2.1+
> ========================
> One has a notice for the "GNU Lesser General Public License" v2 (or
> later).[2]  However in v2 the LGPL was the "GNU *Library* General Public
> License, while it only became the "GNU *Lesser* General Public License"
> in v2.1.  The project ships a COPYING file[3] (since nearly the
> beginning of the projects history), identical to
> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.txt

There is no problem with the licence name change.  LGPL 2.1 ("Lesser")
has a rubric which clearly identifies it as a successor to LGPL 2

> It's clear that the project aims for license compatibility with Wine
> (LGPL-2.1+), but I assume this is not relevant for my first question:
> Is it ok to simply change the license notice to 2.1+?

Yes.  (Subject to the difficulty discussed below.)

> But then again the LGPL 2.1 states that we have to "[...] publish on
> each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty;
> keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the
> absence of any warranty[...]".

There is no problem with this.  Licence version upgrade is routine, if
"or later" has been used.

> 2. SPDX-License-Identifier
> ==========================
> Currently some files (small helper scripts, luckily only by authors we
> can ask for permission) have a custom license notifier for LGPL-2.1 only
> (but not later).[4]  I'd like to change this (with the authors'
> permission).  To respect the wish for a short license notice in these
> files, I've suggested to use the SPDX-License-Identifier instead:
> -# This software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
> -#
> -# This is free software, placed under the terms of the GNU
> -# Lesser Public License version 2.1, as published by the Free
> -# Software Foundation. Please see the file COPYING for details.
> +# SPDX-License-Identifier: LGPL-2.1+

This is not human-readable.  I would avoid it, personally.

By "not human-readable" I don't mean that it's not clear what licence
this refers to.  What it lacks is a clear declaration that the file is
released under the named licence.

I would suggest simply adding the missing words:
  ... Lesser Public License version 2.1 {+ or later +}, as ...

The intent is then clear, even if a bit abbreviated.

In the discussion of the pull request, Austin says "However
src/winetricks has had many more authors than just
myself/Dan/Joseph".  This is true, but it is only these three files
which seem to have the problematic statement, AFAICT.  That's the
output of
   git-grep -l 'Lesser Public License' | xargs git-grep -L 'or later'

So we need only ask the contributors to those files, who are
    Austin English
I think AsciiWolf must be Joseph ?  But anyway that committer
committed only 4 lines to Makefile in one commit, which is a minimal
contribution which probably doesn't attract the copyright monopoly.

I see Austin is happy.  So I think you just need agreement from


Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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