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Re: Bug#979101: Legally problematic GPL-3+ readline dependency

On Thu, Jan 07, 2021 at 06:45:14PM -0300, Carlos Henrique Lima Melara wrote:
> Control: tags -1 + confirmed
> Hi, folks.
> I'm the new maintainer of devtodo and would appreciate an assistance of the
> debian-legal on the license matter. As noted, devtodo is licensed under
> GPL-2 only, although there is no boilerplate copyright on the source files.

My suggestion - almost like a flow chart -

Talk to the upstream to explain why this is important - to you/to the world.
Make the point that explicit boilerplate copyright that is clear is very 
useful in any circumstances if people want to use or build on upstream's code.

Ask nicely for the licence change to be explicitly noted to reflect upstream's
 recent change from GPL2 to GPL2+ 

If the licence change is going to be explicitly noted, request that the change
 be put into the individual source files to make the situation clear and 
explain that you understand that this may mean extra work but will save work
 in the longer term.

If the licence change is not going to be explicitly noted in the source files 
suggest that upstream puts the change in the README file with a 
"Licence change for this project as a whole to GPL v.2+ with effect from date 
XYZ "  if they don't want to change every code file.

If upstream doesn't want to make any change to the code anywhere - ask if you 
can use the email exchange to prove publicly that the licence changed. 
Remember: it shouldn't be packaged if the licence change is exclusively to 


If the upstream person explicitly adds the boilerplate copyright to their 
code files: your job is done for you and you can package that version.

If not, there will be a README. If not, you can use the mail exchange.

> Taking this into consideration, would a public mail from the upstream to
> this bug be enough to change the license to GPL-2+? Or it would be necessary
> to add the boilerplate to all source files indicating GPL-2+ licensing?
> I would rather first solve this problem in the upstream instead of dealing
> with it in the packaging.
> Thanks in advance,
> Carlos (Charles)

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