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Re: Help about license

On Mon, Feb 28, 2005 at 07:18:38PM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
> After this there should be either a copy of the GPL, or a reference
> where it can be found. On Debian, it often looks as what I paste below,
> but for upstream this is obviously not possible.  Also note that it is
> *not* sufficient to put a copy of the GPL in the tarball.  Instead,
> there *must* be a statement that the software is intended to be covered
> by that license!

Some people may consider that to be something theoretical and really if
the GPL file is there, all is well?

Perhaps a real-life example could illustrate why that assumption is a
bad idea.

There was a program that allowed group chat, consider it a cut-down
version of a irc daemon, for hamradio operators.  A quick check and you
would think it was licensed under the GPL, no problem to go into main.

However a more throurough check showed that while some parts of it were
licensed under the GPL, parts were not.  In fact there were about 4
types of licenses, including some that conflicted.  To make matters
worse, some of the files were written by others but had no license at

In effect, the software could not be legally distributed. Probably any
one of the 20 developers could object. As far as Debian or any other
distributor was concerned, it was a complete write-off.  The real shame
is I don't think that any of the developers wanted it that way.

 - Craig
Craig Small      GnuPG:1C1B D893 1418 2AF4 45EE  95CB C76C E5AC 12CA DFA5
Eye-Net Consulting http://www.enc.com.au/   MIEE         Debian developer
csmall at : enc.com.au                      ieee.org           debian.org

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