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Bug#355263: policy 12.5: Please recommend a sane practice WRT different gpl versions (was: Re: RFC/RFS: beef - a flexible BrainFuck interpreter)

Package: debian-policy
Severity: normal
File: http://www.us.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-docs.html#s-copyrightfile

On Sat, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:14:29PM +0100, Bas Wijnen wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 03, 2006 at 11:41:59PM +0100, Andrea Bolognani wrote:
> > > * W: The program is licensed under GPL version 2.
> > 
> > Will not fix. From the Policy, section 12.5:
> > 
> > 	"Packages distributed under the UCB BSD license, the Artistic license,
> > 	the GNU GPL, and the GNU LGPL should refer to the files
> > 	/usr/share/common-licenses/BSD,
> > /usr/share/common-licenses/Artistic, /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL, and
> > /usr/share/common-licenses/LGPL respectively"
> > 
> > So /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL is the right file to point to.
"according to policy"

> Perhaps Policy needs an upgrade here...  It seems logical to me that you must
> always point to the license which is used.  In case of "GPL version 2 or
> later", that is usually understood as "the latest version of the GPL"
> (although of course the user may choose to use an earlier version, as long as
> it's at least version 2).  This is what the GPL symlink is for: it always
> points to the latest version.  A program which is "GPL v2 only" is of course
> not licensed under "the latest version", but under v2.  The fact that they are
> currently the same is irrelevant: they are conceptually different.

> So the GPL symlink is simply the wrong thing to point at, because it isn't the
> license which is used (because it's "the latest version", not "version 2").
> Appearantly policy isn't so clear about the /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2,
> but it being there strongly suggests that it should be used for programs which
> are licensed under "GPL v2 only".

While we're at it, section 2.3 uses the phrase "BSD-like copyrights"
which should be "BSD-like licenses".

#336982 against dh-make is mildly related.


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