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Re: upstream has license which is an edited GPL

On Mon, Aug 04, 2008 at 11:40:19PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> Stanislav Maslovski <stanislav.maslovski@gmail.com> writes:
> > One thing that I have to note also that after this standard header
> > the author writes: "For more details see the file COPYING." which is
> > the changed GPL.
> I would expect the explicit word of the license grant "For more
> details see the file COPYING" to indicate the explicit wishes of the
> copyright holder, and hence have significance in determining what the
> license is.

In this particular case of CDDE I believe that the author simply made a
mistake. That was, perhaps, his first project under GPL. He did not
realize that the GPL preamble and appendix were inseparable parts
of the GPL document. For instance, his project page on Freshmeat [1]
explicitely states that CDDE 0.2.0 is under GPL.

The fact that he did not change any of GPL terms and conditions
in his edited license and kept the name of the license intact
also shows this.

> It might be that, since the copyright holder has explicitly referenced
> that document for specific terms, you cannot legally just substitute
> the correct GPL document in place of their copyright-violating
> document. Of course, you cannot legally redistribute the
> copyright-violating document either.

I am still waiting for his reply. If he does not answer, I think a
possible solution is to fork, assuming that the upstream is MIA and
then correcting his mistake.

[1] http://freshmeat.net/projects/cdde/


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