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Re: Software Licenced Under a Specific Version of GPL

On Sat, 1 Sep 2001, Jakob B. Jensen wrote:

> Suppose package X is licensed under "GPL version 1 or later".
> As long as this text remains on the package, each recipient has
> the freedom to use it *at his/hers option* under GPL 1, 2 or 3
> (or later).
> Suppose by an act of packaging Debian licenses the packaged (and
> usually slightly modified) X.deb as "GPL version 2 or later".
> The packager has unnecessarily taken away the freedom of the
> user to use the resulting .deb file under GPL version 1, if he
> so chooses. [...]

GPL does not refer to use of the .deb binary package, it refers to
redistribution of the package as a whole (source and binaries).

As long as GPL-1 is still inside the source code, everybody has the
right to modify and redistribute the package under "GPL-1 or later".

In other words, just because we refer in the copyright file to the
latest version of GPL and it happens to be version 2 does not
necessarily mean we are relicensing the package to "version 2 or

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