#235 Licencing problems


During fedora review, a few questions have been raised about the licencing (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=484386)

* No cc/hh files appear to have GPLv2 (GPLv2 or later) boilerplates as required by GPL
* COPYING file does not specify which version of GPL is in use. Both README-SunOS5 seems to specify that the project is under GPLv2 and http://gri.sourceforge.net/gridoc/html/License.html says GPLv2. This should be made clear in COPYING file. Also COPYING file should state where user can obtain a copy of the licence from, or include the licence itself
* .el files appear to be under GPLv2+ -- is this intended?
*-skel files state "GPL Copyright 1991-2004 Dan E. Kelley" - not specifying which GPL

If you would be able to fix these in the current repository version, making the licencing clear, this would be most appreciated by downstream packagers!



  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-13

    I'd be happy to do this. First, I will check with my Debian friends to see whether they prefer one license over another. I am entirely neutral on license choice, except that I don't want a redhat license to cause debian problems, or vice versa.

    If Fedora has a webpage giving specific instructions, I'd love to get the URL.

    Thanks. Dan.

  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-13
    • labels: --> Version 2.12.x
    • milestone: --> miscellaneous
    • assigned_to: nobody --> dankelley
    • status: open --> open-accepted
  • AnotherUser

    AnotherUser - 2009-07-13

    Hi Dan,

    > I'd be happy to do this.
    Cool, thanks for responding so quickly. Just to make myself clear, I am a community packager, and not neccesarily an experienced one at that :).

    > I am entirely neutral on
    > license choice, except that I don't want a redhat license to cause debian
    > problems, or vice versa.

    Of course. There are no specific licences 'preferred' by Fedora. Any of the open source licences at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing#Good_Licenses are fine for inclusion. The choice of licence is up to you as the author.

    Random comments, which you probably already know:

    *A full description of the recommendations for GPL usage is available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html. You may need to contact each author of each source file to get them to apply the change, in the case you are not the author of a given file. You also may want to read the section "GPL Compatibility Matrix" at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing to understand the difference between (L)GPL and (L)GPLvX+, and why Fedora cares.

    * From a fedora perspective, if multiple licences are in use, please provide a list of what sections of the program are under which licence, and dump this somewhere obvious, like COPYING. This may be the case if gri pulls in code from other projects, or if multiple authors have contributed under different licences (you can ask them to relicence if you like!)

    *In COPYING, please provide the full licence text. You could just place each licence one after the other if multiple licences are in use.

    * README states the following:
    The Gri programming languages, and all manuals and online help-files,
    are (c) 1991-2005 Dan E. Kelley <Dan.Kelley@Dal.CA>, and covered by
    the GNU copyleft license.
    Please specify which GNU licence is in use (GNU Free Documentation Licence?); this is a bit vague. Instructions on how to use the GFDL (if this is what you intend) can be found at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html#addendum

    Helpful? Maybe not:
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging/LicensingGuidelines : Guidelines I am following during packaging


  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-14

    I've altered the files mentioned, *except* that I have not altered the cc and hh files, since it seems (from the bugzilla discussion) that doing so is not a requirement.

    As I noted in the bugzilla discussion, I am a bit reluctant to edit all my source files, thereby losing the practical meaning of the last-modified dates.

    PS. when I went to the GNU site, I saw that GPL3 is now being pushed.

  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-18

    I've released gri 2.12.19, which I hope is closer to being acceptable. In any case, patches made against this tarball should be a lot smaller than any made against the previous one, because I've at least put the GPL boilerplate into the source files etc.


  • AnotherUser

    AnotherUser - 2009-07-19

    You may want to touch up these in CVS to v3, Then close this tracker issue. Thanks a lot!

    $ grep GPL README*
    README:the GNU icense GPLv2 or later.
    README-linux-redhat:the GNU icense GPLv2 or later.
    README-SunOS5: Gri and gri-mode.el are distributed under GPLv2 license or later; see

  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-19

    I just updated the README files to state GPLv3+ instead of GPLv2+. I think that completes the list, for the CVS version. (The tarball, released yesterday, still has the GPLv2+. Making releases is a bit of a hassle, so I hope it's OK to ask the Fedora packager to make a patch for these three README files, one character in each.)

    I'm closing this, as suggested.

  • Dan Kelley

    Dan Kelley - 2009-07-19
    • status: open-accepted --> closed-fixed

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