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Re: Question about automatic generation of GPLv3 COPYING file

From: Brian Cameron
Subject: Re: Question about automatic generation of GPLv3 COPYING file
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:02:42 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080825)


    This has caused some confusion for some modules (such as the GNOME
    gconf-editor, gnome-settings-daemon, gnome-media-apps, and gphoto
    modules).  These programs are licensed under GPLv2 (or later).  But
    since these modules didn't have a COPYING file, now they have a GPLv3
    COPYING file due to this default automake behavior.  So now there is
    some confusion about whether these modules are really GPLv2 or GPLv3.

Note, we just discovered the gnome-games module also has the same

They ought to have a COPYING file.  Why not fix these packages
to have the COPYING file that is appropriate for them?

Agreed, modules should have a COPYING file.  We are working with the
maintainers to fix the problems.  However, some of the modules are
not very actively maintained, so it is turning into a little bit of a
headache to get this corrected.

Sun has happened to catch issues with GNU modules that are shipped
with Solaris, but I'd imagine there are plenty of additional modules
that have similar issues.

However, it occurs to me that Automake could warn about the lack
rather than supply one.  Or it could ask what to do
in this case.

It does seem that automake could have a nicer way of encouraging or
enforcing users to follow the GNU Coding Standard than by choosing
a particular license for you.  Really, I think we should be encouraging
authors to pick their licenses with reasonable consideration.


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