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[bug-gettext] [bug #44190] Makefile.in.in license

From: anonymous
Subject: [bug-gettext] [bug #44190] Makefile.in.in license
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2015 15:11:42 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.91 Safari/537.36


                 Summary: Makefile.in.in license
                 Project: GNU gettext
            Submitted by: None
            Submitted on: Thu 05 Feb 2015 03:11:41 PM UTC
                Category: None
                Severity: 3 - Normal
              Item Group: None
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any




I saw discussion on Debian legal on license template of Makefile.in.in.  At
this moment Debian is treating this license as empirically "Permissive" and
acceptable FREE license.

But careful reading of the license text indicates some short comings: (Here is
quote from the mailing list post)

Discussion:  https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2015/01/msg00048.html
Files with this text were distributed in old GNU gettext
(gettext-0.10.40/po/Makefile.in.in:# This file file be copied and)

It looks like this odd license text has been corrected in the file
Makefile.in.in from GNU gettext 0.19.4, and possibly in earlier versions.

# Makefile for PO directory in any package using GNU gettext.
# Copyright (C) 1995-1997, 2000-2007, 2009-2010 by Ulrich Drepper
# This file can be copied and used freely without restrictions.  It can
# be used in projects which are not available under the GNU General Public
# License but which still want to provide support for the GNU gettext
# functionality.
# Please note that the actual code of GNU gettext is covered by the GNU
# General Public License and is *not* in the public domain.
# Origin: gettext-0.19

I believe the intent is to offer the file under a permissive license that is
compatible with GPL, but it remains the case that no explicit permission to
modify the file is offered.

Since this file originates from GNU, perhaps they would be amenable to
reissuing it with terms like the GNU All-Permissive License, as mentioned at

    Copying and distribution of this file, with or without
    modification, are permitted in any medium without royalty
    provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.
    This file is offered as-is, without any warranty.

The latter notes that GNU considers this license good for files that are part
of a software build system


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