• Bug#979101: Legally problematic GPL-3+ readline dependency

    From Andrew M.A. Cater@21:1/5 to Carlos Henrique Lima Melara on Fri Jan 8 09:20:02 2021
    On Thu, Jan 07, 2021 at 06:45:14PM -0300, Carlos Henrique Lima Melara wrote:
    Control: tags -1 + confirmed

    Hi, folks.

    I'm the new maintainer of devtodo and would appreciate an assistance of the debian-legal on the license matter. As noted, devtodo is licensed under
    GPL-2 only, although there is no boilerplate copyright on the source files.

    My suggestion - almost like a flow chart -

    Talk to the upstream to explain why this is important - to you/to the world. Make the point that explicit boilerplate copyright that is clear is very
    useful in any circumstances if people want to use or build on upstream's code.

    Ask nicely for the licence change to be explicitly noted to reflect upstream's
    recent change from GPL2 to GPL2+

    If the licence change is going to be explicitly noted, request that the change
    be put into the individual source files to make the situation clear and explain that you understand that this may mean extra work but will save work
    in the longer term.

    If the licence change is not going to be explicitly noted in the source files suggest that upstream puts the change in the README file with a
    "Licence change for this project as a whole to GPL v.2+ with effect from date XYZ " if they don't want to change every code file.

    If upstream doesn't want to make any change to the code anywhere - ask if you can use the email exchange to prove publicly that the licence changed. Remember: it shouldn't be packaged if the licence change is exclusively to Debian


    If the upstream person explicitly adds the boilerplate copyright to their
    code files: your job is done for you and you can package that version.

    If not, there will be a README. If not, you can use the mail exchange.

    Taking this into consideration, would a public mail from the upstream to
    this bug be enough to change the license to GPL-2+? Or it would be necessary to add the boilerplate to all source files indicating GPL-2+ licensing?

    I would rather first solve this problem in the upstream instead of dealing with it in the packaging.

    Thanks in advance,
    Carlos (Charles)

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