[aur-general] Licenses, GPL3 only

Philipp Überbacher hollunder at lavabit.com
Mon Aug 23 08:59:13 EDT 2010

Excerpts from Magnus Therning's message of 2010-08-23 14:47:32 +0200:
> On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 13:15, Philipp Überbacher <hollunder at lavabit.com> wrote:
> > Excerpts from Ray Rashif's message of 2010-08-23 12:47:44 +0200:
> [...]
> >> The Linux kernel, IIRC, was made GPL2 only when GPL3 was released.
> >
> > That may be, I don't know. If that was the case, then any version up to that
> > point could be used with any GPL version, be it 3, 4, 5 ...
> AFAIK Linux has been GPLv2 only since version 2.4.0, i.e. from January 4th
> 2001.  Work on GPLv3 didn't start until late 2005.
> Personally I think it's only prudent to know *exactly* what license SW I write
> is released under.  So releasing under GPLv3 only before GPLv4 is released
> makes sense; I also think that applying licenses retroactively is troublesome,
> so it's worth being specific from the beginning.
> OTOH it doesn't bother me at all that Arch's packaging system currently lacks
> a way of accurately specifying the license for some software.  I think it's
> very little chance of that ever counting for anything in court.  As long as
> upstream provide clear information the Arch package can say pretty much
> anything.
> /M

I also doubt it has legal significance, but it would be good if the
information we provide was accurate. I believe pacman still can't
search by license, so it doesn't matter that much.

Spreading inaccurate information is just annoying.
One example I ran into a couple of times:
A package description said: "provides <functinality> for GNOME" when it
was in reality a gtk program without gnome dependencies. It also swings
the other way around, but less often.
Point being: accurate information helps the user, inaccurate information
can be troublesome.

"Wir stehen selbst enttäuscht und sehn betroffen / Den Vorhang zu
und alle Fragen offen." Bertolt Brecht, Der gute Mensch von Sezuan

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