[aur-general] Licenses, GPL3 only

Philipp Überbacher hollunder at lavabit.com
Thu Aug 26 13:44:37 EDT 2010

Excerpts from Ray Rashif's message of 2010-08-26 18:45:36 +0200:
> On 26 August 2010 21:23, Philipp Überbacher <hollunder at lavabit.com> wrote:
> > Again, it's no exception, it's the use of this one license and this one
> > license only.
> You're right, I totally misused the term "exception" [1]. Let's forget
> about semantics. As I understood your initial concern, we have no
> "standard" in place to make it clear which version of the GPL a
> software package is under. Is that correct?

We have a standard in place to distinguish between different versions of
the GPL, for v2 and v3. Out standard also allows to distinguish between
v2 only and v2 or later.

> What I proposed only makes the distinction between a GPL and a
> GPLn-only license by the use of the word "custom" in the license
> array, and a license file in the appropriate place (because there is
> added text). Nothing more, nothing less. This would definitely be
> "clear", because obviously, from a visual perspective, "Licenses:
> GPL3" and "Licenses: custom:GPL3" are clearly not the same.

It would be nice to distinguish between GPLvN only and GPLvN or later
for any N. The question is which way is optimal.

> Loui's proposal is good, but as Ronald mentioned, we don't have
> anything to do with GPL1 anymore.

Not exactly true. Perl and pretty much any Perl package is Artistic
license and GPLv1 or later. Out Perl package says Artistic and GPLv2 or

> Moreover, even if we didn't count
> GPL1, there is no way to link GPL to GPL2 _and_ GPL3 on the
> filesystem.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Not counting LGPL and the likes
there are 3 GPL license texts, v1, v2 and v3. I think  no matter whether
the program is distributed as 'v2 or later' or 'v2 only' it would be
sufficient to link it with the v2 text.

> We could also go with "Licenses: GPL3-only", or a derivative of that,
> as long as it does not require change in a lot of our buildscripts
> (which would be the case for the "+" proposal and I don't think this
> is strong enough of a case to motivate that).

I understand that this is the main problem, a change to a new system
would either be another hack or require a change in basically every
Maybe we can:
1) come up with a scheme that is intuitive and future proof, that we can
all agree on.
2) come up with a way that allows a slow transition to the new system,
so that it doesn't require extra effort and rebuilds.

> [1] http://www.mysql.com/about/legal/licensing/foss-exception/

So mysql is distributed as GPL v2 only, but they added an exception to
make it compatible with any of the license in the list. In this case I'd
say GPLv2 only + custom or just custom (I'm not sure about the details),
but [extra] says: License=('GPL').

"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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