Specific license field

Malcolm Wallace malcolm.wallace at cs.york.ac.uk
Tue Nov 10 11:41:24 EST 2009

> How do people modify the LICENSE file to indicate their GPL2/GPL2plus
> intention? From what I can see, the LICENSE file is the GPL2, and you
> need to say how it applies to your code - that's not something for the
> LICENSE file itself, but for the package metadata. Does Debian have
> some standard wording that applies this?

Section 13 of the GPL-2 (and LGPL-2) says:

If the Library specifies a version number of this License which  
applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of  
following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any  
later version published by the Free Software Foundation.  If the  
Library does not specify a license version number, you may choose any  
version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

Section 3 of the LGPL-2 permits you to convert LGPL-2 to GPL-2 or  
later.  It uses the phrase "you must alter all the notices that refer  
to this License", indicating that there should be a separate  
specification of what license applies to what code, apart from the  
license text itself.

> I also want to know whether all the other Haskell GPL stuff is GPL2 or
> GPL2+ - since I might as well follow the crowd. I'll ask Malcolm :-)

If the Cabal file simply says GPL or LGPL, I believe that in the  
absence of any more specific information, you can choose any version  
you wish.  (Really, Cabal ought to allow the more specific notation,  
for those people who care to exclude older or newer licenses.)


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