Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Ulrich Mueller <ulm@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Should we allow "GPL, v2 or later" for ebuilds?
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2020 11:41:43
1 The following came up in #gentoo-qa yesterday, in a discussion between
2 mgorny, soap and myself.
4 Historically, all ebuilds in the Gentoo repository were licensed under
5 GPL-2+. At a later point they were relicensed [1] to GPL-2. See [2] for
6 a rationale (or absence of it, YMMV).
8 However, in GLEP 76, GPL-2+ is listed as the first choice for licensing
9 of any Gentoo project [3]. Also, I am not aware of any official policy
10 that would forbid the "v2 or later" variant for ebuilds (any pointers
11 are welcome).
13 So, the question is, should we allow ebuilds
14 # Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, v2 or later
15 in the repository, or should we even encourage it for new ebuilds?
17 I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. One the one hand, I think
18 that GPL-2+ should generally be preferred because it offers better
19 compatibility. For example, the compatibility clause in CC-BY-SA-4.0
20 won't work with GPL-2.
22 On the other hand, we would presumably never achieve a complete
23 transition to GPL-2+, so we would have ebuilds with either GPL variant
24 in the tree. Not sure how big an issue that would be. Updating ebuilds
25 wouldn't be a problem (as the old header would stay), but devs would
26 have to spend attention to the header when copying code from one ebuild
27 to another.
29 Note that we could easily revert from GPL-2+ to GPL-2 if it would turn
30 out to be too much trouble.
32 Thoughts?
34 Ulrich
36 [1]
37 [2]
38 [3]


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