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Re: [gNewSense-users] Copyright, but no license: Free or not?

From: Tor at Shared Genius
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Copyright, but no license: Free or not?
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2008 11:16:10 -1000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20081125)

Is it possible that what is really going on is that the copyright notice is simply a note of /who/ to go to for a particular violation, with the split copyrights, and the GPL applies to all files /unless otherwise noted/, so perhaps what is needed for future versions is something of this sort in the main headers:

"All files licensed under GPL[vX] unless specifically noted in the copyright notice for the file"

Even without this, is it possible to make the case that these files were contributed specifically for use in a situation where a license other than GPL would obviously violate the linking requirements, thus, upstream neglected to consider this case, as the licensing was contextually obvious?


Tor Chantara
Shared Genius Computer Services
FSF Member #6865

Deborah Nicholson wrote:
Unless there is some clear basis to argue that a free license applies
to these files, they are non-free.

I would expect that the lack of a license notice is unintentional and
that the developers of these files will add a license notice when they
see a bug report about this.

Did you ask RMS about programs with no license headers or programs that
happen to not include a copy of the license?
If GPL headers are there, then the author has probably just forgotten to
include a copy of the license and usually a note will clear that up. If
you've got programs with no headers at all or just a smattering of BSD
and MIT, then I don't think you can assume that those programs are

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