Re: GPLv2 - Github example

David A. Wheeler

Zavras, Alexios:
I think I understand Mark's reservations about package-level licenses and I agree with them...
In all these cases, it seems that the “package-level license”, should simply be the collection of all different licenses found in all the files of the package. I think that Mark was wondering whether this is particularly useful…
It's useful, though the ability to be more precise would be nice.

A user or developer needs to know "what am I allowed to do?", in a *SIMPLE* way, when confronted with a package. Most software packages (however defined) have a relatively simple license expression that suffices to describe what you're allowed to do. Historically people only used a few software packages, but today people routinely use much larger sets of software packages.

Clearly there are packages which have more complex licensing requirements. In most cases today, all I really need is a *hint* that there's a potential issue, so I can focus on the packages where there MIGHT be an issue. I suspect it'd be more productive to find ways to expand the license expression syntax to cover them, if that turns out to be important.

--- David A. Wheeler

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