License of an open source license text


Richard Purdie
 

Hi,

I work on the Yocto Project and we use SDPX identifiers when working
with open source licenses. An issue has come up and it was suggested I
ask about it here.

The question is quite simple:

Which licence are we using when we share just the license text?

The background is more complex:

YP has some software which is under "LGPL-2.1 and GPL-3 and GPL-2"
where one source file is v3, the rest are under other licenses.

When we build that software, multiple binaries result, we group them
into different packages and can be specific about which licences each
binary is under. If no GPLv3 code is in there, it can be under the
other licenses.

We also put the license texts into its own package. Right now that
package is licensed as "LGPL-2.1 and GPL-3 and GPL-2", the same as the
overall license.

The problem is if someone excludes GPL-3 from their images, they can
exclude specific packages but they also exclude the license package
which isn't what they want.

If the license text is under GPL-3 then this is unfortunate but we
could just have to tell people to live with that. If it isn't but is
under a different license (or a subset of it), what license do we put
down for that package? I don't believe there is no SPDX identifier we
can use?

To be clear, we don't want to modify the license itself but want to
list something in the license field of our binary package which says
what its license is.

Another way of putting is what is the license identifier for:

"Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of
this license document, but changing it is not allowed."

(quoted from the GPL)

Cheers,

Richard

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