Dave Crossland dave
Fri Jan 11 18:48:54 EST 2008

On 11/01/2008, Jani Monoses <jani at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Dave Crossland wrote:
> > On 09/01/2008, Jani Monoses <jani at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> >> In particular sugar-artwork includes a copy of the GPL, but the sources
> >> contain an LGPL and a BSD style licensed file as well.
> > ...
> >> sugar, sugar-base and sugar-artwork provide a copy of GPL but the source
> >> file headers mention the LGPL.
> >
> > This is actually fine. (IMHO, IANAL :-)
> >
> > GPL requires that the combined work of the program be under a license
> > no _more_ restrictive than the GPL, and since LGPL and X11-style
> > licenses are _less_ restrictive, so they can be combined with GPL
> > programs while remaining under their current license.
> thanks for the comments. But it still leaves open the question what
> license these files are under


These files are under the license they specify for themselves.

And as long as combining the parts of the program in all the files is
permitted by the most restrictive license (GPL), this variety of
licenses is fine.

The LGPL and GPL require that the full license be distributed with the program.

Since the programs you mention have some code licensed under LGPL but
don't include it, only the GPL, they cannot be distributed unless they
are accompanied by the LGPL License. Anyone can add that license text
to the package to enable them to be distributed easily by others.

Its a good idea, but that might not be necessary: Debian (and thus
Ubuntu) distribute these common licenses in
/usr/share/common-licenses/ and mention that location in the "LICENSE"
file distributed with the program.

For example see the GNU Emacs package license page:


Simple short licenses typical of X11-style ones are often included in
full in the source code and also require that the source code be
accompanied with their text. (which is why they are included inline)

> and what I should put in debian/copyright

I am not a Debian Developer or Ubuntu MOTU so can't answer this adequately.

I guess that when a program has some software distributed under the
GPL, its overall license is the GPL for this purpose.

For example, I know that the linux kernel includes X11 style code but at


the GPL is listed.

> > (The license used by FreeBSD until 1999 was GPL incompatible, but was
> > finally changed to be GPL compatible. So, please consider never using
> > the term "BSD style license" again and using "X11-style license." Some
> noted, thanks



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