Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] The COPYING file (our license) is a mess!
From: Stephen Fisher <[email protected]>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 14:59:42 -0700
On Sun, Nov 11, 2007 at 10:25:18PM +0100, Ulf Lamping wrote:

> While i was updating the NSIS installer, I had a look at the current
> COPYING file and was pretty sad reading the following preamble to the
> GPL:

> Unfortunately, this text spreads a lot FUD and it is redundant.
> 
> IMHO, the GPLv2 is well understood today and needs no further
> explanations. IMHO instead of clarifying stuff, it makes understanding
> the License much more complicated to anyone outside the project.
> 
> All in all, IMO this license text drives away anyone who takes
> licensing seriously and anyone who don't cares won't be addressed. So
> what is the benefit in complicating the GPL here?

I agree with Ulf that the COPYING file / what is displayed as you
install the program should be just the lawyer checked, time tested,
GPLv2.

To my knowledge, the additional text at the top has not been checked by
lawyers and could be seen as an attempt to modify the GPLv2 license,
turning it into a new license that may not be as enforcable as the pure
GPLv2 (who knows, we're not lawyers).  We could put a (clickable?) link
to the GPL FAQ or similar documents in the installer for people who have
more questions on the official interpretation of the GPL.


Steve