Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] The COPYING file (our license) is a mess!
From: "Sébastien Tandel" <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 09:57:47 -0200
On Nov 11, 2007 7:59 PM, Stephen Fisher <[email protected]> wrote:
> 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.

   I agree with Ulf that most of the text he underlines in COPYING is
not necessary. Therefore a link to the GPL FAQ is without any doubt a
good idea. I however do suspect that some people wants to find out how
they might use wireshark regarding to the GPL text.

  GPL FAQ exists because the GPL license might be too abstract to some
people (majority of us :)). I guess we should take into account that
some people might be confused when reading only the GPL FAQ. Therefore
a section in the wireshark FAQ regarding the GPL license might be a
good idea too. Of course, we should mention that there is a strict
order of preference when reading these different texts which is :
wireshark FAQ < GPL FAQ < GPL license < Court decision (where < is
"less preferred than")

Sebastien Tandel