pkg-config 0.24

Brian Cameron brian.cameron at
Tue May 25 08:15:39 PDT 2010


>     The COPYING included in the distributed tarball will consequently
>     depend on which version of Automake the releaser uses.
> If I'm not mistaken, all the contributors of a project must agree of the
> change of the licence, whatever automake does (though i'm not 100% sure
> about the specific case GPL2 -> GPL3 change). Indeed,automake may change
> COPYING, INSTALL, etc..., it is the one who committed that file who is
> responsible of the change of the licence, not automake.

It might not be necessary to get the contributors to agree to relicense
pkg-config as GPLv3 since the license in the source files already

  * This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
  * modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
  * published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the
  * License, or (at your option) any later version.

I am not a lawyer, so I cannot say for sure, but since the source
codes already allow licensing under GPL version 2 or any later version,
I would think that if the pkg-config module maintainers wanted to
change the license for the entire pkg-config module to GPLv3 that this
would not be in conflict with the licenses found in the individual
source files.

At any rate, if the change of the COPYING file to say the license
is GPLv3 was unintentional, then this is very confusing.  I think
it would be best to respin the module with the correct licensing
information, if possible, to avoid confusion.

Note that I work for Oracle, and when modules change licenses, it is
necessary to get our lawyers to do a legal review of the module before
we can integrate the module into our builds.  This process takes a
long time, and it is triggered if the licenses change in the source
files or if the license in the COPYING file changes.  So, if this
license notification of GPLv3 was unintentional, then it would make
things a lot easier for us at Oracle if the module could be respun with
the correct license information.  Then we can avoid needing to go
through this time consuming process to do a legal review.


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