GPL for JS libraries (Was: Re: Redefining GPL?)

Arnoud Engelfriet arnoud at
Thu Nov 30 21:45:12 UTC 2006

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> There exists a vast amount of source code under the GPL.  The normal  
> practice is to provide the text of the GPL in a separate file called  
> "LICENSE", and for each file consisting of source code to have a  
> copyright statement in a comment at the beginning of the file, and a  
> reference to the license status which says the code is under the GPL,  
> and to please read the "LICENSE" file.

Right. The specific problem here is that the GPL insists that
the license must be passed on *along with* the source code.
Putting a file called LICENSE in the tarball achieves that.
Make the tarball available for download, and people get source
along with the license.

But when you make a .js file available for download, how do
you pass the license on _along with_ that .js file?

A literal reading suggests that you then do have to copy&paste
the text into the file. This will often be impractical, so 
it might be considered reasonable to just hyperlink to the license.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:

More information about the License-discuss mailing list