Michael Tiemann tiemann at
Wed Jul 2 17:26:12 UTC 2008

It seems to me you are asking for legal advice, which is something that only
your lawyer can give you.  You can look at the files distributed by the FSF
(such as the GNU C compiler or GNU Emacs) and see what they did, or you can
look at the Linux kernel and see what it does, but what you find in those
files are likely the result of legal advice that these projects received
*for their particular case*.  You could say "well, if it's good enough for
GCC it's good enough for me", and many people do.  But the OSI cannot give
you legal advice, nor, technically, can any lawyer, unless they happen to be
your lawyer.

That said, I'd do what the FSF does, which is to put the GPL copyright
notice in every file.  But that's because I used to be a GCC maintainer, and
that's what I learned.


On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Paolo Ciarrocchi <
paolo.ciarrocchi at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> a friend of mine wants to release a CMS under GPLv3.
> We disagree on how the licence should be inserted in the package.
> I think, please correct me if I'm wrong, that the only think he should do
> is to put the licence in a COPYING file (which will be part of the package)
> and
> optionally add to the header of every single file the following lines:
> --
> Copyright (C) yyyy  nome dell'autore
> 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.
> This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
> but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
> GNU General Public License for more details.
> You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
> along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
> Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.
> --
> I think this is optional even because a lot of gpl software (Linuk
> kernel, GIT, mercurial etc etc)
> just add the COPYNG file.
> My friend believe that he should add the whole licence to every single
> file of the package.
> Can you please clarify?
> Thanks a lot in advance.
> Ciao,
> --
> Paolo
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