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Re: [RFC] all-permissive license uses

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: [RFC] all-permissive license uses
Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 17:09:55 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Eric Blake <ebb9 <at>> writes:

> The GNU Maintainer standards were recently updated to revamp the wording of 
> recommended all-permissive license.  Additionally, 
> states that the all-permissive license is appropriate for README and other 
> rough documentation, as well as for any m4 macros designed to be useful in 
> external packages.  So, with that in mind, I'm considering relicensing 
> files at the top level (some previously under GPLv3 or GFDL 1.3) to instead 
> under the all-permissive license, alongside updating files already under an 
> permissive license to use the recommended wording.  Any comments on this 
> particularly if there are any files listed below that I should keep under a 
> different license than all-permissive?

Barring comments to the contrary, I'm also going to squash this in, to likewise 
impact INSTALL.

The only remaining files that have the phrase 'unlimited permissions' are the 
sources that build configure, config.status, and testsuite.  For example, 
_AC_INIT_COPYRIGHT dumps this into each configure script:

[This configure script is free software; the Free Software Foundation
gives unlimited permission to copy, distribute and modify it.],

But I'm thinking that the current discussion regarding the GPLv3 exception 
should probably factor in to whether I reword those sentences.

diff --git i/ChangeLog w/ChangeLog
index a163b6a..d414a5b 100644
--- i/ChangeLog
+++ w/ChangeLog
@@ -7,6 +7,7 @@
        * ChangeLog.2: Likewise.
        * m4/m4.m4: Likewise.
        * m4/make-case.m4: Likewise.
+       * doc/install.texi: Likewise.
        * tests/statesave.m4: Relicense to match rest of testsuite; this
        file does not need all-permissive license since it is not designed
        for reuse by other packages.
diff --git i/doc/install.texi w/doc/install.texi
index a51882c..3fc4298 100644
--- i/doc/install.texi
+++ w/doc/install.texi
@@ -9,8 +9,10 @@
 Copyright @copyright{} 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004,
 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

-This file is free documentation; the Free Software Foundation gives
-unlimited permission to copy, distribute and modify it.
+Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are
+permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice
+and this notice are preserved.  This file is offered as-is, without
+warranty of any kind.

 @end ifclear

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