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Re: Question about the GPL copyright notice and the statement of copying

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Question about the GPL copyright notice and the statement of copying permission not being included in all the source files of a product.
Date: 01 Jul 2004 00:08:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50 (Carthik) writes:

> Please excuse me if there is an answer to this problem, that I haven;t
> found inspite of searching long and hard. I tried :)
> If a software "product" which consists of 'n' different source files
> is distributed as bundle with a copy of the GNU General Public License
> document (license.txt), but none of the 'n' (or maybe 'm' out of the
> 'n') source files in the product contain any kind of copyright
> statement , or reference to the GPL, are the files under GPL? Is the
> product considered to be released under GPL?

The product is licenced under whatever licence you received it under.
For publicly accessible downloads, it is a reasonable assumption that
files with a GPL header are licenced to you under the GPL.

> In other words is it absolutely essential to follow the
> ( howto to the word,

No, but it is prudent.

> and if, in case a software product like the one I described above
> contains source code files that do not adhere to the following
> requirement -
> "Whichever license you plan to use, the process involves adding two
> elements to each source file of your program: a copyright notice (such
> as "Copyright 1999 Linda Jones"), and a statement of copying
> permission, saying that the program is distributed under the terms of
> the GNU General Public License (or the Lesser GPL)."
> - is the product still a GPL product,

The product is under the licence you received it under.  If nothing
has been specified explicitly and no reasonably assumption in the form
of a licence file or licence header exists, there is no reason for you
to assume the GPL.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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