2018-01-30 10:31:01 UTC
While working on a package (not yet part of Debian), I noticed the following
copyright and license notice:
# This copyrighted material is made available to anyone wishing to use,
# modify, copy, or redistribute it subject to the terms and conditions of
# the GNU General Public License v.2, or (at your option) any later version.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
# ANY WARRANTY expressed or implied, including the implied warranties of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the 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., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA
# 02110-1301, USA. Any Red Hat trademarks that are incorporated in the
# source code or documentation are not subject to the GNU General Public
# License and may only be used or replicated with the express permission of
# Red Hat, Inc.
The first part obviously is just stating that the file in question is being made
available under the GPL-2 (or any later version) license. However, how does the
trademark notice play with that?
If that was a BSD-3-clause license, I assume that this additional specification
wouldn't interact badly (as long as the trademark holder and author as the same
legal person), but I am unsure how GPL-2+ compatible that actually is.
One might argue that this a combination of the third BSD-3-clause license clause
with GPL-2+ and since BSD-3-clause is compatible (to a degree) with GPL-2+
through LGPL-2.1(+), this usage should be fine. Pure speculation on my side
Additionally, if the trademark clause as such does not cause licensing issues,
do I have to mention it in debian/copyright explicitly? How would I do so
correctly? By "creating" a new tag like "GPL-2+-with-trademark-exception" and
copying the full notice?
Thank you for any advice.