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RFC: GPLv3 license exception draft

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: RFC: GPLv3 license exception draft
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 23:46:50 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-08-09)

[ cross-posted to several groups; please followup on the autoconf list ]

In order to complete the GNU Project's migration to GPLv3, every GNU
program that has exceptions to its license needs to have those
exceptions updated for GPLv3.  We've prepared draft text for an updated
version of the Autoconf exception, sent out an RFC for discussion on
this back in April,

including some rationale for the Exception and the formulations.

The GNU legal folks went over this again, taking into account some
feedback and issues, and came up with a new formulation which is
intended to become the final wording of the new Exception soon, unless
any serious issues show up.  So please take your time to read this new
language now.

The following show both the draft text of the Exception as it will
likely end up in a COPYING.EXCEPTION file, as well as the header text
that will go onto files covered by this exception.

--- cut ---


                       Version 3.0, 18 August 2009

 Copyright (C) 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <>
 Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
 of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

This Exception is an additional permission under section 7 of the GNU
General Public License, version 3 ("GPLv3").  It applies to a given
file that bears a notice placed by the copyright holder of the file
stating that the file is governed by GPLv3 along with this Exception.

The purpose of this Exception is to allow distribution of Autoconf's
typical output under terms of the recipient's choice (including

0. Definitions

"Covered Code" is the source or object code of a version of Autoconf
that is a covered work under this License.

"Normally Copied Code" for a version of Autoconf means all parts of
its Covered Code which that version can copy from its code (i.e., not
from its input file) into its minimally verbose, non-debugging and
non-tracing output.

"Ineligible Code" is Covered Code that is not Normally Copied Code.

1. Grant of Additional Permission.

You have permission to propagate output of Autoconf, even if such
propagation would otherwise violate the terms of GPLv3.  However, if
by modifying Autoconf you cause any Ineligible Code of the version you
received to become Normally Copied Code of your modified version, then
you void this Exception for the resulting covered work.  If you convey
that resulting covered work, you must remove this Exception in accordance
with the second paragraph of Section 7 of GPLv3.

2. No Weakening of Autoconf Copyleft.

The availability of this Exception does not imply any general presumption
that third-party software is unaffected by the copyleft requirements of
the license of Autoconf.

--- cut ---

// <filename, description, copyright line>
// This file is part of Autoconf.  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 3, 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.
// Under Section 7 of GPL version 3, you are granted additional
// permissions described in the Autoconf Configure Script Exception,
// version 3.0, as published by the Free Software Foundation.
// You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
// and a copy of the Autoconf Configure Script Exception along with
// this program; see the files COPYING3 and COPYING.EXCEPTION
// respectively.  If not, see <>.

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