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4.4 License Notices

Every nontrivial file needs a license notice as well as the copyright notice. (Without a license notice giving permission to copy and change the file, copying and modification are legally prohibited, and that would make the file non-free.)

Typically the license notice for program files (including build scripts, configure files and makefiles) should cite the GPL, like this:

This file is part of GNU program

GNU 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, or (at your option) any later version.

GNU program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty 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 program; see the file COPYING. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

But in a small program which is just a few files, you can use this instead:

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 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., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.

Documentation files should have license notices also. Manuals should use the GNU Free Documentation License. Here is an example of the license notice to use after the copyright notice. Please adjust the list of invariant sections as appropriate for your manual. (If there are none, then say "with no invariant sections".)

 
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
Invariant Sections being "GNU General Public License", the Front-Cover
texts being (a) (see below), and with the Back-Cover Texts being (b)
(see below).  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled
"GNU Free Documentation License".

(a) The FSF's Front-Cover Text is:

     A GNU Manual

(b) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is:

     You have freedom to copy and modify this GNU Manual, like GNU
     software.  Copies published by the Free Software Foundation raise
     funds for GNU development.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Free Documentation License
along with program; see the file COPYING.DOC.  If not, write to
the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston,
MA 02111-1307, USA.

If the FSF does not publish this manual on paper, then omit the last sentence in (b) that talks about copies published by the FSF. If the FSF is not the copyright holder, then replace `FSF' with the appropriate name.

See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-howto.html for more advice about how to use the GNU FDL.

If the manual is over 400 pages, or if the FSF thinks it might be a good choice for publishing on paper, then please include our standard invariant section which explains the importance of free documentation. Write to assign@gnu.org to get a copy of this section.

Note that when you distribute several manuals together in one software package, their on-line forms can share a single copy of the GFDL (see section 6). However, the printed (`.dvi') forms should each contain a copy of the GFDL, unless they are set up to be printed and published only together.

Small supporting files, short manuals (under 300 lines long) and rough documentation (README files, INSTALL files, etc) can use simple all-permissive licenses.

If you would like help with license issues or with using the GFDL, please contact licensing@gnu.org.


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