Re: Please ship changelogs in your tarballs

Emmanuele Bassi wrote on the  3th of October:

> I'd argue that most open source projects would be in blatant violation
> of that section, if it were meant to be taken as a requirement for
> every maintainer, instead of a requirement for every distributor.

Sorry for chiming in very late on this thread.

Emmanuele is right that many projects are likely in technical violation of
GPLv2§2(a).  In fact, if you look at GPLv3§5(a), you see that the
requirement is much more modest in GPLv3.  This was done precisely
because the v2 requirement was stricter than it really needed to be, and
it was well-known that perfect compliance with that v2 section was rare.

I would generally say that if you make sure your project is in
compliance with GPLv3§5(a), then it's unlikely that anyone will attempt
to enforce GPLv2§2(a) as a violation, even if the project is
GPLv2-or-later.  GPLv2-only projects probably have a lot more to worry
about regarding this clause.

Meanwhile, on the point of who needs to mark changes: yes, I believe a
project that doesn't use copyright assignment is usually a succession of
derivative works, where each author offering a patch creating a modified
version of the previous author's work.  Therefore, each author has GPL
compliance requirements at each step.
   -- bkuhn

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