GPLv3 x lintian

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Mon Sep 10 12:18:45 BST 2007

On Sun, Sep 09, 2007 at 08:12:19PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> "Luis Furquim" <luisfurquim at> writes:
> > The problem is that my package is GPLv3 licensed and lintian threw the
> > error message copyright-should-refer-to-common-license-file-for-gpl and
> > in my Ubuntu Feisty Fawn box I found no GPLv3 license in the common
> > license directory. So if I refer to that directory, I will change my
> > package license to GPLv2. In the other hand, if I do not refer to this
> > directory, lintian tells me that my DEB package is not ok with the
> > debian policies.
> lintian is primarily a Debian package checker, and the current Debian
> base-files includes the GPLv3.  I expect that Ubuntu will follow.  The
> correct long-term solution for your package is to refer to the copy of the
> GPLv3 in common-licenses.

Indeed. Ubuntu 7.10 (in development) includes the GPLv3 in
common-licenses. For 7.04 packages it is probably more correct and
helpful to your users, not to mention legal, to simply ignore the
lintian warning and copy the GPLv3 into your copyright file.

(It's OK to ignore lintian warnings provided you understand why!)

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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