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Date:   Thu, 7 Dec 2017 11:51:01 +0100
From:   Jonas Oberg <>
To:     Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc:     LKML <>,
        Linus Torvalds <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Jonathan Corbet <>,
        Kate Stewart <>,
        Philippe Ombredanne <>,
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,
        Russell King <>,
        Rob Herring <>,
        Joe Perches <>,,
        Charlemagne Lasse <>,
        Carmen Bianca Bakker <>
Subject: Re: [patch V4 02/11] LICENSES: Add the GPL 2.0 license

On Mon, Dec 04, 2017 at 10:19:29PM +0100, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> Add the full text of the GPL 2.0 license to the LICENSES directory.  It was
> copied directly from the COPYING file in the kernel source tree as it
> differs from the public available version of the license in various places
> including the FSF.
> Philippe did some research on the GPL2.0 history:
>   There is NO trustworthy version of an official GPL 2.0 text: the FSF
>   official texts are all fubar (if only in small and subtle ways). The FSF
>   texts should be authoritative, but then which one? They published more
>   GPL 2.0 versions than most. So we would be hard pressed to blame SPDX or
>   the OSI for having their own minor variant.
>   Then in digging further, I found the ONE true original GPL with a file
>   time stamp on June 2 1991, 01:50 (AM?, PM? unknown time zone?)  ! in an
>   old GCC archive.
>   For the posterity and everyone's enjoyment I have built a git history
>   of GPL 2.0 Mark1 to Mark6
>   See
>   I also added a shorter history of the Linux COPYING text. The first
>   version in Linus's git tree is based on the very fine and well tuned GPL
>   2 Mark4, the first fully Y2K compliant version of the GPL 2, as you can
>   see from the diffs with the former Mark3: that was dangerously stuck in
>   the last century.
>   The current version in is based on a rare GPL 2.0 Mark5.1 aka "Franklin
>   St", that I do not have in my history yet and spells "Franklin St."
>   rather than "Franklin Street."  Therefore there is likely another GPL 2.0
>   version between Mark4 and Mark5 that I have yet to find and may not have
>   been caught by the spiders. Here help and patches welcomed:
>   this is likely an important missing link.
>   Further information about this archaelogical research;
> Add the required tags for reference and tooling.
> Signed-off-by: Thomas Gleixner <>

Reviewed-by: Jonas Oberg <>

Jonas Öberg
Executive Director

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