Legal questions about software licenses are off-topic. The tag should be burninated.


The beautifully concise tag currently says:

This tag should be used for questions about software that provides licensing services, such as a licensing server or client. Don't use this tag to ask for legal advice about licensing.

On the other hand, the unlovely tag is currently just a description of the GPL itself, with no indication of how the tag could be used as an on-topic question about implementing software.

If there is a way the tag could be used in an on-topic fashion, then its tag wiki should be updated accordingly. If not, then please annul this tag faster than a drunk Vegas wedding.

  • Mmm. Only 695 questions with that tag that need to be addressed first.
    – user102937
    Jul 23, 2012 at 23:54
  • 7
    A tag like this should not be burninated. I expect most of the questions to be off-topic. These questions must be closed and deleted before the tag is removed, while they are still easy to find. Jul 24, 2012 at 0:05
  • What, you mean they shouldn't be swept under the [language-agnostic] rug?
    – JJJ
    Jul 24, 2012 at 16:54
  • and now 794 questions with that tag meta.stackexchange.com/questions/190588/… Jul 26, 2013 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


I don't think you understand what burninating a tag does. It most certainly doesn't remove the questions that are tagged.

There are a fair number of questions about the GPL on Stack Overflow. Quite a few of them probably don't belong (but note that software licensing is explicitly on-topic for Programmers...)

But to the extent that any questions about the GPL remain on Stack Overflow, they should absolutely be tagged correctly - and that means stays with them.

Nothing wrong with editing the tag wiki to highlight situations in which the use is appropriate (if any) though.

  • 1
    As an aside, I'd like to see gpl be a synonym of general-public-licence.
    – casperOne
    Jul 24, 2012 at 13:56
  • @casperOne: I hope you mean gpl, not gpu :-P
    – gen_Eric
    Jul 24, 2012 at 14:54
  • @Rocket Yep, fixed that.
    – casperOne
    Jul 24, 2012 at 14:55


No, we can't burninate the tag yet. We need to clean up the questions first.


The question legitimately asks:

Can we burninate the GPL tag?

It turns out that we can't, because it might orphan questions that have been tagged this way. Burninating removes the tags from the system, but doesn't handle the disposition of the questions themselves. Something more is needed.

Call to Action

The off-topic questions need to be given a proper disposition. Whether or not the tag is ever disposed of, any off-topic legal questions marked with this tag on Stack Overflow need to be closed, migrated, deleted, or otherwise handled in accordance with the current site policies.

If this is an issue that matters to you, please review the open GPL questions, and use your site privileges to contribute to the cleanup of this tag. Your help is appreciated!

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