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.

closed as off-topic by CRABOLO, Shadow The Princess Wizard, Martijn Pieters, gnat, Aziz Shaikh Dec 10 '14 at 13:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – CRABOLO, Shadow The Princess Wizard, Martijn Pieters, gnat, Aziz Shaikh
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Mmm. Only 695 questions with that tag that need to be addressed first. – Robert Harvey Jul 23 '12 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. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 24 '12 at 0:05
  • What, you mean they shouldn't be swept under the [language-agnostic] rug? – JJJ Jul 24 '12 at 16:54
  • and now 794 questions with that tag meta.stackexchange.com/questions/190588/… – Dean Hiller Jul 26 '13 at 20:26

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 '12 at 13:56
  • @casperOne: I hope you mean gpl, not gpu :-P – Rocket Hazmat Jul 24 '12 at 14:54
  • @Rocket Yep, fixed that. – casperOne Jul 24 '12 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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