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Re: Fedora Board Recap 2007-JUL-10

[Note that this is not an official position of Red Hat Legal; I am not
a lawyer (yet), and I am particularly not your lawyer (yet). Were I
speaking as part of Red Hat Legal, I would speak with an @redhat.com

On 7/12/07, Josh Boyer <jwboyer jdub homelinux org> wrote:
> == Brief discussion of GPL v2/v3 and EULA for F8 ==
>  * Consider adding license version tagging to spec file - push to FESCo
>  * Need to raise awareness to examine code coming from upstream during version updates
>  * Mostly packaging issues that need to be discussed with legal

Can you explain this a bit more please?  Particularly if you're going to
push it to FESCo.

1) Why do we need to examine code coming from upstream updates?  (E.g.
only to make sure the license tag spells out the correct version?)

Consider a not very hypothetical hypothetical: (the details of the
incompatibility are simplified and possibly even incorrect, because I
have been at the office *a lot* the past three days, but the basic
idea is there)

* Samba releases a library which is GPLv3. They are upstream for
libsmbclient; it is their prerogative to do this.

* Fedora packages and ships this new, GPL v3 libsmbclient.

* Fedora rebuilds things which link against libsmbclient, but which
are not GPL v3.

* Fedora distributes. Voila... a (potential, depending on the details)
license violation!

Here, all relevant upstreams have done the right thing, and yet Fedora
has committed a license violation. So Fedora might wish to put into
place review procedures which minimize the risk of this occurring.

2) What packaging issues need to be discussed with legal?

In the past, I believe that Fedora has treated all GPL licenses as one
and the same, when there are now, for compatibility purposes, "GPL v2
only", "GPL v2 or later", "GPL v3", and potentially dual-licensed "GPL
v2/v3". (Ditto for LGPL.) Legal and Fedora might wish to discuss
whether or not the license tag should spell that out. I really have no
idea if that is worth the trouble or not.


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