GPL and LGPL not acceptable for Fedora!

Simo Sorce ssorce at
Thu Aug 16 13:22:30 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-08-16 at 07:31 +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
> Kelly wrote:
> > On Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:11:20 am Eric Sandeen wrote:
> >> So if sourcecode doesn't mention a version but COPYING does, it's still
> >> interpreted as "or any later version?"  Hm... that strikes me as odd.
> > 
> > I BELIEVE what they're trying to say is that if both the source and COPYING 
> > contain different licence numbers, the source trumps the COPYING file.
> > 
> > Most of the time, the COPYING file is simply the GPL/LGPL copied verbatim from 
> > the FSF site.  As a result, I can understand why they would say look at the 
> > source code.
> > 
> > However, I'd suspect in that case, the stuff in the COPYING is what counts.  I 
> > BELIEVE that the point of the "check the source" rule is to avoid situations 
> > where the COPYING file conflicts with the source itself.
> > 
> <sigh>, fine don't believe me I've only license audited 148 packages sofar, so 
> I probably don't know what I'm doing. But if you don't believe me then atleast 
> RTFM, quoting:
> "A GPL or LGPL licensed package that lacks any statement of what version that 
> it's licensed under in the source code/program output/accompanying docs is 
> technically licensed under *any* version of the GPL or LGPL, not just the 
> version in whatever COPYING file they include."

I think this is wrong, I am sorry I didn't catch it before, but if
COPYING is not just a mere copy of the GPL license as published by the
FSF, but it is actually an obviously edited file which express the
intention of the Author, it do matter by all means, and it express the
license you should use.
Of course conflicts with the license in single source files have to be
resolved, but if source files lack any mention of the license version
they are under, what matter is what's in COPYING. IMO IANAL


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