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Re: GPL and LGPL not acceptable for Fedora!



On Thu, 2007-08-16 at 14:56 +0200, Adel Gadllah wrote:
> Hans de Goede wrote:
> >
> >
> > GPL+, the version in the COPYING file is irrelevant.
> this sounds wrong ... if the source says nothing and the copying says 
> gplv2 it _is_ gplv2.

COPYING does not signal licensing intent (it might not seem intuitive,
but this is what Red Hat legal told us, and we're going by that).

The order of operations goes like this:

1. What does the code say? If it specifies a version, that's what it is.
2. Does the code conflict with itself? (file1.c and file2.c are compiled
together but have different licensing)
2A. Are the conflicting licenses compatible?
2AA. Does one license overpower the other one? (GPL/LGPL does this) If
so, the strictest license wins.
3. What does the documentation say? This signals the author(s)
intentions from a legal perspective, although, not as binding as in the
source. If the documentation specifies a version when the source does
not, then we can use the documentation as our source. NOTE: COPYING does
not count as documentation, since the author(s) didn't write it.
4. If neither the source, nor the upstream composed documentation says
anything about the license version, then it could be under _ANY_ version
of the GPL. The version listed in COPYING is irrelevant from this
perspective.

Now, keep in mind that most upstreams are probably leaving the
versioning out by accident. If you get to case 4, you definitely want to
let upstream know that you are unable to determine the applicable
version(s) of the license from the source and documentation. They'll
almost certainly let you know what their intended license version is,
and (hopefully) correct it in the upstream source.

~spot


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