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Re: GPLv2 licensing issues

From: Yavor Doganov
Subject: Re: GPLv2 licensing issues
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 09:08:52 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)

Thanks for raising the issue, and the summary.

В Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:51:08 -0400, Hubert Chathi написа:

>   or

I am not sure that such an exception is sufficient to eliminate the 
incompatibility problem -- in fact, I fear that it may not have a legal 
effect.  Riccardo, have you contacted address@hidden about this?

> - popplerkit links against poppler (based on xpdf) which is GPLv2

The case with poppler is absolutely hopeless, IMHO.  The poppler people 
cannot relicense (even if they want), because poppler was forked off xpdf 
quite some time ago.  Even if the xpdf people relicense, the new license 
will not apply retroactively to the code base of xpdf at the time the 
fork happened.  This is a major concern also for GNOME (Evince), and it 
was mentioned on the GTK+ list when they were discussing switching GTK+ 
and GLib to LGPLv3+.

So, until GNU PDF (one of the reasons that this project started is 
precisely the unavoidable licensing problems with xpdf/poppler) is ready 
and new applications are (re)written, we'll have to kiss Vindaloo/the 
PopplerKit stack goodbye.

> -- who finds it very ironic that proprietary programs have less legal
> problems linking against LGPLv3 libraries than GPLv2 programs do

Actually, what is ironic is that after all these years, people still do 
not understand the copyleft mechanism.  Such problems are inevitable if 
one does the mistake to license a program without "or later".

В Thu, 10 Apr 2008 21:16:48 -0500, Stefan Bidigaray написа:

> I mentioned it on a previous e-mail, the issue needs to be escalated to 
> and clarified by the FSF.

As Hubert explained, there is nothing to clarify.  Linking a GPLv2 only 
app with a LGPLv3 library doesn't violate the license of the library, but 
the license of the app.  The combined object code must be distributable 
under GPLv2, which is what GPLv2 requires -- and this is impossible.  It 
will always be impossible, because that's inherently the nature of 

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