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[bug-gawk] Not compatible licenses used

From: David Kaspar [Dee'Kej]
Subject: [bug-gawk] Not compatible licenses used
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 15:51:12 +0200

Hello everyone,

I'm current maintainer of gawk for Fedora, and during the process of 4.1.4 rebase I have found some licensing issue that should be probably fixed, otherwise according to Fedora Packaging Guidelines (FPG) the gawk shouldn't be packaged/shipped for Fedora.

The issue is this - file missing_d/setenv.c uses BSD License (original, a.k.a. 4 clause or BSD with advertising). However, according to
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main?rd=Licensing the BSD original license is not compatible with GPLv2 or GPLv3.

I knew I saw a note that you were actually removing the clause 3 from the original BSD licenses there, but I don't recall where exactly it was. Is it possible that this is the one file that was forgotten to be updated?

Or maybe I'm just wrong and I do not understand the licensing issues correctly, it always used to be a "minefield"... :-/


Also, the license-check informs me about 2 files with incorrect FSF address in its license header. Those files should be licensed under GPLv2+:
* cmd.h
* debug.c


One last thing I should mention according to FPG... Since more types of licenses are used inside gawk project, and you ship only GPLv3+ license in COPYING file, we need to ship our own versions of those licenses (texts) inside the gawk package. (I guess you would not be willing to add those license texts inside the gawk source tarball, would you?) Therefore, I should officially ask you to confirm that the license texts we are shipping are correct (and correct versions are used). Could you please confirm that these are the licenses' texts corresponding to licenses in gawk project?

BSD (3 clause): https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:BSD?rd=Licensing/BSD#3ClauseBSD
GPLv2+: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt
LGPLv2+: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/lgpl-2.1.txt
LGPLv3+: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-3.0.txt
MIT/X11: As taken (copied) from file install-sh. (Very similar, but not the same as: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:MIT?rd=Licensing/MIT#Modern_Style_without_sublicense_.28Unicode.29)

Sorry to bother you with this stuff.

Best regards,

David Kaspar [Dee'Kej]
Associate Software Engineer

Brno, Czech Republic

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