Using LGPLv3+ license for libgnutls?

Simon Josefsson simon at
Wed Sep 10 09:28:29 CEST 2008

The license compatibility matrix is useful, see:

The problem is for GPLv2-only projects that wants to use a LGPLv3

Using LGPLv3+ also has consequences for projects that wants to copy code
from GnuTLS (they need to be GPLv3+ or LGPLv3+), but that is not
something that happens widely enough to care about as far as I am aware.
If anyone knows of significant code re-use from gnutls, let me know.


"David Marín Carreño" <davefx at> writes:

> But I don't catch what is the problem: a proprietary licensed product
> can be dinamically linked to a LGPL3 library. And, as far as I know
> (and, please, correct me if I am wrong, as I am not a lawyer), a GPL2
> product can still be dinamically (or even statically) linked with a
> LGPL3 library.
> We are not talking about GPLv3. It's LGPLv3.
> Perhaps, the problem would be the GPL'd parts of gnutls...
> -- 
> David Marín Carreño
> 2008/9/9 Joe Orton <joe at>:
>> On Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 01:46:17PM -0400, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
>>> On Tue 2008-09-09 12:01:23 -0400, Simon Josefsson wrote:
>>> > I tried to do some systematic searches, but the debian copyright
>>> > information tends to be incorrect (not mentioning versions) or difficult
>>> > to parse.
>>> This is sadly true.  Automatic resolution of this sort of question
>>> would be much easier if the machine-readable debian/copyright proposal
>>> was more widely-adopted:
>> We have such a standard agreed at Fedora but the hard work is really in
>> auditing N thousand packages to meet it.
>>> > I recognize cups, snort and ekg, and they are fairly well known.
>>> fwiw, gobby seems to be GPL-2+, not GPL-2, at least according to the
>>> debian copyright info, so it's possilbe that the fedora tags are wrong
>>> on that package:
>> I agree, good catch, thanks; I've filed a bug to get this fixed in
>> Fedora.
>>> And cups appears to be ambiguous as far as the GPL'ed bits (though the
>>> LGPL'ed bits are pretty clearly V2-only):
>>> [0 dkg at squeak ~]$ grep -A6 ^INTRODUCTION /usr/share/doc/cups-common/copyright
>>> The Common UNIX Printing System(tm), ("CUPS(tm)"), is provided
>>> under the GNU General Public License ("GPL") and GNU Library
>>> General Public License ("LGPL"), Version 2, with exceptions for
>>> Apple operating systems and the OpenSSL toolkit. A copy of the
>>> exceptions and licenses follow this introduction.
>> Following the guidance at I
>> would say that since the code is explicit about being licensed per the
>> terms in LICENSE.txt, "GPLv2 only" is a reasonable interpretation.
>> If anybody thinks this is important to clarify I can chase it with the
>> Fedora licensing guys.
>> Regards, Joe
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