[gnutls-devel] Licensing problem LGPLv3+ vs. GPLv2only conflict

Andreas Metzler ametzler at downhill.at.eu.org
Fri Jul 19 18:35:02 CEST 2013

On 2013-07-19 Tomas Mraz <tmraz at redhat.com> wrote:
> as was noticed by Debian and GNOME developers and reported here
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=986347 the GnuTLS 3.x is
> effectively LGPLv3+ because it links to gmp which is LGPLv3+ although
> the GnuTLS itself is LGPLv2+. The biggest problem it causes is that
> multiple software applications that are GPLv2 and use gnutls which
> creates the licensing conflict. Is there any way out of this mess?


I think the plan is to relicense GMP to GPLv2+/LGPLv3+, ending up with
a dual licensed GnuTLS stack.

There is another minor issue: gnulib.

Last time I checked it was possible to build the gnutls shared library
on GNU/Linux just with LGPLv2.1+ licensed gnulib modules without
obvious loss of functionality. However this requires manual
checking - LGPLv2.1+ and other gnulib modules (no reason why the
commandline utilities shouldn't use GPLv3-modules) are not kept
separately in the gnutls source tree. And I assume that many of the
LGPLv3 modules[1] might be necessary on other platforms.

cu Andreas

/home/ametzler/GIT/gnulib/gnulib-tool: *** incompatible license on modules:
                 alphasort                                         LGPL
                 argp                                              LGPL
                 closedir                                          LGPL
                 error                                             LGPL
                 fpieee                                            LGPL
                 fpucw                                             LGPL
                 frexp-nolibm                                      LGPL
                 frexpl-nolibm                                     LGPL
                 fseterr                                           LGPL
                 getsubopt                                         LGPL
                 iconv_open-utf                                    LGPL
                 isnand-nolibm                                     LGPL
                 isnanf-nolibm                                     LGPL
                 isnanl-nolibm                                     LGPL
                 opendir                                           LGPL
                 printf-frexp                                      LGPL
                 printf-frexpl                                     LGPL
                 printf-safe                                       LGPL
                 readdir                                           LGPL
                 scandir                                           LGPL
                 signbit                                           LGPL
                 version-etc                                       LGPL
                 version-etc-fsf                                   LGPL
                 vfprintf-posix                                    LGPL
                 vprintf-posix                                     LGPL

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