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Re: GPL versions mismatch.

In message <[🔎] 200911172213.59167.rasasi78@gmail.com>, Raúl Sánchez Siles <rasasi78@gmail.com> writes

 The couple of guys maintaining KVIrc package this is, Kai and me, reckoned
recently of a GPL version mismatch between the licence intended to apply to
the whole project and the version which each source file is licensed under.

 We overlooked this problem for some time until the definite notice was given
by Eugene Lyubimkin when we request sponsorship from him. Upstream guys have
been quite receptive with our license requests, but we are not very fond of
license stuff and we are not sure how to hint them.

 This is how licences are currently arranged in KVIrc:

 · Project license: GPLv2 adding openssl exception.
 · Source files in project: almost all GPLv2+, plus a small leftout amount
with miscellaneous licenses.

 Maybe I'm just misleaded but I think it's somewhat confusing having a
project license different to each of the project source. Ideally I would use
GPLv2+ for everything, i.e., project and source files. The point is that GPLv2+ is IMHO perfectly valid for those source files, but not for the project due the
fact that it links against OpenSSL. Even if upstream would be willing to
relicense project under GPLv3, they wouldn't be able due to OpenSSL license

Then relicence under "v2 OR v3". In a way, that's better, anyway (take note that if upstream *does* have any v2-only code, they'll need to deal with it before they can actually relicence to include v3).

The other thing is (I don't know OpenSSL) is that the GPL is incompatible with OpenSSL (which is likely) or is OpenSSL incompatible with the GPL?

If it's the GPL which won't let you link to OpenSSL, then add an OpenSSL exemption to v3.

 There is work in progress to remove OpenSSL related code, but this will take
time. Meanwhile we'd like to provide some more uploads, and advice upstream
about licensing.

 There is also the option of considering GPLv2 for all, but KVIrc links
against Qt4 and I'm not sure how this move would affect in this case.

 What do you think about this situation? what do you think would be the best
or simplest solution?

You have to bear in mind that the source file licences are whatever the authors say they are. NOBODY ELSE can change the licence - the GPL does not authorise relicencing.

The project maintainers have presumably said "v2 compatibility is required for all submissions, therefore the project licence is v2-only". They haven't (THEY CAN'T) impose a v2-only licence, all they've said is that the only licence guaranteed to work "as a whole" is v2-only.

Once you've got your head round the fact that only the code AUTHORS (or rather, owners) can change the licences, and that the project licence is simply the largest proper subset of the individual licences, then your way forward will be logically apparent. Whether you like that way or not is neither here nor there.

 Thanks a lot,

Anthony W. Youngman - anthony@thewolery.demon.co.uk

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