incompatible licenses in the debian directory
Under the sponsorship of Sébastien Villemot and the Debian science
team, I am in the process of adopting the COIN-OR scientific packages
for linear programming and extensions (incl. coinutils, coinor-osi,
clp, coinor-cbc, etc.).
Here's the issue:
- Since the last upload, upstream has switched from the CPL (Common
Public License) to the EPL (Eclipse Public License).
- The debian directory had no explicit license mentioned in the
copyright file. It was pointed out by Paul Tagliamonte that the
previous maintainer(s) must agree to the change in license.
- Soeren Sonnenburg, the previous maintainer, has insisted that his
work be licensed under GPLv3 exclusively.
- EPL and GPLv3 are incompatible
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_Public_License), but the extent
to which they are incompatible is not clear to me.
What's the best way to resolve this issue? In general I see two
different classes of files in the debian directory as they might
relate to the license incompatibility.
1) Debian helper files (rules, watch, control, copyright, changelog)
which are not part of the distributed package.
2) Patches, manpages, etc. which are part of the distributed package.
I'm guessing that it's not okay to have any files under the second
category licensed under GPLv3. What about the first category?
The good news is that there are no essential patches from the previous
maintainers, and the rules files have been completely rewritten. It's
only "debian helper files" like watch, control, changelog, etc. which
remain mostly unchanged from the previous work. There are also some
manpages which can be rewritten.
Any advice would be welcome. I'm looking forward to resolving this
issue and returning to the packaging effort.