[vlc-devel] Informational note on GPL versions

Rémi Denis-Courmont rdenis at simphalempin.com
Tue Jul 10 13:41:38 CEST 2007

On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 14:25:08 +0400, Pavlov Konstantin <thresh at altlinux.ru>
>> I assume you mean it will be GPLv3 only if upgraded to Samba >= 3.2.0.
>> Which basically mean VLC will end up being GPLv3 even if we keep 
>> version 2. And that applies to contrib maintainers as well.
> I thought VLC should have no problems being licensed GPLv2 and later as
> it's now.

It is not that simple.

The VideoLAN project releases VLC:
- as source code (no GPL compatibility issues),
- as Win32/MacOS X binary => all of contrib must be GPL compatible.

Similarly, for binary Linux/BSD distributions, all of the dependencies
(apart from the /operating system components/) must be GPL compatible.
These are largely the same as contrib, plus some other stuff such as
D-BUS or the Python runtime if yo use them.

Even if we remain GPLv2+, what Sam points out is: One cannot
distribute a binary version of VLC that depends both on:
- GPLv3+, LGPLv3+, GPLv3 strict or LGPLv3 strict
- GPLv2 strict or LGPLv2 strict.

In particular, if you have libsmb 3.2 (LGPLv3+), you have to
distribute the VLC binary as GPL version 3, which is not
compatible with GPLv2 or LGPLv2. Now the questions are:

- which deps are switching to GPLv3 or LGPLv3?
- is there any dep which is not GPLv3 compatible? if yes, which?

IMHO, it makes very little sense to think whether *WE* want to
switch even before we have answered at least the last question.

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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