Bug#741196: License incompatibility below RC threshold

Russ Allbery rra at debian.org
Thu Jan 8 02:49:23 UTC 2015

Francesco Poli <invernomuto at paranoici.org> writes:

> Dear Release Team,
> I am concerned that a license incompatibility (bug #741196 and the
> other similar bug reports against other packages) might slip through
> into the jessie release without being noticed or addressed adequately.

> Please read #741196 bug log, or, at least:

> https://bugs.debian.org/741196#5
> https://bugs.debian.org/741196#53
> https://bugs.debian.org/741196#96

For those who are curious what this is about, it's a library that links
with both libraries covered under the GNU GPL v2 or later and the CeCILL-C
v1.0 license.  Francesco believes these are incompatible licenses and has
asserted this in multiple bugs, but does not appear to have presented any
actual evidence of that.  The FSF doesn't state a position on CeCILL-C,
but explicitly says that CeCILL v2 is a GPL-compatible license [1].
Wikipedia claims that CeCILL-C is compatible with the GNU LGPL v2, which
would also make it compatible with the GNU GPL v2.  CeCILL-C is a
less-restrictive version of CeCILL, so it would make sense for it to be

[1] https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#CeCILL

The only specific claim that Francesco has made that I was able to find is
that the choice of venue clause in CeCILL-C makes it incompatible.
However, CeCILL also contains a choice of venue clause, and the FSF state
that it is GPL-compatible.  Given that they base those determinations on
the advice of lawyers, I'm dubious of this argument.

> What do you think should be done?

Nothing, in the absence of more credible evidence that there is a license

Russ Allbery (rra at debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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