Bug#741196: License incompatibility below RC threshold

Russ Allbery rra at debian.org
Thu Jan 8 03:02:09 UTC 2015

Russ Allbery <rra at debian.org> writes:

> 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.

Ah!  I'm sorry -- I missed a subtlety here.  The CeCILL license can be
explicitly converted to the GPL v2, hence shedding its choice of venue
clause.  The CeCILL-C license doesn't have an explicit conversion clause,
which is why I believe Francesco feels it is a problem.

Okay, this is actually a somewhat reasonable concern, in my opinion.  The
FSF does declare other licenses as being GPL-incompatible for having
choice of venue clauses.  See, for example:


I agree that this may actually be a problem.  I don't think it's a
particularly *large* problem -- historically, we've not treated choice of
venue clauses with a great deal of urgency.  This is also relying on the
assumption that a library linked with a GPL v2 library requires every
other library linked with it to be relicensble under the GPL v2, something
that I think we believe in principle, but which we have not always
enforced elsewhere in the archive.

But I was wrong to dismiss this -- the choice of venue clause is usually
something the FSF considers problematic.

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

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