Bug#694657: closed by Reinhard Tartler <siretart at tauware.de> (Bug#694657: fixed in libav 6:9.1-1)

Reinhard Tartler siretart at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 20:11:38 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 7:18 PM, Francesco Poli
<invernomuto at paranoici.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Jan 2013 06:51:10 +0000 Debian Bug Tracking System wrote:
> [...]
>>    [ Jonas Smedegaard ]
>>    * Rewrite copyright file using copyright format 1.0.
>>      Closes: bug#694657. Thanks to Francesco Poli.
> You're welcome, Jonas!
> Thanks to you, indeed.
> I have a question, though.
> At the beginning of the new debian/copyright file, I read the following
> comment:
> | Comment:
> |  Because the libavcodec-extra-* package (since libavcodec-extra-54)
> |  links against libraries licensed under Apache-2.0 (not compatible with
> |  LGPL), effective license of that package and libav-dbg is GPL-3+.
> This does not look too clear to me.
> Which license is the libavcodec-extra-* package released under?
> LGPL-2.1+ or GPL-2+ ?


> By looking at the rest of the debian/copyright file, it seems to me
> that the answer is LGPL-2.1+ : can you confirm, please?
> If this is really the case, then, although it's true that Apache-2.0 is
> not compatible with GPL-2, I don't think it's accurate to say that
> Apache-2.0 is not compatible with LGPL...
> Moreover, why should the effective license of the libavcodec-extra-*
> package be considered GPL-3+ ?

It is not possible to "downgrade" the license from GPL-2+ to LGPL-2.
This only leaves GPL-3(+) as possible option AFAIUI.

> This seems to imply that I cannot distribute a program under a
> GPL-3-incompatible license (for instance, BSD-4-clause) linked with
> libavcodec-extra-*: I don't see any reason why such a program should be
> considered as legally undistributable...

That's also my understanding. Luckily, I cannot imagine any sensible
usecase for an application in debian to link against

> Please clarify the situation, and let's see whether we can find a
> clearer formulation for the above-quoted comment.
> Thanks for your time!

Thanks for the license and debian/copyright review!


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