Bug#698019: libav: the effective GPL-licensed status of the binary packages should be clearly documented

Francesco Poli (wintermute) invernomuto at paranoici.org
Sat Jan 12 22:43:33 UTC 2013

Source: libav
Version: 6:9.1-1
Severity: important

Hello again,
while trying to improve [1] a comment at the beginning of the
debian/copyright file, it became apparent [2] that all the binary
packages built from libav are effectively under GPL-2+ or even
under GPL-3+ (as for libavcodec-extra-*, but also for the ones
that link with it).

[1] http://bugs.debian.org/694657#85
[2] http://bugs.debian.org/694657#100

As explained in my reply [3], I think that this situation is
not clear at all, for people who just read the debian/copyright file
and/or look at the binary package long descriptions!

[3] http://bugs.debian.org/694657#105

Without intimate knowledge of the libav package build process, one may
wrongly think that those GPL-licensed files only end up into the binary
packages named after the directories where they live...
Without digging into all the dependencies, one may fail to notice all the
cross linking among the binary packages built from libav...

I think that the effective licensing status of the binary packages
(GPL-2+ or GPL-3+) should be explicitly and clearly documented in the
comment at the beginning of the debian/copyright file and, probably, in
the binary package long descriptions, as well.

I really hope you are going to clarify this situation.

Thanks for your time!

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