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Re: License change for ghostscript

On Fri, 2009-07-31 at 22:47 +0300, Ville Skyttä wrote:
> On Friday 31 July 2009, Tim Waugh wrote:
> > Beginning with the 8.70 release, Ghostscript will be licensed as GPLv3+.
> This might cause problems for a bunch of packages.
> $ repoquery --repoid=rawhide --whatrequires --alldeps ghostscript ghostscript-
> gtk --qf="%{NAME}: %{LICENSE}" | grep -vP '\bGPL(v3|\S*\+)' | sort
> I'm pretty sure that not all these are problems (I haven't checked license 
> compatibility of non-GPL licenses with GPLv3+ nor how exactly they use 
> ghostscript), and on the other hand some might have been problems also with 
> the current GPLv2 ghostscript, but anyway it's a start for a checklist.
> baekmuk-ttf-fonts-ghostscript: Baekmuk
> cjkuni-fonts-ghostscript: Arphic
> hevea: QPL
> HippoDraw: GPLv2
> ImageMagick: ImageMagick
> libgnomeprint22: LGPLv2+ and BSD
> lilypond: GPLv2
> printer-filters: Public Domain
> redhat-lsb: GPLv2
> tetex-prosper: LPPL
> tgif: QPL
> transfig: MIT
> xournal: GPLv2

There is a handy GPL compatibility matrix here:


It makes it clear that GPLv2 code using or linking against GPLv3 code is
a no-no, so all the GPLv2 packages on that list are indeed in trouble,
if their license tags are accurate (if they were really GPLv2+, they'd
be OK, but they'd effectively then becomes GPLv3+).

It says that LGPLv2+ code can use or link against GPLv3 code only if you
can effectively re-license it as GPLv3 (which the LGPL allows, but the
package may have _other_ licensing conflicts if you treat it as GPLv3).

An interesting side-question here is what license tag we should use for
an app whose license text states GPLv2+, but which we are linking
against a GPLv3+ library, effectively meaning that its license for our
purposes is GPLv3+...

ahhh, licensing! Spot will likely have better thoughts on all of this,
plus thoughts on the other license compatibility stuff. I don't think
MIT / BSD licensed stuff has any problem linking against GPL stuff
(unless it's under the _original_ BSD license, with the advertising
clause). Not sure about QPL or LPPL. Public Domain obviously has no

Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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