[Fedora-legal-list] Please define "effective license" (for the love of consistency)

Orcan Ogetbil oget.fedora at gmail.com
Sun Jul 18 03:45:03 UTC 2010

Sorry for bringing this age old thread back up again. But I am still
getting contradictory claims. My original message was:

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 5:34 AM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
> 1) I came across another review with the same license question. The
> source files have one of the
> GPLv2, GPLv2+ and LGPLv2+ headers each. They get compiled and produce
> 1 final binary executable. None of the headers (or other source code
> files) go to the final RPM.

The conversation was concluded with the following explanation:

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 10:03 PM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 12/12/2009 07:24 AM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 5:25 AM, Michael Schwendt  wrote:
>>> Fedora's Licensing Guidelines don't use the term "effective license"
>>> anywhere. Not even in the section on dual licensing, which is the scenario
>>> where the packager may choose to pick either license for the whole
>>> program.
>>> There is no such thing as an "effective license" related to the Mixed
>>> Source Licensing Scenario [1], because re-licensing a program, such as
>>> converting from LGPL to GPL, is not done implicitly or automatically.
>> Thanks but that doesn't answer my question. Are so many people just
>> imagining things? Why does this inconsistency exist? I'd like to have
>> this cleared up so we won't have to discuss the same issue over and
>> over again.
> People are just confused. The issue has already been clarified. Is there
> still some specific confusion?
> Rahul

However, during the review of the package
this issue came up again. Upon Michael Schwendt's warning, I have
changed the license tag of this package from "GPLv2" to "GPLv2+ and
LGPLv2+ and GPLv2", since there is no such thing as "the effective

However the current reviewer points out that this is in contradiction
with the guideline

2. The source code contains some .c files which are GPLv2 and some other .c
   files which are GPLv2+. They're compiled together to form an executable.
   In this case, the stricter license wins, so the resulting executable is
   GPLv2. The License tag should read: License: GPLv2
   Note that you do NOT need to list GPLv2 and GPLv2+ in the License tag.
from https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing/FAQ#How_should_I_handle_multiple_licensing_situations.3F

So I am back where I started. There is clearly a contradiction between
what I was advised here on last December and the above guideline.

Which one is correct?


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