Changing top level files and include/ files over to GPLv3

Russ Allbery
Fri Jul 6 23:07:00 GMT 2007

Joseph S Myers <> writes:

> Changing libiberty, which is shared between projects, would have the
> effect of changing all projects using it (bearing in mind that parts of
> libiberty are under the GPL and parts under the LGPL, and both should
> probably be updated at once).

> As such I suppose the copies of licences in the manuals should be
> updated when the common files are updated.  In the GCC tree this means
> gcc/doc/include/gpl.texi and libiberty/copying-lib.texi.  The former is
> *not* a direct copy of the standard FSF gpl.texi, it has local Texinfo
> changes to facilitate generating a gpl.7 manpage - and those must be
> merged in rather than discarded when gpl.texi is updated.

> There are six copies of COPYING and four of COPYING.LIB in the GCC tree.
> Of these, libjava/classpath/COPYING and libjava/libltdl/COPYING.LIB
> appear to come from imported components maintained elsewhere, and
> therefore should be updated as part of updates of those components from
> upstream.

For the code that's under LGPL, there is some concern in some circles
(Debian, for instance) that the LGPLv3 may be incompatible with the GPLv2,
which means that relicensing LGPLv2 code to LGPLv3 may prevent that code
from being used with code that is GPLv2-only (without the later version

This isn't the place to discuss whether that's nonsense or not, and I
completely understand if people want to move forward regardless, but since
I first became aware of that myself yesterday, I wanted to mention it just
in case it's a reason to hold off on LGPL changes until that question can
be sorted out conclusively.

I'm happy to take any discussion of the concerns behind this off-list;
again, discussing whether this concern is true or not is almost certainly
off-topic on these mailing lists.  I just wanted to raise it as a possible
reason to delay the LGPL portions of GCC until more people can wrap their
heads around the impact of the license change and understand how it will
affect their software.

It's still pretty early in that process, and I expect that various
projects outside of the direct FSF fold are still working on official
positions on GPLv3 and LGPLv3.

Russ Allbery (             <>

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