[clug] What can't be distributed with Linux?

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Thu Mar 22 05:30:54 GMT 2007

On 22/03/2007, at 12:18 , David Tulloh wrote:

> Alex Satrapa wrote:
>> Is the software distributed under a GPL2+ Licence?
>>   yes) you can package it with your distribution
>>   no) you shouldn't package it with your distribution

> There goes Apache (apache licence), Vim (Vim licence), 'more' and  
> many other basic command line tools (BSD licence) and even the  
> linux kernel (strictly GPLv2 only).

Roxen is distributed under GPL, so you can use that instead of  
Apache. EMACS (Emacs?) is GPL. GNU utilities including "less" are GPL.

Alter my decision tree to "Is the software distributed under GPL or  
GPL2?". Fixed.

> I think if you actually checked, more of your Linux system is  
> running code that isn't GPL2+ than is.

Which means there are licences in the distribution that I'm using  
that aren't strictly compatible with the GPL2, and so you need to do  
a bachelor's degree in contract law (and possibly get a few years'  
experience under your belt) before you can really understand what  
impact those licences have on your rights and obligations as a  
distribution packager.

To me, it seems that simply using GPL2 as a filter for what gets to  
go into my distribution makes it so much easier to handle. One  
licence to rule them all, and to the distribution bind them.

Go read the "debian-legal" mailing list for a few years' of  
entertaining reading on the subject of compiling a distribution out  
of packages with non-compatible licences.


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