KInfoCenter rewrite in Kdereview

Adriaan de Groot groot at
Thu Apr 15 09:11:20 BST 2010

On Tuesday 13 April 2010 09:07:40 pm David Hubner wrote:
> On Monday 12 April 2010 22:28:38 Alex Merry wrote:
> > On Thursday 08 April 2010 23:26:20 David Hubner wrote:
> > > On Thursday 08 April 2010 21:13:40 Raphael Kubo da Costa wrote:
> > > > One has to be careful to check if the licenses don't end up being
> > > > incompatible with each other. For example, does the BSD-license code
> > > > use LGPLv3-only code? Is that ok?

The should-be-authoritative source for these questions is, the kde-licensing mailing 
list, or me (hopefully in that order, and kde-licensing is a very very low-
traffic list).

The LGPLv3 releases you from a number of requirements of the GPLv3 and 
requires you (clause 4d of the LGPLv3) to either provide the minimal 
corresponding source or use shared library linking. This means that a BSD-
licensed (remember, *2* or *3* clause license, no advertising clause) 
application can use an LGPLv3 library; the resulting binary must be shipped to 
comply with clause 4d of the LGPLv3 so it might have to include the minimal 
corresponding sources (i.e. the library source) even if the application itself 
has been proprietised.

> > > The LGPLv3 code uses BSD code, but i think it always has. I am not sure
> > > if this is OK. If someone from kde licensing could look at this i would
> > > be grateful.

Again, that's OK, but the BSD code is now part of the minimal corresponding 
source for the library *and* the obligation to include copyright holders names 
now applies to the library. (In the application case above, that requirement 
only holds for the app itself).

> > If you have both LGPLv3 code and BSD code in a file, that's fine, but
> > both licenses should be given at the start of the file, as I understand
> > it.  The file as a whole comes under the terms of the LGPLv3.  Put the
> > LGPLv3 header first, then something like "some code in this file is
> > licensed under the BSD license", and follow it with the header required
> > by the BSD license.

That is best practice indeed. Usually it's best to keep one file under one 
license (especially in the presence of file-based licenses like the MPL, but 
that's a case KDE doesn't need to worry about) for clarity, so if you could 
tease them apart in a useful way that would be best. Otherwise what Alex said: 
both license headers in standard form. I wonder if Krazy picks up on that?

> > Bear in mind that if the code is LGPLv3 (rather than v2+),

If it is LGPLv3 only then there's an issue between it and the licensing 
policy, which wants v2-or-later or v2-or-v3-or-ev-ok license texts.

> > I don't think
> > it can be compiled into the same application as LGPL or GPL v2 code.

You can mix and match LGPLv2 and LGPLv3 code as far as I know, because the 
requirements are for the minimal corresponding source of the library -- er, I 
should say that this may only work if the parts are compiled separately and 
then linked. Maybe that's what Alex says below. LGPLv3 and GPLv2 is a non-
starter (there's a convenient, if dated, compatibility matrix at but I haven't quickly found anything newer).

> > 
> > Dynamically linking it to LGPLv2 libraries is OK, though, of course.
> >
> > Alex
> Thanks, i shall look into this

Adriaan de Groot, vice president (legal affairs), KDE e.V.
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