[linux-elitists] The GPLV3 Position... (and a suggestion to Jon Corbet)

glen martin glenm@locutory.org
Tue Sep 26 14:17:14 PDT 2006

Greg KH wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 12:38:22PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
>> 1. The FSF has no power to force anyone to switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3
>>     on their own code.  We intentionally wrote GPLv2 (and GPLv1) so we
>>     would not have this power.  Software developers will continue to
>>     have the right to use GPLv2 for their code after GPLv3 is
>>     published, and we will respect their decisions.
> Isn't that nice, unfortuntatly they don't point out the fact that all
> the FSF owned code will be switching to GPLv3, which was one of our main
> points.  gcc, binutils, glibc and others will be changed causing a huge
> problem for all Linux distros and users.

So how does this work in the case of projects that have received
contributions?  v2 p9 sets up a scheme via which redistributors might
license works under the current or subsequent versions of GPL, if so
permitted by the original contributor. Or should that be 'contributors'?
If I contributed to gcc, can FSF relicense it without my permission?

My issue with v3 is that the goals and meaning are changing - it isn't
just a bug fix. But because it shares a name with the old, it can be
substituted for the old in a way that no other license can.

I mean: I can't take code licensed under GPL v2 and redistribute under
some other license of my choice. But I can redistribute it, modulo my
question about p9 above, under some new license of FSF's choice, which
may bear little or much similarity to the GPL v.2 the contributors
originally used. 

If FSF were bringing out a new license with the qualities that v3 has,
call it "ADPL" (anti-drm public license), I'd be fine with that. I may
not choose to use it. But calling this different license "GPL" is, to my
mind, a problem.


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