Re: GPL, "license upgrades", and the obligation to offer source code
>With respect to authorization to accept contract terms, a court
>shouldn't honor a check that was blank when you signed it unless you
>endorsed it after it was filled in.
IIRC, they do honor them in the case of checks!
Writing a blank check is a bad idea, of course.
>Not if you protest promptly once
>you learn about them that you don't want to be bound by such terms.
Ah, yes, well, that may be a different case then.
Debian usually doesn't carry software where the author actually says "I didn't
mean to license it that way, it was a really big mistake," even when the
license is clear textually. That's only politeness; but if it were legal, it
wouldn't really be that bad.
I would generally expect 'upgrade clauses' to be used primarily for works by
vanished authors, and for works by authors whose copyright has passed to
third parties. As an author I can see a good case for explicitly allowing
the FSF to license my work under any license they like -- if I then plan to
sell my copyright to a corporation, which may later go bankrupt and get
bought by a litigation firm!
>Like the right to renegotiate the terms of a copyright license after a
>certain number of years, the right to decline terms that you haven't
>seen ought to be inalienable.
Only for the author, absolutely *not* for heirs, purchasers, or assignees!