[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Plan to release a gplv3 compliant debian-based release

On 07/06/2013 02:14 AM, Philipp Kern wrote:

On 2013-07-05 17:38, Uoti Urpala wrote:

The reason I replied wasn't so much to comment on the historical licensing of the kernel (it's old enough to not matter much now anyway), but to comment on the legal argument that was the core of
Linus's post you linked to. He claimed that including the contents
of GPL-2 in a "COPYING" file with no explicit license statements
had always placed the code under GPL v2-only. I think he's wrong.
And this actually matters for other projects. Linux is not the only
project that had no explicit license statements at some point in
its history, and such an interpretation would prevent adding
per-file copyright statements with "or later" without full
contact-all-contributors relicensing - and most projects do NOT
want to be trapped at one particular version.

I'd assume that the default would be "All Rights Reserved" and in no
way "or later".

As quoted in Alan's post, the plain text of the GPLv2 is that "If the
Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may
choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.".
Including that certainly seems sufficient to override whatever default
would otherwise exist.

Linus was claiming that including the text of the GPLv2 in a COPYING
file, and not mentioning a license version anywhere else, is sufficient
to specify a version number of the License. Alan was disagreeing, and
providing arguments to support that disagreement; IIRC, he later
indicated that this was based on having once discussed that exact
subject with a lawyer.

Lawyers can be wrong, of course, and different lawyers (and judges) may
disagree on such points - but the argument does apparently at least pass
the laugh test well enough to be taken seriously. Alan's (and Uoti's)
point seems to have been to warn people about that fact, and thereby
warn them about the potential pitfalls of relying on the legal
interpretation that Linus was using.

   The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

Every time you let somebody set a limit they start moving it.
  - LiveJournal user antonia_tiger

Reply to: