Re: GPLv2-only considered harmful
- To: Florian Weimer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cc: email@example.com
- Subject: Re: GPLv2-only considered harmful
- From: Ian Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 18:49:38 +0000
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Florian Weimer writes ("Re: GPLv2-only considered harmful"):
> ASL 2.0 compatibility is nice, but the GPLv3 also contains this clause
> which (in my opinion) substantially weakens its copyleft effect:
> | You may convey covered works to others for the sole purpose of
> | having them make modifications exclusively for you, or provide you
> | with facilities for running those works, provided that you comply
> | with the terms of this License in conveying all material for which
> | you do not control copyright. Those thus making or running the
> | covered works for you must do so exclusively on your behalf, under
> | your direction and control, on terms that prohibit them from making
> | any copies of your copyrighted material outside their relationship
> | with you.
> Several ISPs claim that the GPLv2 has a similar loophole and refuse to
> provide kernel sources for the router they give to you as part of the
> Internet service, so it's not just nitpicking.
These ISPs are simply wrong. They need to be reported to
gpl-violations and sat on by SFLC.
The whole Busybox v. Verizon lawsuit was about exactly this situation.
| On December 7, 2007 SFLC filed a lawsuit against Verizon
| Communications, Inc. alleging that Verizon had violated GPLv2 by
| distributing BusyBox in the Actiontec MI424WR MoCA wireless routers
| bundled with the FiOS fiber optic bandwidth service, without providing
| corresponding source code. A settlement announced on March 17, 2008
| included an agreement to comply with the GPL and an undisclosed sum
| paid to the plaintiffs.
> It makes me seriously doubt that the anti-Tivoization measures in
> the GPLv3 have any teeth at all.
The GPLv3 text you quote above clearly doesn't apply in this
situation. The ISP are not "[conveying the router firmware] for the
sole purpose of having [the customer] ... provide facilities for
running" the firmware.
Perhaps this is a question of English grammar. The only reasonable
parse of the text you quote is
You may convey covered works to others for the sole purpose
of having them
(a) make modifications exclusively for you, or
(b) provide you with facilities for running those works,
provided that [etc.]
Gramatically, "provide [something]" must be preceded (of the bits of
text available) by "you", "you may", or "having them". None of the
other fragments fit.
The least implausible alternative is:
X You may
X (a) convey covered works to others for the sole purpose
X of having them make modifications exclusively for you,
X (b) provide you with facilities for running those works,
X provided that [etc.]
i.e. "You may provide you with facilities".