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

Re: A possible GFDL compromise

Quoting Branden Robinson (branden@debian.org):
> On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 02:44:57AM +0100, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> > Ya know, I was always sure that "or (at your option) any later version"
> > header people blindly add to their source would turn out to be a Bad
> > Thing.
> > 
> > Imagine... GPLv3 with Invariant Sections... Microsoft take Linux and add
> > a bunch of code to it, maybe something really handy like the ability to
> > run Win32 apps natively.
> Won't happen with "Linux" -- please review the license applied to the
> Linux kernel.  It's missing a certain phrase.

"...or (at your [the recipient's] option) any later version."  The fact
that "your" refers to the _recipient_ means that Scott's worst-case
scenario of FSF issuing a screwball GPLv3 is not a serious concern
_even_ for work whose licence grants include the quoted phrase.

For example, consider the effect of an invariant-sections GPLv3 on
Samba, whose GPLv2 licence grant includes the quoted phrase.  Recipients
of extant Samba versions would then have the _option_ of accepting Samba
instances under silly licence terms -- or GPLv2 ones.  Forks could be
launched under the silly terms, but who'd want to?  And the next official
Samba release after that would probably omit the option phrase -- while
not accepting contributions under those other terms.

The same analysis applies to all other codebases that use the option
phrase.  And that, in turn, provides FSF a strong incentive not to fool 
too dramatically or hastily with GPL direction.  (Indeed, they've been
very cautious.)

(See also:  Affero Licence, http://www.affero.org/oagf.html )

Cheers,                                         kill -9 them all.               
Rick Moen                                       Let init sort it out.           

Reply to: