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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

paul cannon <pik@debian.org> a tapoté :

> > As long as RMS live, it can't.
> I can't find any information on FSF's organization or bylaws, but I
> understand the IRS requires non-profit 501(c)(3) corporations to have
> approved articles of organization. I don't expect that the FSF's says
> anything like "As long as Richard Stallman is alive, he must always be
> in complete control of this organization."
> Although, knowing RMS, I could be wrong. Anyway, he won't live forever,
> will he?

Statistically, he may disappear someday.

> I think RMS has done a great deal of good, but he's not
> all-powerful. I hope that it can be demonstrated that no hostile
> persons could ever take control of the Foundation or its assets, but
> I don't know enough about relevant law to understand how that could
> be ensured.
> Since you seem to know, would you care to elaborate?

As the FSF seems to be working now, I wonder how hostile persons could
take control of Foundation as RMS's position seems unbreakable.

Without him, things are more unsettled. To be honest, I have no
strict guarantees that the FSF cannot change but I hope that if
someday the FSF disregard the GNU project and the Free Software
definition promoted by RMS, people will change their distribution
policy (software distributed under the GPL v2 and later version until
the GPL vCorrupted) and will claim the GPL vCorrupted not to be a
valid GPL in the spirit of the previous versions, not applicable to
their software.

If this hypothetical new GPL vCorrupted is more restrictive than the
GPL v2, there's no reason to care about. A contrario, if this
hypothetical new license is less restrictive, forgetting to protect
authors as the GPL those authors picked, I think they should be able
to sue people that would be trying to use/distribute the software
under the terms of this corrupted new license.

I'm not a lawyer, it would be interesting to get an answer about it
from licensing@gnu.org.

> > The advantages of the "or any later version" is bigger than the
> > possibility of such a GPLv4, IMHO.
> What are those advantages?

If you write a GPL v2 only software, you'll have to edit every headers
of your software's files once the GPL v3 will be published.
Worse, if you stop maintaining your software or if you die, your code
may become incompatible with the latest GPL version, people will not
be able to distribute a software with some part of your work under the
GPL v3 only.

And, if we forget the horrid scenario at the beginning of this
message, there's no problem with it.


Mathieu Roy
  Not a native english speaker: 

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