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Re: GPL "or any greater version"

On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 10:45:28PM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> writes:
> > On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 09:32:51PM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> >> No, because it specifically says that it's at *my* option -- the
> >> recipients -- both in the grant "GPL v2 or, at your option, any later
> >> version" and in GPL 9.
> >
> > The question isn't what permissions you can use; it's which permissions
> > *you must grant* to others.  That is, is not granting permission to use
> > newer versions of the GPL--which is, essentially, a restriction--a violation
> > of GPL #6?
> No, it's not essentially a restriction -- it's a failure to grant a
> permission, which is different.  GPL 2 says only that I must

The "All rights reserved" license (no permissions) fails to grant
permission to distribute modified works.  It's equivalent to a
restriction prohibiting them--just sides of a coin.

The GPL prohibits applying extra restrictions, which implies that you
also may not fail to grant permissions it grants, at least implicitly.

This is usually nice and clear, but it gets confusing with GPL#9, where
permissions/restrictions may or may not be granted.  It's less clear
how that granting of permission interacts.

Hopefully we all at least understand both sides of the argument.  I
don't have a strong opinion right now; I think I generally agree with
you, but for slightly different reasons--I don't consider the "at your
option" text to be critical, but rather the fact that the "or any
later version" grant isn't actually part of the license text that GPL#6
seems to talk about.  (It's usually part of the copyright statement.)

Glenn Maynard

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