Re: GPL "or any greater version"
> >> Section 9 simply does not give the right to choose any version of the
> >> GPL other than what is specified by the copyright holder.
Raul Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > [Which means what, in the context of gcc?]
On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 09:00:00AM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> That the FSF can change the terms under which they distribute gcc, but
> not the terms under which they distribute my modifications.
Are you claiming?
[a] that the 'or later versions' statement is meaningless, because we
can only be sure it applies to the original version of gcc, and not to
any subsequent versions, or
[b] you have some special right to change the terms under which gcc
is distributed and no one else has that right, or
[c] your changes to gcc are not a part of gcc, and that you're
not distributing them as such.
> > You seem to be claiming that the GPL implicitly allows the constraint
> > "no future versions of the GPL may be used" as if that constraint were
> > written into the license (see section 8 for an explicit example of this
> > kind of language).
> I think it's explicit in the phrase "this License" in GPL 2b -- that I
> must provide my modifications under that license, and may provide
> under others if I choose. I don't see any compulsion to grant the
> copyright holder or others the ability to treat my modifications which
> say "GPL v2" as if they said "GPL v>=2"
But "this license" includes the options in section 9, and you're claiming
that other recipients of gcc can't exercise those rights. Furthermore,
you're claiming this for a case where the program includes statements of
the form 'GPL v2 or later versions'. What I want to know is the basis
this claim of yours.
How are you releasing gcc with those statements intact and yet invalid?
How, specifically, are you preventing others from using GPL v3. Are they
just supposed to know that you think they shouldn't? Are you introducing
contradictory more restrictive copyright claims into the program [maybe
"this program is distributed under the terms of GPL v2 or later, except
for characters 13907-41228 in foo.c which can only be distributed under
the terms of GPL v2, and anyone who updates this program has the legal
obligation to update the above notice so it stays accurate"]?
Or let's just consider "this program can be distributed under the terms
of GPL v2 or later, except for foo.c which can only be distributed
under the terms of GPL v2". On the one hand, you might claim that this
additional claim isn't a restriction beyond the original terms. But that
would mean that the contained code can be freely combined with the rest
of the code of that program. Which means there's no need to leave it
in foo.c. So, now someone can just take the code out of foo.c and stick
it in some other file, leaving the empty foo.c with your restrictions
and leaving the rest of the code under GPLv2 or later versions. "Oh",
but you claim "that's not legal". So now you claim to have imposed on
GPL v2 a restriction on moving code from one file to another. "No",
you claim, "they only have to keep the copyright notice intact".
Which leaves me wondering: does "keep the copyright notice intact" mean
that everyone is required to update notices in an ever more complicated
fashion as code is updated, or does it just mean not changing them
except in some trivial fashion [such as including them on new media,
as everyone who distributed using new media is required to do that]?
[My bet would be on the latter.]
So... let's not have me making stuff up that seems to fit what you've
said. Instead, let's see an actual gcc patch that doesn't restrict what
users can do beyond the restrictions contained in the terms of GPL v2
but still keeps them from using versions of the GPL later than v2.
> > Unlike some other people, you're not claiming that anyone other than the
> > copyright holder can impose such a constraint (which means I don't have
> > to bring in section 6).
> GPL 6 only applies to the original work. Looking at GPL 6 in the case
> of distribution of a modified work, I see the following as a
> reasonable restatement:
> When distributing a modified work, the recipient receives a license
> from the author of the original, unmodified program. The distributor
> cannot impose any restrictions on that license.
And if you could just modify the GPL to get rid of section 2, this
might be an important distinction.
> As I've said several times, it's the "public" part, ensuring
> propagation of the license on the original. It doesn't say anything
> about the license on my modifications, which is only mentioned in GPL 2.
But since the license is self referential (all those "this license"
statements), considering section 6 in the absence of section 2 is
a moot point.
Except, of course, since section 9 allows users to consider later versions
of the GPL as "this license", you can always hope for some future version
of the GPL which leaves out section 2.
> > However, you do seem to be ignoring section 4. Or can you show me how
> > "except as expressly provided under this License" allows for implied
> > terms which are not written into the license?
> I don't think this has anything to do with implied terms which are not
> written into the license -- and certainly nothing to do with GPL 4.
Ok, so let's see an actual gcc patch that doesn't restrict what users
can do beyond the restrictions contained in the terms of GPL v2 but
still keeps them from using gcc under versions of the GPL later than v2.