Re: Hypothetical situation to chew on
On Tue, Jan 04, 2005 at 10:37:30PM +0000, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> I'm vaguely aware of a piece of software which contains both GFDL
> licensed material, and possibly code which was dropped in without
> actually checking the licence for compatibility with the GPL.
I'm not quite sure what you mean. Is there one work or two here? The
GFDL is GPL-incompatible, so is the "GFDL licensed material" part of
"code which was dropped in"?
> So here's a hypothetical situation; say the current upstream maintainer
> was to announce in a very public place, with Cc's to all known
> contributor e-mail addresses, his intent to change the licence of the
> code to GPL-2 (including documentation) and give a full list of
> everything that would fall under it. And then was to give a period (say
> 28 days) for objections to be raised.
> If none were raised, could they then change the licence?
No. You can't announce "unless you say otherwise, your copyrighted work is
now under this license".
I don't know if there are other means to relicense. There's been vague
talk of things like "joint works", and also talk of what rights an "editor"
can do. These have never been particularly well-explored, though: a means
to grant permissions without the original author's consent isn't something
most people here want to figure out a way to do, I assume. (If it's possible,
it's probably not a good idea to try without asking a lawyer.)