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Re: Linux and GPLv2

In message <[🔎] 200503131236.14322.skellogg@u.washington.edu>, Sean Kellogg <skellogg@u.washington.edu> writes
Missing from this discussion is a rather important aspect of this license...
the law.  If GPL v3 comes out with provisions that are even arguablly
different from GPL v2 there will be all sorts of grounds for developers to
strike out the 'or later' language from all prior grants of access to their

It is a matter of equity that is a) critical to any issue like this, and b)
all too often over looked by this list.  It is quite difficult for someone to
agree to terms they have not seen before.  More importantly, I don't see how
I could possibly agree to terms propagated by a body that does not have
privity in the contract (FSF).  Unless you have assigned your copyright over
to them (and may programs have) I don't think that language is going to be

And doesn't the GPL contain a promise that any future GPL will be identical in spirit to the original?

Of course, this assumes you actually want to take the matter to court...  an
act often prohibitively expensive for most FOSS developers...  but then
again, most of this conversation is academic anyway because it assumes people
will actually dislike v3 AND that there is infringement ABD that the
infringement is authorized under v3 but not v2.

If the new GPL breaks that promise, then the original licensor has a very good case in law that the new GPL is *not* a "later" version, but a "different" version to which the "or later" wording doesn't apply...


Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
HEX wondered how much he should tell the Wizards. He felt it would not be a
good idea to burden them with too much input. Hex always thought of his reports
as Lies-to-People.
The Science of Discworld : (c) Terry Pratchett 1999

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