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Re: What does "most recent GPL" mean?

On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 09:16:48 +0100 Francesco Poli wrote:

> The point is: which version(s) of the GNU GPL?
> This is not clear at all, IMO.  And I had confirmation from the FSF
> that the license statement is confusing...

BTW, what follows is the full quotation of the response I had from the
FSF, forwarded in public with permission.

On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 16:19:34 -0500 Brett Smith wrote:

> Dear Francesco,
> I'm very sorry for the late response to this message.  Because we are
> a non-profit organization with very limited resources, we are always
> working hard to keep up with new questions.
> Your e-mail raises a number of issues; I've addressed them
> individually below.
> On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 05:37:08PM -0500, Francesco Poli via RT wrote:
> > The program claims to be licensed as follows:
> > 
> > | License: 
> > | Most recent version of the GPL.
> > 
> > What does this mean?
> I simply cannot provide an answer to this question.  I could offer a
> number of reasonable guesses, with have no reason to say that any
> given one is better than another.  If you really need an answer to
> this, the best you can do is contact the original licensor(s) and ask
> them.
> > Assume I download the program now: I get it under the terms of GNU
> > GPL v2.
> > What will happen as soon as GPL v3 is out in its final form?
> > Will I still be able to exercise the rights granted by GPL v2 on my
> > copy of the program?
> > Or does it automagically become licensed under GPL v3?
> The license statement is ambiguous on this point, and you are correct
> to be concerned about this.
> > Is this a valid license statement at all?
> I'm not a lawyer, so I can't legitimately say whether or not such a
> statement is legally valid.  However, the FSF considers this sort of
> statement problematic for a number of reasons, and I have already
> discouraged a number of developers from adopting similar terms for
> their own programs.
> If you really want to use this software, again, I encourage you to
> contact the original licensor(s) for clarification.  If you could
> encourage them to clarify their terms, I would very much appreciate
> it; we'd be happy to discuss the issue with them directly, if they'd
> like.  Feel free to pass on this e-mail address to them.
> If you have further questions, please let me know.
> Best regards,
> -- 
> Brett Smith
> Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation
> Please note that I am not an attorney.  This is not legal advice.

 Need to refresh your keyring in a piecewise fashion?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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