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Re: Final text of GPL v3

Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
And as I see it, if I say "My program is licenced under GPLv3 with the following exceptions ...", if the user ignores the exception, they have broken the terms I set for them to use the program, and the GPL doesn't apply, so they can't take advantage of the clause allowing them to remove the exception ...

This seems to suggest that the terms that you wrote explicitly have some special trumping value over the terms in the text of the GPL itself. I don't think that's true.

Here's a thought experiment:

Suppose I wrote some software, and wrote it to a CD, erasing all other copies. I then wrote out, in longhand, the text of the GPLv3 on paper, and attached it to the CD, and gave it to you. This software would clearly be under the GPLv3, and you could redistribute it under those terms.

Now suppose the same situation, except that I also wrote an extra restriction at the bottom: "Also, if you copy and distribute this code, you must send me a postcard."

Now, a bit of the text I wrote out in my own handwriting earlier says that if I put any extra restrictions on, you can ignore them. I quite clearly wrote that you can - it's there, in my own handwriting. So you can surely choose to do exactly that.

Why does the same logic not apply when the text of the GPLv3 was not typed out or written by you, but just added to your software distribution?

Now, if I specifically disclaim section 7 in my additional text, then that's perhaps different. But that would just demonstrate that my intent was to confuse :-)

At the end of the day, the intentions of the licensor are important, and if those intentions are made explicitly clear, it's a bit difficult for the GPL to contradict them.

But the GPL _is_ the intent of the licensor. You know this, because they start with "I license this code under the terms of the GPL(v3)..."


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