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Re: GPL v2/v3 ?



On Fri, 7 Mar 2008 23:54:15 +0100 Adam Borowski wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 07, 2008 at 10:40:55PM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> >  o  if you want to slightly enhance compatibility with existing
> > licenses *and* you don't mind seeing your copyleft weakened by some
> > clauses of the GNU GPL v3, *but* you don't trust the FSF to publish
> > good future versions (v4, v5, ...) of the GNU GPL, then you may choose
> > a "v2 or v3" approach
> 
> I would call splitting the corpus of GPL software into incompatible parts
> something really bad.

Blame the FSF for publishing an unsatisfying GNU GPL v3.
Right now, I would be recommending everyone to switch to "v3 or later",
*if* the FSF had done a good job with the GPLv3 revision process.
Unfortunately, this didn't happen: the GNU GPL v3 is a
disappointing license, hence I don't recommend its adoption.

> What about a somewhat less paranoid option:  GPL2+noA
> (GPL v2 or any higher, except for licenses from the Affero branch).

Do you mean "GNU GPL v2 or later" + "the prohibition to link/combine
with GNU AfferoGPL v3"?

That would not work as intended, I think.

If I receive a work under that licensing scheme, I can choose between
the following options:
A) GPL v2 + "prohibition to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL v3"
B) GPL v3 + "prohibition to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL v3"
C) GPL vX + "prohibition to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL v3"
   where X is greater than 3

The GNU GPL v2 does not include any permission to link/combine with GNU
AfferoGPL v3, hence option A is equivalent to GPL v2.
On the other hand, the prohibition to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL
v3 is a non-permissive additional term with respect to GPL v3.  It is
not listed in Section 7, subclauses (a) through (f); hence it is a
"further restriction" from the GPL v3 point of view, and it may be
removed as per Section 7.  As a consequence, option B is equivalent to
GPL v3.
Option C is not yet available, since the FSF has not yet published any
GPL vX with X greater than 3.

In conclusion, it seems that your approach is roughly equivalent to a
"v2 or v3 or possibly[1] vX" approach.
The compatibility with the GNU AfferoGPL v3 would *not* be avoided.

[1] depending on how the prohibition will interact with future GPL
versions

> 
> You would leave a loophole, but that's FSF not Microsoft...

The FSF should not be trusted *just because it's the FSF*.
Something bad does not become less bad just because it comes from the
FSF rather than from Microsoft.


My usual disclaimers apply: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

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