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Re: GPL v2/v3 ?



On Sat, 8 Mar 2008 01:08:45 +0100 Adam Borowski wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 08, 2008 at 12:36:40AM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> > 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
> 
> Or, alternatively:
> 
> A) GPL v2 + _permission_ to link/combine with (otherwise incompatible) GPL
>     v>2 code other than AGPL (any version)
> B) GPL v3 + permission ...
> C) GPL vX + permission ...

Well, if you mean this, then you're proposing to grant permission to
link/combine with pretty anything (GNU AfferoGPL v3 included[1]), thus
destroying one of the key features of the copyleft mechanism.
If you're really suggesting this approach, you could well suggest
releasing under the Expat/MIT license[2][3]: the result would not be so
far away from what you propose...

[1] you're probably excluding only AfferoGPL v1, but you are including
licenses that are far worse than AfferoGPL v1...
[2] http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt
[3] please note that I have nothing against the Expat license:
I published several works under those terms (basically, whenever I don't
feel a copyleft is appropriate or desirable)

> 
> The set of allowed actions is strictly greater than if the license was GPL
> v2 only.

It is *much* greater than the set allowed by GPL v2 only!
Depending on your opinion on copyleft, this could be seen as a flaw or
as a merit...

[...]
> > 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.
> 
> I would say that the interactions of sections 13 and 14 are pretty unclear. 
> I'm not sure whether it's a restriction or selective extra permission.  At
> least, section 13 ("you may upgrade to AGPLv3") would trump 14 ("you may
> upgrade to later versions if permitted") if its initial words didn't state
> "Notwithstanding any other provision of this License".  As it is, it's
> unclear.  Are we permitted to cherry pick later license versions, or are
> "=X" and ">=X" the only options?

My understanding is that Section 13 is a permission that is granted
whenever GPL v3 is included in the set of selectable licenses: "v1 or
later", "v2 or later", "v3 or later", "v2 or v3", "v3 only", "v1 or v2
or v3" are all examples of GPL licensing schemes that grant permission
to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL v3 licensed works.

Hence, if you choose to license your work under the terms of the GNU GPL
v3, you cannot avoid granting permission to link/combine with GNU
AfferoGPL v3 licensed works.

This is one of the reasons why I say that the GNU GPL v3 implements a
broken copyleft...

> 
> > The compatibility with the GNU AfferoGPL v3 would *not* be avoided.
> 
> Having a lot more knowledge than me, you're probably right

I may well be wrong, I'm just explaining my understanding of the
topic...
And my usual disclaimers still apply: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

> -- but merely
> stating your (the copyright holder's) wishes is worthy enough, even if it
> doesn't give a sure position in a court.

This is generally true, but, in the present case, you're proposing to
state the copyright holder's wishes in a self-contradictory way: on the
one hand you grant permission to link/combine with GNU AfferoGPL v3
licensed works (since you release a work under the terms of the GNU GPL
v3, which includes a clause having this effect), on the other hand you
express a somewhat confused exclusion of any AfferoGPL licensed work...

This leaves the work in a rather unclear state: if Section 7 of GPL v3
didn't include the above outlined rule that "further restrictions" may
be safely dropped, we could even end up with a non-valid license (at
least for the option based on GPL v3)...


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