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Re: Artistic and LGPL compatibility in jar files

Hi Anthony!
On Sat, 19 Dec 2009 22:46:16 +0000, "Anthony W. Youngman" <debian@thewolery.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>>Ah, so you changed your position. Well, it doesn't matter whether the
>>license grant is part of the work or not. If it is, it can be modified
>>according to GPL. If it is not, GPL doesn't require to distribute it.

> Let's assume the GPL doesn't require it to be distributed.
> So you distribute a copy of my code, and a copy of the GPL. What right 
> does your recipient have to distribute my code? They have two separate 
> works, the GPL and my code, and NOTHING to link the two.
> So they can't distribute my code, because they have nothing that says 
> they can. They have nothing that says the GPL that you gave them applies 
> to the code (mine) that you gave them.

Looks like they either don't have right to distribute your code or 
have it but don't know about it. To me, the former seems more probable 
if take the position that a license is a contract, the latter 
otherwise. Not sure I want to dig into it right now (or ever:).

Both outcomes are undesirable so the explicit requirement of GPL to 
preserve references to GPL is important. It's not bullet-proof though.
Sources could lack any references to licenses at all -- the license 
could be granted on a web-page, in an email or personally. (It's an 
interesting question how much legal force have such grants but that's 
a separate question.) In this case GPL seems not to require to pass 
a license grant. Hm, even a license grant in a separate README is 

>>GPL itself requires to keep intact all notices stating that GPL
>>applies to the code. So no problem here.

> Ah! Keep *intact* *all* notices stating that the GPL applies to the 
> code.
> So you would argue that, for example, changing my statement that "GPLv2+ 
> applies" to "GPL v3 applies" is keeping *all* notices *intact*?
> I'd describe that as butchering my notices, actually :-)

This is very dependent on the form and the place of the notices. If 
the license grant is like this:

  This program can be used under GPLv3.
  Alternatively, it can be used under BSD.

it can be seen as two separate notices and the section 4 of the 
GPLv3 permits to strip the second part. If you release your code with 
a notice on a web page saying "this code [link] is licenced as 'GPL 
version 2 or later'" then GPLv3 doesn't say that this license grant 
must be added to the Program's source code.

But wait, GPLv3 actually permits to modify a license notices:

    5. Conveying Modified Source Versions.

    You may convey a work based on the Program, or the modifications to
  produce it from the Program, in the form of source code under the
  terms of section 4, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:


      b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is
      released under this License and any conditions added under section
      7.  This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to
      "keep intact all notices".

So GPLv3 permits to delete all previous notices about any licenses and 
add new "prominent notices" about GPLv3 only.

> You got me on a couple of points, 

I agree:-)

> I think I've got you on this one :-)

I disagree:-)

>>Actually I'm also convinced now (more or less) that it's NOT a grey
>>area. Everybody preserves full license grants for upstream
>>dual-licensed projects just because it's The Right Thing, not because
>>it's legally required. And this is a feature, not a bug.
>>It's quite in line with the section 7 of GPLv3:
>>    When you convey a copy of a covered work, you may at your option
>>  remove any additional permissions from that copy, or from any part of
>>  it.
>>BTW, Mozilla tri-license boilerplate also explicitly spells it out:
>>  http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/boilerplate-1.1/mpl-tri-license-txt
>>  Alternatively, the contents of this file may be used under the terms of
>>  either the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later (the "GPL"), or
>>  the GNU Lesser General Public License Version 2.1 or later (the "LGPL"),
>>  in which case the provisions of the GPL or the LGPL are applicable instead
>>  of those above. If you wish to allow use of your version of this file only
>>  under the terms of either the GPL or the LGPL, and not to allow others to
>>  use your version of this file under the terms of the MPL, indicate your
>>  decision by deleting the provisions above and replace them with the notice
>>  and other provisions required by the GPL or the LGPL. If you do not delete
>>  the provisions above, a recipient may use your version of this file under
>>  the terms of any one of the MPL, the GPL or the LGPL.

> Notice that this gives you EXPLICIT PERMISSION to edit the licence grant 

I think this "explicit permission" is just an explanation of what is 
already there and not some additional permission.

> - permission which is notably lacking from the GPL.

Example from the section 7 of the GPLv3 is above.

Alexander Cherepanov

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