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Re: upstream changing from GPL-2+ to GPL-3+ without copyright holders permission

* Ian Jackson:

>> In general, I agree.  But there might be cases that are less
>> clear-cut.  For example, if the upgrade from GPLv2+ to GPLv3+ is used
>> to gain permission to combine the work with an AGPL work, especially
>> if this is done in an "open core" context.
> Florian, are you still answering the legal question ?  Because I don't
> see how these kind of considerations (eg, the reaason for the licence
> upgrader's choice, or the business model of the original authors)

I meant that someone might tru to turn the GPLv3 deriviate into some
“open core”-like thing.

> could make much of a legal difference.  So I think if you intended to
> answer the legal question then I completely disagree with you.

My point is that authors may have chosen GPLv2+ licensing explictly
because of its strong copyleft, and the project documentation reflects
that.  Arguably, the FSF has weakened copyleft protection in some
areas with the GPLv3, and it is absolutely not clear what the
resulting license conditions are if the author said both “GPLv2+” and
“strong copyleft” before the publication of the GPLv3.

> I think taking proprietarised GPL service code, and making significant
> enhancements under an AGPLv3+ licence, is a Good Thing.  Even if it
> upsets the original authors or the proprietary service operators.

You can also do the reverse: take free GPLv2+ code, make the
conglomerate effectively AGPLv3+, without a built-in source
redistribution facility, and then sell AGPLv3+ exemptions for
organizations who cannot comply with the AGPLv3+ requirements due to
the lack of built-in source code redistribution capabilities and a
requirement to configure the program through source code changes.

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