Licensing options for firmware

Ian Jackson ijackson at
Tue Apr 5 16:14:43 UTC 2005

Dave  J Woolley writes ("RE: Licensing options for firmware"):
> 	[DJW]  [ off list - too many legal notices ] 

Eh ?  I've added the list back onto the CC list.

> > You could write a requirement in the licence that the firmware be
> > field-upgradeable.  For example, you could use the GPL but attach an
> [DJW]  
> You cannot do that as the GPL specifically forbids additional
> restrictions.  The GPL is also copyright and you cannot use it
> as the basis of another licence without the FSF's explicit consent.

The FSF's copyright on the licence cannot prevent statments of the
  The licence on this program is the GPL v2 with the following
  amendments: after section 3, add ...

The resulting modified-GPL licence can exist even if assembling the
text of it would be a violation of the FSF's copyright on the GPL

Such a licence is indeed incompatible with the unmodified GPL, as I
said in my last mail.

The FSF's reasons for, and methods for, opposing variants on the GPL
are very sensible, I think.  But it is in rare cases appropriate to
vary the licence terms for a particular program.


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