GPL v3

Wilson, Andrew andrew.wilson at
Thu Jan 26 01:29:35 UTC 2006


Matthew Seth Flaschen wrote:

>> Au contraire, my guess is that soon after there is a final GPL v3,
>> bulk of FSF/GNU code will be relicensed v3-only (and this is a lot of
>> code).
>> Remember, they can do this far more easily than many other projects,
>> since FSF requires assignment of copyright.
> They would never revoke the GPL v2 license on existing code.  People
> be right that this is technically allowed under the law (though from 
> what I understand this isn't certain) , but it isn't the FSF's style. 
> They generally do not take back freedoms given. They will immediately 
> start licensing new code as GPL v3 only, eventually making code FSF
> using only GPL v2 or lower obselete and essentially making people
> with GPL v3.

Agreed.  You'll note I didn't say "revoke GPL v2 licenses."
Existing FSF code distributed under GPL v2 will continue to be validly
licensed.  However, I'm FSF will propagate (their preferred new term ;-)
v3 through their own code base as quickly as possible, and, as noted,
since they own the copyrights, no negotiation with 3rd parties will be
required.  I'm sure the Gawk script for changing all (c) notices
in FSF sources to "GPL version 3 or later" has already been

Andy Wilson
Intel Open Source Technology Center

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