Redefining GPL?

Michael Bernstein webmaven at
Thu Nov 30 06:23:20 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-11-29 at 22:00 -0800, Danese Cooper wrote:
> Michael,
> As the GPL is written and maintained by the Free Software Foundation  
> (, you will get quickest results by taking your concerns  
> to them.  They have a full-time staff that works with GPL violators.   
> Be advised however that the current draft of GPLv3, which has been  
> through several drafts this year and is expected to be final sometime  
> next year, includes an additional trigger to close the loophole that  
> "performance" of code on a webserver might not be considered  
> distribution.  In other words, RMS might agree with them that this at  
> least is a reasonable modification.

I am aware of the GPLv3 drafts and the Affero GPL precursor, but this is
different in the following ways:

Unlike Affero, they didn't ask for permission to modify the GPL.

Unlike the GPLv3 draft, this does not close the loophole by requiring
that users be able to download the modified code, but by requiring the
modifications be submitted to the original author. Similar requirements
have caused the OSI to reject licenses in the past.

And, as I noted, they are misusing the OSI's logo by using it as an
endorsement to publicize their release under the
modified-without-authorization (and therefore non-OSI approved) license.

If you still think that the FSF is the right place (due to the license
copyright violation) to go next, that's what I'll do.

- Michael R. Bernstein

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