Question about the GPL v3

Richard Fontana fontana at
Fri Aug 17 00:06:48 UTC 2007

Chris Travers wrote:
> Though this may be a typo, it seems incredibly unclear to me:
> Section 5d:
> d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must display
> Appropriate Legal Notices; however, if the Program has interactive
> interfaces that do not display Appropriate Legal Notices, your work need
> not make them do so.
> Am I right that this amounts to:
> "If the work has ineractive user interfaces, Appropriate Legal Notices
> may not be removed though they may be updated as appropriate?"
> Here is my confusion.  THe first part says you must have these notices,
> but the second says that if you don't have these notices, you don't have
> to.
> Am I missing something obvious in the bounds of the license?  Is there
> any basis for any interpretation in the license or outside?

It's possible that you're confused about the usage of "Program" and
"work" here. "The Program" is a term of art in GPLv[23], meaning the
work *as you received it* (that is, without further modification by
you).  In section 5 of GPLv3, references to "the work" or "your work"
are shorthand for "the new work you created by modifying the Program".

Richard E. Fontana
Software Freedom Law Center
tel. 212-461-1909
fax  212-580-0898

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