For Approval: GPLv3

Chris Travers chris at
Sun Aug 26 18:44:34 UTC 2007


Donovan Hawkins wrote:
> For some reason you have replied to your own email and slipped new 
> text into the middle without quoting the points I made in my reply to 
> this email. I cleaned up the quotes a bit to make it less confusing.

Sorry, the fault was mine.  I misread my mail headers and thought I had 
replied just to you. I then sent a second email just to the list.  Mea 
culpa ;-)
> And again, when I was almost done with this I came up with what may be 
> the point of confusion. If a BSDL program is released unmodified as a 
> GPL v3 program with no additional permissions, you are wondering what 
> happened to the BSD license that used to be attached to it? It's still 
> there...attached to the original. I, as the distributor, am under no 
> obligation to explicitly grant that license to you even though you are 
> trivially able to obtain that license for yourself regardless.
On what basis?  You are just distributing a work, not creating a 
derivative or any other work that would require permission of the 
original copyright owner outside of derivation?

How can you read the quotes other than "you may, at your option, remove 
other software licenses?" and that "you must extend this permission to 
all aspects of the Corresponding Source?" and even "you may remove other 
developers' linking exceptions?"

Now if this can be done solely through distribution, how is this even 
remotely related to copyrights on the works?

> All I am required to do is maintain the legal notification informing 
> you about the BSDL and its disclaimer.

Don't forget the copyright ownership of the file contents.  On what 
basis could you change the copyright ownership of the file without 
editing the contents aside from copyright/license notices?  Ie conveying 
the code does not create a derivative work or affect the copyright 
ownership of the code. 

What would such a notice removing permssions look like?  How could the 
BSDL be removed from a file which was merely included verbatem in the 
Corresponding Source?

Hence, how can you say that people can remove the addtional permissions 
of the BSDL files without adding some sort of protected copyright 
content to the work covered by that license?
> The fact that you could take the copy I distributed under GPL v3 and 
> use it under BSDL, even if I never granted you that right, is not 
> relevant.
How else can you "at your option, remove additional permissions?"

> It is simply a consequence of my copy being identical to the original 
> which was under BSDL, thus making my attempt to restrict it 
> meaningless. I was wasting my time when I attempted to restrict how 
> you used the code, but that doesn't make it illegal.

Look closely at the definition of additional permissions.  It includes 
other software licenses as additional permissions and says that they may 
be removed from any portion of the corresponding source.  You cant grant 
such a permission over BSDL code because this would require removing the 
condition list which is itself prevented under the license.

If it is really meaningless, why even have a clause extending these 
rights at all?  If nothing else, isn't it false advertising?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
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