For Approval: GPLv3

Chris Travers chris.travers at
Tue Aug 28 06:26:14 UTC 2007

Hi Donovan;

I missed a word :-(

On 8/27/07, Donovan Hawkins <hawkins at> wrote:
> > I don't think anyone will argue that the same applies to software.  If I
> > include BSDL code into my program, I do so under the permission fromthe
> > License.  I do not acquire any copyrights to the code I include by doing
> so.

I don't think that anyone will argue that the saem doesn't apply to

Sorry :-)

> > For this reason, I have *no* idea what it means to, in the process of
> > conveying, remove additional permissions (section 7, second
> paragraph).  Such
> > a removal of permissions would either be meaningless (I try never to
> read a
> > contract or license that way if I can help it, and if this *is* the
> correct
> > reading, one runs into truth-in-advertising issues), it could be beyond
> the
> > scope of the copyright license (in which case it might be compatible
> with the
> > MS-PL), or it could be in conflict with every license out there by
> mandating
> > controls over copyright permissions that nobody else has the right to
> > mandate.
> I forget if GPL has a severability clause, but if it does then the latter
> interpretation wouldn't hurt anything because that would simply not occur.
> For the most part, the only affect that removing an Additional Permission
> really has is to do a bit of housecleaning on LICENSE.TXT, prevent
> possible confusion from people who think the permission applies to all the
> code, or allow someone to not have to mention by name a license they don't
> approve of.

There is another possibility too, as I think about it.  When a fork arises,
often one of the first items is to remove all trademarks, add new ones, add
new copyright statements (leaving the old ones in and dating the changes)
etc.  The idea is that one might want to essentially declare that any
further changes to code would be encumbered such that those permissions
would not be valid.

I suppose this is reasonable if it is the intent.  I just wish it were more
clear in the license itself.

Hmmm....  I suppose that a way around this is to use an additional term to
state that this license gives no trademark licenses and then issue a
separate trademark license which states what you aspects of the GPL3 you
cannot excersize without first removing the trademarks from the program.

This could include things like removing the trademarks from the program
*before* removing additional permissions.  Not that this is a bad thing-- it
is just complicated.

I think the FSF was concerned with people using Additional Permissions and
> Further Restrictions to mutate the GPL into a different license in a
> permanent way.

I have no problem with removing further restrictions.  They are the bane of
this license and fundamentally incompatible.

The ability to remove Additional Permissions and ignore
> Further Restrictions ensures that any copy of GPL v3, no matter how
> mutated, can be restored to the original GPL v3 in the next generation.

It still seems like something easy to convert to but hard to convert from.

They were afraid of someone coming in and releasing their derived works
> under GPL v3 plus a bunch of absurd permissions/restrictions that would
> keep any other developer from touching it, making it a worthless
> contribution to the community.

How can additional permissions (things you are *allowed* to do outside the
GPL) keep people from touching code?

> As a good example, imagine the "Additional Permission" to use all future
> derived works under BSDL.

That sounds like a restriction since it places obligations on further

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
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