For Approval: GPLv3
chris at metatrontech.com
Thu Aug 30 16:57:42 UTC 2007
Actually, the GPLv3 may be better in terms of preserving additional
permissions than I had thought. This means that my OSD #9 concern
doesn't apply, and that the GPL3 may be more reasonable than a first (or
even third) reading may suggest.
So far many here seems to think that section 7 additional permission
removal requires sublicensing. The argument against an encumbrance
theory would seem to be that the permissions can be removed without any
changes being added. This poses one serious issue in reading the GPL3
which I want to bring up.
Section 2 of the GPL3 prevents sublicensing, and section 7 specifies
that additional permissions which affect the "work as a whole" are read
as included in the license. It also states that additional permissions
may be stated in the license itself. Thus it seems to me that GPL3 +
additional permissions cannot be reduced to GPL3 because of the
prohibition on sublicensing. It therefore seems possible that
additional permissions could be very difficult to remove in the absence
of modification to code.
Draft 1 allowed permissions to be removed when code was modified. This
would have had a very different effect because one could have simply
argued encumbrance rather than sublicensing.
If I add to my LICENSE.TXT a statement that says that a linking
exception exists for such an interface or file, it seems that nobody
could remove those except by permission of a copyright owner whose code
was in that interface (someone who had modified the code). In this
case, it would be sublicensing under the permission of a copyright
holder (not otherwise granted in the license). However, if the code was
publicly available, for example, in a public CVS or SVN repository prior
to the license being changed, people could fork at that point and
preserve the additional permissions.
This interpretation seems to be inline with the first draft, the
rationale document for the second draft, and other portions of the GPL3
None of this is a bad thing. The only problem is that the possibility
of multiple interpretations makes me concerned that it would result in
legal action. I have no problem with the approval of this license. I
do, however feel that we should *not* list the GPL2 as deprecated,
superceded, or otherwise out of date.
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