GPLv3's secretive Additional Terms

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 22 14:14:01 UTC 2010

Luis Villa scripsit:

> > However, you run into a problem here trying to read the BSD license as
> > basically the GPL v3 plus additional permissions.  In essence, I don't
> > think you can simply chance the copyright on the otherwise-unchanged
> > BSD-licensed file by invoking section 7 of the GPL v3 (and Richard
> > Fontana from the SFLC has, in the past, opined as much on this list),
> > but that relicensing restriction is not in line with the additional
> > restrictions section either.
> Which relicensing restriction are you referring to here?

Not a specific restriction, but the general rule of copyright law that
Bob can't change the license on a verbatim copy of Alice's work, because
only Alice (the copyright owner) can do that.

If Bob makes a derivative work under license from Alice, then Bob is the
copyright owner of that work, and can use any license he likes, provided
it does not contradict any of the conditions imposed on him by Alice.

(If both Alice and Bob are contributors to a joint work, the law seems
to be, at least in the U.S., that either Alice or Bob may change the
license, provided the one who does will compensate the other for any
lost profits -- not really an issue for open-source works.  But most
people use the rule that both Alice and Bob must agree to the change.)

What is the sound of Perl?  Is it not the       John Cowan
sound of a [Ww]all that people have stopped     cowan at
banging their head against?  --Larry  

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