GPLv3's secretive Additional Terms

Chris Travers chris at
Thu Apr 22 16:48:19 UTC 2010

2010/4/22 Dag-Erling Smørgrav <des at>:
> opensource.*.nwo at writes:
>> As for secretive, nothing explains why didn't they at least devoted a whole
>> question to permissions vs. restrictions and detailed explanations of
>> a-e.
> The explanation is very simple: nobody (except you, apparently) has ever
> needed to have it explained to them.

That's hardly fair.  I remember a great deal of lively and informative
discussion on this list between Richard Fontana and myself.  Read
literally and strictly, this section renders the GPL v3 incompatible
with any version of the BSD license but everyone agrees that's not
what it actually does.  So of course it's natural that folks are going
to be confused by it :-)

As I say, trying to come up with a generic mechanism for license
compatibility is a hard problem, and quite frankly one where I am not
aware of a lot of precursors, so it's normal that there's going to be
a great deal of confusion, difficulty, and undesired side effects.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

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