GPLv3's secretive Additional Terms

Wilson, Andrew andrew.wilson at
Sat Apr 24 00:20:28 UTC 2010

Chris Travers wrote:

> This would allow reasonable legal notices to be used to effect
> non-removable license grants (absent changes which address #2 above)
> for specific copyrighted portions, for example:
> "Copyright (C) 2010 Chris Travers.  Licensed under the GNU General
> Public License (GPL) version 3 or, at your option any later version,
> with the additional permission granted to link, via this file, to
> OpenSSL, and the additional restriction to reproduce this copyright
> and permission notice in any subsequent version of the file."

Chris, I don't believe this language is GPLv3 compliant because of your
restriction requiring verbatim reproduction of your permission.  Section 7 says

        When you convey a copy of a covered work,
        you may at your option remove any additional permissions
        from that copy, or from any part of it.

which contradicts your restriction.  Call me a literalist, but I think
"remove any additional permissions" means a downstream recipient may /remove/
permissions, not /add/ new restrictions which have the effect of countering
additional permissions in underlying code.  That way lies madness.

A better formulation might be

        Copyright (c) 2010 Chris Travers.  Licensed under the GNU General Public
        version 3 or, at your option, any later version.

        Chris Travers grants you an additional permission under Section 7 of the
        GNU General Public License, version 3, permitting you to link this
        work with OpenSSL.

putting your additional permission out in the open where it can be stripped by
a downstream user so inclined.


Andy Wilson
Intel open source technology center

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