GPL revokability

Ron Teitelbaum ron at
Tue May 10 13:21:59 UTC 2011

Hi Cinly,


Thank you  for your input.  Just for clarity in this case I would be the
recipient not the copyright owner.




From: Cinly Ooi [mailto:cinly.ooi at] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:04 AM
To: Ron Teitelbaum
Cc: license-discuss at
Subject: Re: GPL revokability


Dear Ron,

Until someone really try it in court, the debate will not be settled.

The practical guy in me, and most software community has this policy: If you
do not want me to use your code, then I will take it out, regardless of what
the license actually says. Most of the time, alternatives are available and
(in the case of larger project), it would not even be a hassle to write out
your code. But note that this is voluntary on the part of the recipients.

If the recipient really want to hold on to the code, then the copyright
holder has to sue. IANAL but I am sure the recipient is going to point out
that your license to him specifically said you had said that in the license,
you will not rescind the grant for him to use the copyrighted stuff under
dispute. You will have to get around this. Finally, I hope the judge and the
jury is likely to hold you to that.


On 10 May 2011 13:01, Ron Teitelbaum <ron at> wrote:

Hi all,


I saw this:

And this: (see: Holy Cow it is legal)
7899#c667903 as an explanation as to why irrevocable was added to v3.


I recently had a conversation with someone who said that you can apply GPL
and then revoke it later.


How settled is this question?  Is there anything new on this front that
isn't already covered by the articles above (i.e. since 2006).


Can you release something GPL and then revoke it such that people that
already received the license cannot continue to use it.


Thank you for your help!




Best Regards,

Don't bother with footer please. I don't read them and will not be bounded
by them.
It cannot be enforced legally anyway. If it can, then remember this: This
footer always triumph yours.

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