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Re: RFH: GPLv3


On Jul 13, 2007, Nicholas Nethercote <njn@csse.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

> One way to view it:  the license is a feature.  Therefore changing the
> license is changing a feature.

Every release of GCC in the past decade (and then some) was GPLv2+.
GPLv3 has always been one of the options.

Anyone who had their heads in the sand for the past 18 months when
GPLv3 was being publicly discussed and developed, or wasn't at the GCC
Summit last year when I mentioned that the FSF would most certainly
want to upgrade the license of every project whose copyright it held
as soon as GPLv3 was ready, may indeed consider the license upgrade as
a surprising new feature.

But anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to do so, and GPLv3
shouldn't be a surprise for anyone who did, or even just watched it
from a distance.

Now, why should we weaken our defenses for the sake of those who
didn't plan for something that could have been so easily forecast 18
months ago, and that was even planned to be finished 4 months ago?
Heck, the last-call draft, published one month before the final
release, was so close to the final release that non-insider lawyers
who were on top of the process managed to emit solid opinions about
the final license the day after it was released.

It's those who didn't do their homework and didn't plan ahead for this
predictable upgrade who should be burdened now, rather than all of us
having to accept weaker defenses for our freedoms or facing additional
requirements on patches or backports.  It was all GPLv2+, and this
means permission for *anyone* to upgrade to GPLv3+.  The license
upgrade path is the easy path, and that's by design.

-- 
Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
FSF Latin America Board Member         http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}


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