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Re: RFH: GPLv3


>Krzysztof Halasa wrote:
>> Michael Eager <eager@eagercon.com> writes:
>>
>>> Not until someone updates the txt.  Which should happen quickly,
>>> but if someone applies a GPLv3 patch to a previously GPLv2 branch,
>>> the entire branch becomes GPLv3, whether the COPYING file was
>>> updated or not.
>>
>> Come on, if the FSF (the copyright holder) distributes a program,
>> and if the included licence says GPLv2+, then the licence is GPLv2+
>> and you'll have a really hard time trying to convince anyone that
>> it's different.
>
>You asked if COPYING would be updated.  The answer is not necessarily.
>The COPYING text may say GPLv2+, but if there has been a GPLv3 patch
>applied to the branch, then the entire branch is GPLv3.

I struggle to believe this. Afaik a bunch of code is released under a
license, and nothing has the power to magically change that license. If
someone applies a GPLv3 patch to some GPLv2 code and releases the whole
under the GPLv2, then that person has broken copyright law and the release
is invalid (because the GPLv3 code has been released without a license),
but the rest of the GPLv2 code is still GPLv2. Or have I missed something
here? It sounds to me like the syntactic mischief Microsoft is playing when
it calls the GPL "viral" (note, I'm not suggesting that you are making
mischief, just that the implication is similar)!

>
>> BTW: the copyright holder is free to take a GPLv3 patch and
>> release it under GPLv2 (and any other licence).
>
>FSF is the copyright holder.  As of this time, they have said
>that they are not willing to release patches under GPLv2 for
>application to GPLv2 branches.  Mark has a proposal which would
>allow for that.
>

I think this misses a point: FSF is a copyright assignee, and I don't know
how that relates to "holding", but the person who wrote the patch is free
to dual-license without reference to the FSF. So as a completely fabricated
example: say in 6 months Richard Kenner makes a patch to (GPLv3) mainline
for a bug, and you want that patch to improve a GPLv2 product that you're
maintaining for one of your customers. You are free to ask Richard to
release that patch to you under GPLv2, and Richard is free to grant that
request.


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