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Re: RFH: GPLv3


Brooks Moses wrote:
Robert Dewar wrote:
One could of course just take a blanket view that everything
on the site is, as of a certain moment, licensed under GPLv3
(note you don't have to change file headers to achieve this,
the file headers have no particular legal significance in
any case).

I'm going to pull a Wikipedia and call "citation needed" on that parenthetical claim.


At the very least, the file headers are a clear representation as to what license the file is under, and IMO a reasonable person would expect to be able to rely on such a representation.

Actually, this is a good point. While the FSF may declare that all patches after Aug 1 are GPLv3, unless they take affirmative action to assert the copyright and license, courts may determine that they waive rights under these. Especially if a reasonable person would expect copyright statements to be correct.

Thus, I think there's a reasonable argument to be made that distributing a GCC with some file headers saying "GPLv2 or later" and some saying "GPLv3 or later" is violating the license. The FSF is allowed to violate their own license, since they hold the copyrights, but nobody else is -- thus, a corrolary to that argument is that an exact copy of such a GCC is not redistributable unless the redistributor fixes the file headers. That would be bad.

And, regardless of whether one accepts that argument, if I were to pull a file with a GPLv2 header out of a "GPLv3-licensed" svn and give an exact copy of it to my friend, I would have to remember to tell her that the file isn't licensed under what it says it's licensed under. That's also not good.

Yes, the situation seems chaotic and confusing. Not a good thing.


--
Michael Eager	 eager@eagercon.com
1960 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, CA 94306  650-325-8077


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