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Re: gcc-4.1-20080303 is now available
> What exactly is the downside to upgrading the license? I'm not
> familiar with the implications of doing so.
As I understand it, the concern is that many distros use the 4.1 branch
as the base for their main gcc system compiler. If suddenly the branch
gets upgraded to GPLv3 that means they can no longer benefit from
backported fixes that get put on the branch since distros also tend to
have a number of local out-of-tree patches that are not necessarily
GPLv3. The whole point of keeping an old release branch open would be
specifically to make their lives easier, but instead you'd be
multiplying the amount of work they'd have to do. Now they must choose
between: a) ignoring all backports past the last GPLv2 point on the
branch, b) separately reimplementing each backport as a GPLv2 patch, or
c) auditing their whole local tree and deleting/reimplementing anything
not GPLv3 compatible. It's an especially futile idea when the sole
reason for doing the v3 update is to be able to cut a final release off
the branch and then close it. But anyone that wants the code on the
branch can easily just check it out or use a snapshot, there's no need
to go to all the trouble just to make a release.