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Re: RFH: GPLv3

Michael Eager <> writes:

> Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> > Mark Mitchell <> writes:
> >
> >> 2. GCC 4.2.1 will be the last GPLv2 release.  The FSF will permit
> >> backports from mainline to GCC 4.2.1, if necessary, to be downlicensed
> >> to GPLv2, as part of that release.
> > I believe that we should make a clear statement with that release
> > that
> > any future backport from a later gcc release requires relicensing the
> > changed files to be GPLv3 or later.  I believe this is consistent with
> > the two different licensing requirements, and I believe it is feasible
> > if inconvenient for vendors who distribute patched gcc releases.
> If I understand you, that means that backporting a fix from gcc-4.4
> to gcc-3.4 would suddenly make everything in gcc-3.4 fall under GPLv3.
> I understand that you may be talking about public branches, but
> there are (many) people who are currently using and maintaining
> previous releases.  The same rules would apply equally to private
> backports of patches.
> This would be chaotic.  Acme Co's version of gcc-3.4 might be GPLv2
> while MegaCorp's gcc-3.4 might be GPLv3.

Your understanding of what I am saying is correct.  I agree that this
is not ideal.  However, I do not see an alternative.  And you didn't
propose one.  I encourage you to think of one.

That said, I don't really agree with your claim that having some
versions of gcc 3.4 under GPLv2 and some under GPLv3 will be
"chaotic."  For gcc users, the licenses simply don't differ

> > My personal preference would be to acknowledge that for our users
> > there is no significant difference between GPLv2 and GPLv3.  And we
> > should acknowledge that people backporting patches from later releases
> > are already going to have to relicense to GPLv3.
> That's going to stop all private development until corporate legal
> folks get into sync with GPLv3.

Correct, for people who distribute gcc.

> > The only people who may be discomfited by that choice are distributors
> > of gcc who are unwilling to distribute code licensed under GPLv3.
> And anyone using any past release.

Incorrect.  It only matters for distributors, not users.

Again, I am just the messenger here.  I would like to see a different
approach, but what could that be?


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