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Re: RFH: GPLv3

> 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.

The problem isn't convincing somebody it's *different*, but to convince
them that there's a reason the license is what it supposedly says it is!
It's critical to understand that copyright and license agreements in files
have *no legal significance whatsoever* except *possibly* to try to
establish what was in the mind of the author.

It's likely true that if they FSF were to "distribute" software in the
sense of mailing somebody a CD and there was no license on paper, you could
*probably* indeed rely on the license within the CD as being definitive.

But if there's some random file floating around that somebody claims was
copied from a site that somebody else claimed was maintained by the FSF and
you start relying on a notice in *that* file as definitively saying what
the license is, you're on *much* shakier legal grounds and most attorneys
would not be comfortable with it.

> BTW: the copyright holder is free to take a GPLv3 patch and
> release it under GPLv2 (and any other licence).

True, but irrelevant, as I said in my previous email: a patch is a derived
work of the file it patches, so there's not much real meaning in talking
about the license status of a patch in isolation.

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