RFH: GPLv3

Richard Kenner kenner@vlsi1.ultra.nyu.edu
Sun Jul 15 13:11:00 GMT 2007


> 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.

Well, all I can say to this is that (with my AdaCore hat on) I had a discussion
with somebody in the purchasing department of a major US defense contractor
last week who seemed like a quite reasonable person to me and quite rightly
was *not* willing to rely on any such "representation" in the file.  I think
I was, however, able to point her to something that she *could* rely on.
These sorts of discussions happen quite often and are one of the main
barriers towards commercial acceptance of GPL software.

> 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, but it's precisely because you might have done that that people are not
willing to just rely on statements in files.

> Thus, I think it's reasonably critical that _all_ file headers be 
> updated, quickly, to match the state of intended license for the files 
> that include them.

I don't think you'll get any disagreement on that statement, but that doesn't
mean that such an update has any *legal* significance.



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