RFH: GPLv3

Michael Eager eager@eagercon.com
Mon Jul 16 14:46:00 GMT 2007


Richard Kenner wrote:
>> Actually, the two patches don't have different copyright or licenses,
>> given your description.  It's really not possible to "un-know" the
>> original GPLv3 patch and create an identical GPLv2 from scratch.  The
>> second patch is clearly and directly derived from the first.
> 
> You are assuming here that the patch ITSELF has some license that's applied
> to it irrespective of the file it was derived from and I don't see the
> legal basis for such a claim.

Your patch, once accepted by the FSF, becomes their property, and the
FSF, not you, determines the license the *patch* will be covered by.
They can, if they wish, decide that every patch will be covered by
GPLv3.  They can, if they wish, decide that some patches will be covered
by GPLv3 and others by GPLv2.  They can use whatever scheme that they
wish to decide which license to apply to the patch, including schemes
which ignore the license of the original source.

One person can't develop the same identical patch, as you posit,
from similar sources, and claim that they were independently
derived.  A derivative work is clearly covered by the same version
of GPL which the original was covered by.

This is why there are "clean room" implementations of proprietary software
-- to prevent just the copyright contamination which you describe.


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



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