Alexandre Oliva aoliva@redhat.com
Mon Jul 16 18:46:00 GMT 2007

On Jul 16, 2007, Michael Eager <eager@eagercon.com> wrote:

> The question is whether corporations will adopt the GPLv3 without
> review by their legal departments, and how long that review will
> take, and what the consequences of this is.

I don't dispute that.  What I'm saying is that those most concerned
should have got involved in the process to become acquainted of the
license early and not take a hit at the time of the widely-forecasted
license upgrade.

No matter how long we were to delay the relicensing on how many
branches, there'd still be those who'd sit back, wait until the
relicensing was around their corner and start complaining "we need
more time" then.

IOW, how many times do you want us to have a discussion like this?

> My opinion, which I've said before, is that the great majority
> of corporations will not accept the GPLv3 without legal review
> and that this will take many months.

They shall balance that delay with their engineering needs, and if
they find a need to blame someone for the delayed adoption, it should
be on whoever made the decision to wait until the last minute before
starting the license review.

> The concern which I raised is not about the GPLv3.  It is in the
> policy decisions which FSF makes about applying patches to source
> which was previously released under GPLv2.  This is not something
> which the FSF disclosed in the past.

Erhm...  To me it's pretty clear that, once a code base is upgraded to
GPLv3+, patches applied to it become available under GPLv3+.  If they
are or become available under other licenses, they can still be used
under these other licenses.

Surely you wouldn't expect the FSF to enable anyone to merge anything
back into a GPLv2 code base just because the code base was released
under GPLv2+, right?  This would amount to releasing everything under
GPLv2+, giving up the stronger defenses the FSF wants to be able to
use for new code.  Now, given that earlier code is already available
under licenses that don't have these defenses, people can still use
that code, as long as they don't use it along with code under GPLv3+,
that does enjoy the stronger defenses.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
FSF Latin America Board Member         http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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