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Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: GPL without version - does COPYING apply or n
Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: GPL without version - does COPYING apply or not?
Sat, 12 Apr 2008 13:59:42 +0200
Mozilla-Thunderbird 220.127.116.11 (X11/20080110)
Markus Laire wrote:
Good point, I see how that could be confusing. I think that statement in
COPYING means that in the context of the Linux kernel all code that can
be treated as GPLv2 (e.g. license is Just GPL or modified BSD) must be
treated as GPLv2. That restriction does not apply outside the Linux
kernel. So your statement is not wrong for this purpose.
Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Markus Laire wrote:
Just "GPL" means "GPL, any version", so it's not restricted to GPLv2
only (although for the Linux kernel only GPLv2 matters). I would mark
them as just GPL.
I just finished section drivers/watchdog
There were three files where license mentioned GPL but not any
version nor the COPYING file.
Since I'm not sure whether COPYING file applies in these cases or
not, I decided to mark these three cases as "GPL (only GPLv2 if
Is this OK?
Well, it's not that simple in this case because COPYING says "Also note
that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel is concerned
is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not v2.2 or v3.x or
whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated."
So if the file was written specifically for Linux Kernel, by just
mentioning GPL author could've meant "GPL as specified in COPYING file"
since he doesn't "explicitly state otherwise".
Or author could've meant "GPL, any version"
So I prefered to inform readers of this ambiguity by stating "GPL (only
GPLv2 if COPYING applies)".
As for the "explicitly otherwise stated" part: a copyright holder can
explicitly choose another version of the GPL for their code if they want
to. But neither GPLv1 nor GPLv3 are compatible with GPLv2, so this
option is useless.
That brings up the question: is there any GPLv3 code in the kernel?
Probably not, because I think Linus is wary of that. But it would have
to be removed because of it's incompatibility.