[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: GPL without version - does COPYING apply or n

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: GPL without version - does COPYING apply or not?
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 13:59:42 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20080110)

Markus Laire wrote:
Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Markus Laire wrote:
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 COPYING applies)".

Is this OK?

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.

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)".

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.

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.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]