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Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]

From: Anthony W. Youngman
Subject: Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 10:16:58 +0100
User-agent: Turnpike/6.07-M (<Ute6T1n4PTC+m3mvaGf+2+6iFO>)

In message <address@hidden>, Reinhold Kainhofer <address@hidden> writes
Oops - haven't you got that backwards? If they put it under v2 ONLY,
aren't they saying they don't agree to any additional FREEDOMS

Both are right: They don't agree to additional
FREEDOMS in the sense that the "user" is not free to choose GPLv2 or GPLv3,
but they also don't agree to additional
RESTRICTIONS: Using GPLv3 would add an additional restriction to the use
(DRM, atent claues) and this is prohibited by GPLv2only.
All users are be free to use GPLv2 applications in tivo-like machines and that
freedom is whatI'm talking about.


Firstly, the "user" is completely UNaffected by ANY version of the GPL - the GPL *E*X*plicitly says it DOES NOT apply to users.

Secondly, if you are distributing code which a copyright owner has licenced v2/v3 then it is YOUR choice whether to distribute it under v2 or v3. Where are the "extra restrictions"? YOU HAVE A CHOICE. The extra restrictions are only those YOU CHOSE to impose ON YOURSELF. Oh - and if you choose v3, that doesn't stop me from receiving it from you under v3, then distributing it myself under v2.

(That's why, actually, I believe that sticking a v2-only notice on code that the author licenced v2+ is a GPL violation - you are adding restrictions by denying the recipient the choice of licence.)

>Thus lilypond can't link to any (L)GPLv3 library, which would add
> additional restrictions.

such as allowing it to be distributed under v3?

No byt linking to a LGPLv3 library, this does not require the application to
be GPLv3. However, the LGPLv3 says that you can only link to it if you agree
to the DRM- and patent clauses. That's the additional restrictions that LGPLv3
has compared to GPLv2.
Thus linking to a LGPLv3 library takes aways rights (e.g. to legally prevent
access by using DRM or to sue for patent infringement) that the GPLv2

That's the nub of the whole damn thing :-( but if the library licence is "v2 or v3" then the problem goes away.

Actually, what the FSF *should* have said, in *all* the GPL licences (although it's a bit late to retrofit v2, sadly) is that "if binaries are distributed with source, then the source clause applies and the binaries are legit". That would then permit mixing incompatible GPLs - *provided* the programs came *as* *source*. After all, that's the "four freedoms" they really want to defend, isn't it?

Anthony W. Youngman - address@hidden

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