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Re: [Savannah-hackers] submission of CCMS

From: Loic Dachary
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers] submission of CCMS
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 14:22:31 +0200

mose writes:
 > But I remain curious about the necessity to do that. Loic talked about
 > dangers. What may occur if licence is only specified to be v2 and not 
 > later ? I'm okay it's not a problem, but what is the goal of that
 > statement ?

        The main problems addressed by the "or later" is upgrading the
license when:

        - The author loses interest in her software or disapear and
          cannot be reached. The license cannot be upgraded and the
          software is locked down and dies (think GLUT for instance,
          which is not GNU GPL'ed but paralyzed by a license similar
          to the PHP4 license).

        - The copyright laws change in 5 years from now and a GPL v3
          is *required* to cope with these changes. Without the "or
          later", upgrading the licenses of all GNU GPL'ed software
          might be practically impossible because asking to each
          copyright holder would be a living nightmare. If laws change
          in such a way that GPL v2 cannot be used anymore, it will
          have the effect that all "GPL v2 only" software must be
          abandonned unless the copyright holder can be found and 
        - Files from a distribution are scattered in many other GNU
          GPL'ed software. Let's say one source file from a "GPL v2
          only" distribution is convenient and re-used in many "GPL v2
          or later" programs because the authors did not realize that
          "GPL v2 only" on a single file would be
          problematic. Upgrading the "GPL v2 or later" to "GPL v3 or
          later" might become a living nightmare or force the author
          to re-write the "GPL v2 only" part because she has to spend
          countless hours to get in touch with the copyright holder of
          this single file and beg her permission to release it under
          the "GPL v3 or later". I've chased copyright holders in the
          recent past and it is incredibly difficult. In short, one
          should consider that a Free Software is not always
          distributed as a whole: individual files are often re-used
          in other Free Software.
        I hope this clarifies the subject a bit,

Loic   Dachary  address@hidden
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