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GPL version 3

From: Yoshinori K. Okuji
Subject: GPL version 3
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 21:40:15 +0200
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I would like to discuss the possibility of migrating to GPL version 3. As you 
know, GPLv3 has been published, and all GNU software is recommended to 
migrate from GPLv2 to GPLv3.

When we look at only GRUB 2, there should be no problem. Nearly all code is 
copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation, Inc., and the rest is licensed 
under GPLv2 or later (such as LZO). The disadvantage I can think of is only 
that we will not be able to reuse GPLv2-only code in the future (e.g. Linux), 
but I don't think this is so important, because we have always been producing 
code ourselves for technical reasons.

My question is about GRUB Legacy. As GRUB Legacy contains some GPLv2-only code 
from Linux, it is not easy to migrate to GPLv3. If we want to migrate, we 
must drop out such code, and rewrite that or port code from GRUB 2. Honestly, 
I don't think this is worth doing.

So I bet that GRUB Legacy should remain under GPLv2. But this can cause some 
problem potentially. Let's say, we find the same bug both in GRUB Legacy and 
in GRUB 2. In the current trend, the bug would be fixed in GRUB 2 sooner. But 
this fix may not be backported to GRUB Legacy as it is, once GRUB 2 migrates 
to GPLv3, because of the license incompatibility. Thus this means that the 
maintenance of GRUB Legacy would be harder.

Given the fact that nobody is really willing to maintain GRUB Legacy, we need 
to consider which is more important, migrating to GPLv3, or keeping it easy 
to backport fixes to GRUB Legacy from GRUB 2. I myself prefer to migrate to 
GPLv3, and just forget about GRUB Legacy, of which I have been dreaming all 
the time. But I think it would be fair to ask others' opinions before making 
the decision.

So what do you think?


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