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Re: GPL version 3

From: Jeroen Dekkers
Subject: Re: GPL version 3
Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2007 01:34:03 +0200
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At Thu, 5 Jul 2007 01:06:50 +0200,
Stefan Reinauer wrote:
> * Jeroen Dekkers <address@hidden> [070704 23:10]:
> > Are you sure about this? Given that we've assigned copyright to the
> > FSF, the FSF can decide under which free software license to license
> > that code. So I don't really see why we can't release the same code
> > under GPLv2 or later in GRUB Legacy and under GPLv3 or later in GRUB2.
> Oh the "v2 or later" and "v3 or later" clauses are more than critical
> from a lawyers view. How can you have a contract partner and the FSF
> decide upon the license / contract that applies on your code without
> that contract existing yet. If, at some point in the future the FSF
> would decide to add a clause to GPLv4 "The author of this software pays
> a monthly fee of US$100 to the FSF" and the user of this software
> decides to apply GPLv4 to the software because the author allowed it,
> you would have to pay. The GPL is clearly designed to be a license that
> protects the _user_ not the _author_ of a given piece of software.
> No, of course I do not believe that the FSF will ever do something like
> the above. But law is not about beliefs.

But there are two reasons the FSF can't do that. The first is that the
GPL says that future versions will be in the same spirit. Having a
monthly fee makes the software non-free, which is certainly not in the
same spirit.

The second problem is that if the FSF would release the software under
a non-free license, they would violate the copyright assignment
contract, because they agreed to keep the software free there.

So I don't think this is really a big problem.

Jeroen Dekkers

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