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Re: Overview of copyright issues

From: Hans Aberg
Subject: Re: Overview of copyright issues
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 23:02:27 +0200

On 9 Sep 2009, at 22:37, Joseph Wakeling wrote:

You might check with the GNUers if it is the intention. It means that
sources can be tivoized, even in the face of the new v3.

It's GPLv2, and not the 'or later', that allows for tivoization ...

Right. Do you want v2 to applicable by a re-distributor, even though v3 has been released?

-- but
you have to question whether this is a serious risk for Lilypond.

This was only an example - a point to think through what you want.

Linking is always allowed if you make sure the interfaces are provided
and other linking info is provided - copyright only controls
distribution of the parts that makes it creatively unique, and v3 seemed to have changed over v2 to bring that out. There is no legal requirement
that the parts should have the same license.

The parts need a compatible license if one links to the other.  GPLv2
and GPLv3 are not compatible licenses.  That's why the 'or later' is
important -- it allows that compatibility.

No. You need to make sure that the conditions of the individual licenses are fulfilled when re-distributing the parts. Think of a musical recording - is there a requirement that the licenses of the composer and the performer are the same? - A similar issue was treated in the case I mentioned before, the Beastie Boys flute sample case. The judge decided that though the flutist had rights to the flute sample, the composer - the same person as the flutist - did not have that, because the sample was too small to be creatively unique from the composing standpoint. So you consider each parts, and decide how the copyright applies to them.

But it has the effect that sources that formerly have been OK to
distribute may not be so. For example, if they are tivoized, then when the GPL v3 now has arrived, the old sources cannot be tivoized, even if
the package itself has not been changed.

On the other hand, the formulation "or later" means that new sources can
be tivoized even if the new version v3 has been released, unless they
explicitly mention v3.

Again, the 'or later' has nothing to do with tivoization.  It's GPLv2
that allows for that possibility (which, again, is not likely).

As long as you use "or later", tivoization and other new restriction in v3 is allowed.

If Lilypond does switch to GPLv3 I would strongly argue for a '
GPLv3 or
later' formulation, to avoid this problem arising again if a further GPL
revision is released.

I don't think it matters much whether Lilypond moves to GPLv3 because
most of the risks that GPLv3 is designed to obviate are unlikely to
arise in the case of Lilypond. I _do_ think it matters that Lilypond be
released under license terms that are compatible with GPLv3 and future
potential releases of the GPL.

It is probably simplest to just make sure that the latest GPL is copied into the lilypond sources by some semi-automated scheme.


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