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Re: Overview of copyright issues

From: Anthony W. Youngman
Subject: Re: Overview of copyright issues
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 07:35:10 +0100
User-agent: Turnpike/6.07-M (<wLT6TtY4PTyZu2mvoyZ+2ugU9k>)

In message <address@hidden>, Hans Aberg <address@hidden> writes
I don't see much point in continuing this discussion further because I
don't think you understand what the real problems (or solutions) are, or
what the requirements of the GPL (in any version) are.

The point is that if you want to be up-to-date with latest GPL in both new restrictions and permissions, the only way to do it is to refer to the latest version when the source is published.

"Or later" will admit later restrictions, "or latest" will impose them quietly on old sources.

And this is EXACTLY the problem with your suggestion. You are RETROACTIVELY CHANGING THE LICENCE!

As has been pointed out elsewhere, this will have the effect of making what was legal, illegal. What happens if v4 comes out and Joe Bloggs never hears about it? He was happily distributing under v3 perfectly legally, now he's happily distributing under v3 ILLEGALLY.

I'm not a lawyer, but if I came across "v2 or latest" wording, my advice would be to treat it as "v2 only" because to do anything else IS TOO DANGEROUS. So your wording is self-defeating because no sane distributor would dare take advantage of the "or latest" clause.

Anthony W. Youngman - address@hidden

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