Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Jörn Engel
Date: Thu Sep 28 2006 - 11:21:33 EST

On Thu, 28 September 2006 08:04:13 -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> No. I _really_ want to clarify this, because so many people get it wrong.
> Really.
> The "GPLv2 only" wording is really just a clarification. You don't need it
> for the project to be "GPLv2 only".
> If a project says: "This code is licensed under this copyright license"
> and then goes on to quote the GPLv2, then IT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE
> GPLv3!
> Or if you just say "I license my code under the GPLv2", IT IS NOT

And this is an area where I slightly disagree with you. While I would
hope that you were right, I can easily imagine a judge ruling that "v2
or later" in the preamble means that the project just signed a blank
license of the FSF's discretion.

I can just as easily imagine a judge ruling that "simply copying the
GPL license verbatim and not removing the 'or later'" clause is does
not sufficiently demonstrate the authors intent to dual-license the

And the likelihood of either ruling will depend on many things, but
will never reach 0 or 1. It is a gray area where your legal advice is
just as bad as mine and your "GPLv2 only" clarification may in fact be
a fork I was talking about. We just don't know until this has been
tested in court, which hopefully never happens.


Joern's library part 11:
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