Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Björn Steinbrink
Date: Thu Sep 28 2006 - 11:46:40 EST

On 2006.09.28 17:20:20 +0200, Jörn Engel wrote:
> 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.

The preamble does not say "v2 or later", that's only in "How To" section
which is not part of the terms and conditions. But section 9 is even
worse than "v2 or later". Linus' second exmaple is fine, it mentions v2
and therefore it actually is v2 only. But the first one means _any_ GPL
version, even older versions, as it does not mention any version and
section 9 says "If the Program does not specify a version number of
this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free
Software Foundation." ouch!


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at