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  • #46
    Originally posted by TAXI View Post
    To be fair it says "or (at your option) any later version." - the "at your option" is important, cause that doesn't mean you as copyright holder, it means 3rd parties (the one reading the license text).

    Now look at this (extremely unlikely) scenario:
    1) Microsoft overtakes the FSF.
    2) Microsoft brings out GPLv4, which is just this text: "All codes belong to the Microsoft corp.".
    3) They download your GPLv2 source codes and decide to let GPLv4 apply cause, in their option, it's better than v2.
    There is a condition on what can be deemed a later version: It must not violate the spirit of the license:

    Originally posted by GPLv2/3
    The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the GNU General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.
    With this, (2) is not (easily) possible: They might call their new License GPLv4, but that would not make it a later version of GPLv3, because it would not be similar in spirit.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
      It has just now become completely clear that the zealots at the FSF need to get laid. BADLY.

      The clause:


      In other words, use at your own risk, fuck you.

      Quite frankly, I wouldn't change this license at all. There is no reason to. In fact, what I would do... is fork the GPL, and modify it to ALLOW this.
      It is odd, there was this sudden influx of morons that I had to killfile for my blood pressure a while back, not sure why. But since it drove me to find that there is a killfile, I seem to be finding plenty of others to plonk.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by ArneBab View Post
        There is a condition on what can be deemed a later version: It must not violate the spirit of the license:

        With this, (2) is not (easily) possible: They might call their new License GPLv4, but that would not make it a later version of GPLv3, because it would not be similar in spirit.
        I don't think this has any legal meaning.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by TAXI View Post
          Now look at this (extremely unlikely) scenario:
          1) Microsoft overtakes the FSF.
          2) Microsoft brings out GPLv4, which is just this text: "All codes belong to the Microsoft corp.".
          3) They download your GPLv2 source codes and decide to let GPLv4 apply cause, in their option, it's better than v2.
          That doesn't harm anyone, it simply benefits Microsoft.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by TAXI View Post
            To be fair it says "or (at your option) any later version." - the "at your option" is important, cause that doesn't mean you as copyright holder, it means 3rd parties (the one reading the license text).

            Now look at this (extremely unlikely) scenario:
            1) Microsoft overtakes the FSF.
            2) Microsoft brings out GPLv4, which is just this text: "All codes belong to the Microsoft corp.".
            3) They download your GPLv2 source codes and decide to let GPLv4 apply cause, in their option, it's better than v2.

            //EDIT: On the other side if some hole in the GPLv2 gets found and you want the new GPLv4 to apply cause it fixes that hole, who would win in court? You that chooses the option of GPLv4 or some evil company that chooses the option of GPLv2 (cause they simply don't want a later version) to exploit that hole?
            Just because Microsoft decides to apply the terms of this new hypothetical GPLv4 to the code doesn't mean that the terms of the GPLv2 under which the code was previously licensed will suddenly become void. That's the whole point of open source, and it's how projects that switched to more closed and restrictive licenses were forked.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by LightBit View Post
              I don't think this has any legal meaning.
              It is a clear condition which defines what can be called a revised version, so Iím pretty sure that it has legal meaning.

              But in case you donít trust judges to see it the same way, GPLv3 includes a second term: You can name a proxy who can take the decision whether a new version of the GPL may be used for your project. But for that you have to use the GPLv3. GPLv2 does not include an option for it.

              Let me give you the full quote:

              Originally posted by http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl
              The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the GNU General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

              Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies that a certain numbered version of the GNU General Public License ďor any later versionĒ applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that numbered version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of the GNU General Public License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

              If the Program specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of the GNU General Public License can be used, that proxy's public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Program.

              Later license versions may give you additional or different permissions. However, no additional obligations are imposed on any author or copyright holder as a result of your choosing to follow a later version.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Serge View Post
                Just because Microsoft decides to apply the terms of this new hypothetical GPLv4 to the code doesn't mean that the terms of the GPLv2 under which the code was previously licensed will suddenly become void.
                That wasn't what I wanted to say. But your code would now be dual-licensed under GPLv2 and GPLv4. This would allow Microsoft to use it in proprietary projects.
                Originally posted by randomizer View Post
                That doesn't harm anyone, it simply benefits Microsoft.
                Isn't one of the main reasons to use the GPL to prevent your code from being in proprietary projects? Is this no harm for the original developer(s)? But this hypothetical talk is useless:
                Originally posted by ArneBab View Post
                There is a condition on what can be deemed a later version: It must not violate the spirit of the license
                BTW: I'm writing these hypothetical things mainly to learn more about the GPL itself, so could anyone please reply to my edit:
                Originally posted by TAXI View Post
                //EDIT: On the other side if some hole in the GPLv2 gets found and you want the new GPLv4 to apply cause it fixes that hole, who would win in court? You that chooses the option of GPLv4 or some evil company that chooses the option of GPLv2 (cause they simply don't want a later version) to exploit that hole?
                I would love if somebody could explain what would stop the evil company from doing that.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by TAXI View Post
                  Isn't one of the main reasons to use the GPL to prevent your code from being in proprietary projects?
                  That is true of the GPLv1-3, but not this hypothetical GPLv4.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by randomizer View Post
                    That is true of the GPLv1-3, but not this hypothetical GPLv4.
                    GPL is pretty consequent, so this is true for GPL3+n.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by TAXI View Post
                      BTW: I'm writing these hypothetical things mainly to learn more about the GPL itself, so could anyone please reply to my edit:
                      Well, answering an edit is hard (we donít see itÖ).
                      I would love if somebody could explain what would stop the evil company from doing that.

                      //EDIT: On the other side if some hole in the GPLv2 gets found and you want the new GPLv4 to apply cause it fixes that hole, who would win in court? You that chooses the option of GPLv4 or some evil company that chooses the option of GPLv2 (cause they simply don't want a later version) to exploit that hole?
                      You offered the GPLv2, so they are free to use the GPLv2. A license cannot retroactively take away rights it already granted (and should not, because people might depend on them for good reasons). And if it only gave lime-limited rights, it would not really qualify as free software licenseÖ

                      But you can use GPLv4 for all future work on the project, so they can only abuse an old version of your code. Thatís one of the reasons, why freeBSD is still stuck with GCC 4.2 (as reported here on Phoronix: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag..._llvmgcc&num=4 ). freeBSD is stuck in GCC code from 2007 and is scrambling for LLVM, because they donít like the protections GPLv3 offers to users. The same goes for Apple. They have to spend lots of money (=development time) to get the abusable LLVM into a state where it can actually compete with GCC, so by licensing GCC under GPLv3, the GNU folks could actually ensure that abusing users carries a hefty price.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by brosis View Post
                        GPL is pretty consequent, so this is true for GPL3+n.
                        Else it would not qualify as successor of GPLv2 or GPLv3, so you could not use code from GPLv2 or later or GPLv3 or later under the hypothetical non-copyleft GPLv3+n.

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