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Phoronix Test Suite Exploring GPLv2 License

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  • #16
    Going back to GPL2 is really half-@ssed. If you want your code to be used by corporations and you want to give up the GPL3 clauses that fully protect your freedom, you might as well just go to BSD or MIT license...

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    • #17
      Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
      I always wondered how that worked, as it's "at your option". Whose option? Distributor? End-user?
      Well, it can't be the distributor, because GPLv2 is a different license than GPLv2+. They can't change the license, they have to deliver it as-is, which means it's still GPLv2+ when the user receives it. Although yea, in case of tivoisation, I can see a problem, it doesn't comply with one license yet it complies with the other one; so if it was up to the users, then all GPLv2+ would mean GPLv3. If it was up to the companies, it would all be GPLv2. Hmm...

      Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
      I don't really see the point on dual licenses, at least if you allow the user to pick between them under the same conditions. Just use the lowest common denominator (in how restrictive they are), as it's how it will effectively work. If I dual license something as BSD/GPLv3, all of those who are negatively affected (from their point of view, that is) will use it as BSD, and the ones who care about free software will contribute back, which would happen nonetheless with BSD only.
      Well yes, but nobody dual-licenses GPL and BSD. They dual-license two different licenses (see the Mozilla license, for example). Or using the CC licenses as an example, it makes no sense to dual-license a work under CC-BY-SA and CC-BY, as the result would be CC-BY; however, it does make sense (if rather odd) to dual-license to CC-BY and CC-SA.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
        It does not require you to ship CD's, it requires you to have the source available in machine readable form.
        It does. If you don't ship source with binary, you must ship CDs on request. And that for every release up to three years long on every 3rd party request.

        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
        GPL 3 doesn't realistically prevent that either. If someone is going to obfuscate the code to hide the source it doesn't matter what license they use.
        EULA does not realistically prevent against piracy, decryption or reverse. If someone obfuscates the code and basic output is similar to the GPL'ed program, then v3 gives enough ground to force-provide the source code, if this software is publicly distributed.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by TAXI View Post
          That's exactly what I'm asking myself all the time, especially as I use gentoo, so basically I'm forking the software I install every time I install it (so the "at your option" has to mean me, no?).
          In case of Gentoo, you don't care about any licenses. GPL only applies to distributors, so as long as you don't do that, you can do whatever. The bindist flag is set like that by default just because otherwise the distributors would be violating the license, but if you unset it yourself, then it's fine because it's for your personal use.

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          • #20
            How about anything but GPL?

            BSD would be a smart move, or the UIOS used by the LLVM crew.

            GPL 2 was never an especially bad license but GPL 3 goes way overboard with its radicalism. As such the Free software Foundation really needs to be punished for that radical change. The best way to slap the FSF about the head is to avoid. Using any of their license.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by brosis View Post
              It does. If you don't ship source with binary, you must ship CDs on request. And that for every release up to three years long on every 3rd party request.
              IIRC the GPLv2 text just requires "a method customarily used for distributing source code" (or something like that, going from memory here). That probably means you shouldn't use paper tape any more, but doesn't limit you to CDs.

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              • #22
                So many people have opinions on GPLv2, GPLv3, without ever reading either license...

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                • #23
                  More coding, less politics...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by dee. View Post
                    So many people have opinions on GPLv2, GPLv3, without ever reading either license...
                    Yeah... but there's a reason for that...

                    If you actually read all the license text and think through all the implications then talking about it stops being fun

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
                      I always wondered how that worked, as it's "at your option". Whose option?
                      You have to remember that it's a license, ie. a contract between the distributor and recipient. When the distributor distributes (conveys, propagates...) a software, the distributor is granting the recipient a license for the software - therefore granting the recipient the rights which the license text outlines.

                      So taking the default text of the GPLv2 license, the distributor would be saying, "I'm granting you a license for the use (modification, redistribution, ...) of this software, with these terms - or if you so choose, the terms of a later version of this license" in which case, it's up to the recipient to choose whether they want to consider the software GPLv2 or GPLv3.

                      This mainly comes in play in license compatibility: if you want to redistribute GPLv2+ code as GPLv3, you're allowed to do that, since the license allows upgrading the license. So if you have a GPLv3 software, and you want to integrate some GPLv2+ code in it, you can do that, because that code allows distributing it as GPLv3, so it would be compatible with the license of your GPLv3 software.

                      So it's entirely up to the recipient to choose the license. There's no ambiguity here. Licenses don't apply to software per se - licenses only apply to a distribution, a license is just a type of automatic contract which gets applied when the distribution happens. If you put software available somewhere, you do it under the terms of some license. That's also why changing the license doesn't change the terms of all existing copies - because once a software is distributed from distributor to recipient under the terms of one license, that instance of the software stays under that license, because the license applies to the event of distribution.

                      So there could never be any court case where there's dispute over wheteher a software is considered GPLv2 or GPLv3. If the copyright holder is licensed it under GPLv2, they have given permission for the recipients to consider it either GPLv2 or GPLv3, so the recipient can choose which license to accept. For that matter, since there's no such license as "GPLv3 or earlier", any case where there's a choice of license is a case where the software is distributed as GPLv2 in the first place, so it's not like the distributor could even argue "we wanted to distribute as GPLv3".

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by dee. View Post
                        So there could never be any court case where there's dispute over wheteher a software is considered GPLv2 or GPLv3. If the copyright holder is licensed it under GPLv2, they have given permission for the recipients to consider it either GPLv2 or GPLv3, so the recipient can choose which license to accept. For that matter, since there's no such license as "GPLv3 or earlier", any case where there's a choice of license is a case where the software is distributed as GPLv2 in the first place, so it's not like the distributor could even argue "we wanted to distribute as GPLv3".
                        You still haven't said whether you believe that tivoising GPLv2+ code would be considered a license violation or not...

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                        • #27
                          GPLv2+ means the program is available under the terms of the GPLv2 and hence is open to tivoization. You are allowed to do any thing with GPLv2+ software that you are allowed to to do with GPLv2 software.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by brosis View Post
                            It does. If you don't ship source with binary, you must ship CDs on request. And that for every release up to three years long on every 3rd party request.
                            It does not. The GPLv2 says:
                            "which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange"
                            Well guess what, if you distribute your software using internet, how can internet not be a medium for software interchange?

                            It is not written "on a CD", or "on a medium customarily used at the time of writing this license", or "on a medium of the choice of the guys asking for the source".
                            Any medium that is commonly used to distribute software can be used to distribute the source.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Kristian Joensen View Post
                              GPLv2+ means the program is available under the terms of the GPLv2 and hence is open to tivoization. You are allowed to do any thing with GPLv2+ software that you are allowed to to do with GPLv2 software.
                              Hmm, that would mean that GPLv2+ is basically GPLv2 that can be combined with GPLv3 works (under GPLv3 terms). Which I guess is the point, so it makes sense.

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                              • #30
                                AFAIK the term "GPLv2+" is shorthand for "GPL v2 or any later version" (see section 14 of GPL).

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