every other major copyleft *forces* you to allow later license versions
Posted Oct 2, 2006 0:42 UTC (Mon) by stevenj
In reply to: The "or later" clause and marriage
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
Omitting the "or later" clause causes enormous practical problems, as we are seeing now, because it reduces compatibility and means that the license can be extremely difficult to update if legal problems with it are found, or if copyright law changes. IMO, this outweighs any "danger" that the FSF will abuse the trust—and in any case, the worst that can happen is not very bad since you always have the option of restricting the license versions for future code releases.
And the FSF is hardly alone in this practice. For example, the Creative Commons ShareAlike license says:
You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, a later version of this License ... [emphasis added]
Same for the Mozilla Public License (MPL), which says:
You may also choose to use such Covered Code under the terms of any subsequent version of the License published by Netscape.
So, Creative Commons and MPL don't even give the licensor a choice about whether to allow license upgrades—the ability to use later versions of the license is built directly into the license terms. And yet the FSF, which merely encourages people not to lock themselves into one version, is the one asking for unreasonable trust?
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