FSF is creating a problem that never existed!
Posted Oct 2, 2006 10:29 UTC (Mon) by mingo
In reply to: FSF is creating a problem that never existed!
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
Since FSF can only relicense code for GCC, GLibC and other projects under GPLv3 if the GPLv3 is considered "similar in spirit" to GPLv2 [...]
Again, you are missing so many points that i hardly know where to begin with.
Firstly, the few hundred contributors who assigned their copyrights over to the FSF also did so with an implicit trust attached: that these copyrights wont be abused. If the FSF relicenses their code to the GPLv3 without making sure that they agree with those license changes, then it runs the risk of abusing that trust. The "oh, the license and the assignment document allows this" defense might work legally, but it does not work morally.
Secondly, by allowing a huge body of "GPLv2 or later" code, written by over one hundred thousand contributors, to be incorporated into more restrictive "GPLv3 or later" licensed codebases, the FSF runs the risk of abusing the trust these people have put into the FSF when they made their "GPLv2 or later" contributions: that the modifications to those codebases wont automatically be back-mergable into the "GPLv2 or later" codebase they originated from. (At least the current GPLv3 draft has such unfair "self-propagation" properties, by setting up assymetric contribution dynamics.)
Here too the "but you allowed this scenario by lazily keeping the default 'or later' condition in the COPYING file" defense might help legally, but it does not help morally.
Do you acknowledge that all these contributors do have a moral expectation of their contributions being used fairly, and that the FSF has a moral obligation to meet those expectations?
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