every other major copyleft *forces* you to allow later license versions
Posted Oct 4, 2006 1:53 UTC (Wed) by viro
In reply to: every other major copyleft *forces* you to allow later license versions
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
Three words: Objective C Compiler. Aka. "when FSF went after authors
of modified gcc and forced them to release their modifications for
for merge". And that was very definitely "forced", not "sweet-talked".
GPL allows you to do that; if authors of modification try to make
them legally unmergable for you, they lose the right to distribute
the entire thing themselves. That is, except for "or later" loophole.
That one allows parasitic forks that can pull from original codebase
without permitting to merge back. _And_ it allows for GPLv2-only
forks, to serious displeasure of FSF.
BTW, if you have "v2 or later" project, no extra restrictions of
GPLv3 have desired effect until you get GPLv3 (or "v3 or later")
fork and manage to kill development of the original. As long as
the project remains under "v2 or later", anti-DRM, etc. clauses
are trivial to bypass by saying "I'm distributing under GPLv2, as
allowed by project license". It's not about conspiracy theories,
etc. - that's simply how "or later" part of license is written.
So there are two possibilities: pressure authors of the original
to relicense under v3/v3-or-later *OR* fork, relicense the fork
that way yourself and try to make the original branch wither.
Now, put yourself in position of people who do not want to drop
v2. They are going to realize that v3 fork is coming. Moreover,
that fork will be able to pick their improvements, but not the
other way round. About the only response other than "give up" is
"curse, accept that v2-or-later is not sustainable anymore and
start protecting new code with v2-only". And that's exactly what
we are starting to see. And will see more as more people see
the writing on the wall and decide to do something about that.
BTW, to address LGPL -> GPL strawman: AFAIK nobody ever tried to
pull that off with anywhere near that level of intensity. And
"make as much as possible GPLv3-only" is pretty much the stated
goal - without that extra restrictions can't work. Forks to v3
are still not there (obviously - v3 needs to be finalized to put
something under it ;-). But pressure to drop v2 is already starting
to build up - see any number of whining on assorted maillists along
the lines of "you all must switch to v3 when it comes"...
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