GPL 3: An Open-Source Earthquake? (CRN)
Posted Feb 7, 2007 22:54 UTC (Wed) by gerv
In reply to: GPL 3: An Open-Source Earthquake? (CRN)
Parent article: GPL 3: An Open-Source Earthquake? (CRN)
If every file which has a GPL header has the "or later" language, then that entire codebase can be used under GPLv3 terms as well as GPLv2. (Any code under other licences which is compatible with GPLv2 will be compatible with GPLv3.)
COPYING defines the distribution terms of the aggregate body, yes. It also serves as the copy of the GPL that the GPL headers say must be present. However, the question is not "what are the terms attached to Linus's release of kernel x.y.z", but "can I change those terms to GPLv3?". And the answer to that question lies solely in the GPL headers on each file.
If a file has no header at all, I'm not sure what the legal position is. I would suggest that it's under the terms of the code surrounding it. But I don't know if a court has ever ruled on this.
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