first package with v3 is out
Posted Jun 30, 2007 17:07 UTC (Sat) by zooko
In reply to: first package with v3 is out
Parent article: GPLv3 is out
I released some Free Software yesterday ( http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/News ), but unfortunately I couldn't use GPLv3, because it contains language that might confuse people about our intent with regard to the transitivity of a "grace period" during which one is allowed to distribute proprietary derived works.
Specifically, while the GPLv3 makes it easy for us to express: "You may use this software under the GPLv3, with the added permission that if you are obligated to release the source code of a derived work you may delay the fulfillment of that obligation for up to 12 months.", it makes it hard for us to express: "... and you are obligated to extend this same 'grace period' permission to everyone to whom you distribute your derived work".
This is a deliberate design decision on the part of the drafters of the GPLv3 -- they wanted the transitive obligations on the third party to be (at the option of the second party) just the provisions of the GPL. (I refer to section 7.)
I understand why they did that, but I don't want to release Allmydata's source code under a licence in which the second party can omit the grace period on their extensions and release their extensions under pure GPL.
For those interested in the details, this issue hinges on whether the grace period hack is an "additional permission" (re: secton 7) and whether the clause that you are not allowed to remove the grace period hack is an "additional restriction". It's kind of a funny philosophical issue as to whether an addition restriction which consists solely of forbidding you from removing an addition permission is a "restriction". This funny philosophical issue is, of course, the funny philosophical issue of the GPL itself. :-)
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