They're involved in the distribution
Posted Jul 10, 2007 14:05 UTC (Tue) by sepreece
In reply to: They're involved in the distribution
Parent article: Microsoft's proclamation on GPLv3
I think we are largely agreeing on the terms of the license, though stating and emphasizing them slightly differently.
I think you're wrong in saying that a redistributor cannot choose the terms of the distribution. Since that distribution must be in accord with the terms and conditions of the license, the redistributor MUST choose which set of terms and conditions to satisfy.
The original question, though, was about how this affects Microsoft and whether they have "distributed GPLv3 software". I don't think that distributing "GPLv2 or any later version" is tantamount to "distributing GPLv3", regardless of it allowing the user to choose the terms she accepts it under.
That is, the "GPLv2 or any later" option allows the redistributor to choose which version's terms it has to satisfy in further conveying and then allows the recipient to choose which version's terms govern its use and further conveying. Each conveyor and each recipient is free to make that choice because the copyright holder granted them permission to do so.
The point of my comments on "obligations" is that the impact on Microsoft (for instance, with respect to patents) would be an obligation, and therefore would not be affected by the user's choice of GPLv2 or GPLv3. I assumine that in conveying "GPLv2 or any later version" software, Microsoft would choose to follow the terms and conditions of GPLv2, which the license explicitly allows them to do.
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