>> so someone who is complying with GPLv2 could be sued by someone for their non-complience with GPLv3 because that's what the files now claim.
> This is not what happened and you [hopefully] know that
I did not say that someone has sued, I'm saying that someone could sue, and point to the file as distributed by the FSF as proof that it's released under the GPLv3.
and if they don't intend to be able to do this, why change the license?
the fact that someone could then point out that this version (2.17) was released before the GPLv3 was released, and therefor claiming that it's use must comply with GPLv3 could be considered fraud just further weakens the FSF.
having two files that claim to be the same version, with (as I understand it) the only difference between them being the license is just a bad idea. you don't want people to be able to start arguing "when I downloaded the file it said X and then you changed it to say Y"
it doesn't matter if they replaced the file or just changed it from being a file to being a symlink. people downloading things can't tell the difference. they download the file claiming to be 2.17 and it's now different.