[development] GPLv3 is announced

Gabor Hojtsy gabor at hojtsy.hu
Mon Jul 9 20:05:19 UTC 2007

Jakob Petsovits wrote:
> Correct. The relatively new "Affero GPL" is a license that closes the services 
> loophole. The GPL was never intended to do so, and instead focuses on better 
> internationalization and closing a few unintended holes (Tivoization and 
> Microsoft/Novell-style patent agreements).
> Apart from this, the GPL did not change its meaning (even if the wording 
> changed quite a lot), and it's supposed to stay that way, at least from the 
> FSF's viewpoint of protecting the "four freedoms".
> That said, I would highly welcome Drupal and its modules to adopt proper 
> copyright headers for each file. At the current state, one cannot determine 
> if a file was supposed to be GPLv2 only, or "GPLv2 or later", or even find 
> out who holds the copyright for a specific piece of code. Without knowing the 
> copyright holders, you'll have a harder time when it comes to actual legal 
> incidents, and it would be impossible to change licenses (e.g. switch to 
> GPLv3) even if we all wanted to.

Jakob, how you imagine giving me copyright, if I add three lines to four 
files each? How you imagine possibly revoking copyright, if someone 
rewrites a subsystem (like the menu system)? How much of the old code 
was used, how much is new? What if we know that certain four lines of 
code is written by someone? What if a commit removes three of them, and 
changes the remaining one to refactor/update it?

Who owns the copyright exactly is a tricky question.

Also, you see that having license comments on top of each file would 
solve uncertainty about the file being licensed under a certain license 
or not? Drupal includes a LICENSE.TXT, which pretty clearly states that 
it is GPL2, and every code distributed with Drupal adheres to that 
license. The same applies to the contributions, which get the 
LICENSE.txt bundled in the download too. By having comments in all 
files, it would be harder to tell, what file is licensed under "GPL2 
strictly", or "GPL2 or later".


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