GPL v3 problem list
dak at gnu.org
Tue Nov 10 11:22:27 EST 2009
"Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org> writes:
> I've updated the wiki at
> but there are a couple of booboos I should correct.
> First a general comment: Note that without an assignment, it's even
> theoretically possible to revoke our license under the GPL, since it's
> a gift, not a contract.
I don't think that this is an accurate characterization. There is
something called promissory estoppel. A granted license for which the
conditions are kept can't be revoked when this damages the party relying
on the license.
The problem is that releasing GPLv2 only code as GPLv3 without license
will trigger the termination clause from GPLv2, rescinding even the
previous permission. Now this termination clause is not really tested
before court and has been replaced in GPLv3. Whether or not one
considers this clause operative, the fact remains that a distribution
under GPLv3 is not covered by a GPLv2 only license and might be subject
to cease-and-desist orders from the copyright holders.
> So in general what we're looking for is evidence that a contribution
> was made by an individual of good will, so no revocation or insistence
> on a non-GPLv3-compatible license will happen.
The best "evidence [...] of good will" is a written permission to use a
licence of GPLv2 or later, at your choice. Everything else is weaker.
More information about the XEmacs-Beta