Re: Move to LGPL3

Tommi Komulainen wrote:
IANAL and all, but here are a few points for consideration based on my
experience after being exposed to Nokia legal machinery.

     1. Changing the wording from "version 2 or later" to "version 3 or
        later" will remove the "2 or later" option. To my understanding
        changing the terms of the license text counts as relicensing.

The license explicitly allows for this, though. The license allows for itself to be relicensed, providing the new license is blessed by the FSF. There would be no value to stating "version 2 or later" if it meant "version 2 only". Anybody - including you or I, may privately take a GPL v2 piece of software, change the license to GPL v3 (without even notifying the original authors), and distribute all further modifications under GPL v3 only. This clause made me uneasy when I first read it 10 to 20 years ago. The idea that if I distribute a program under GPL v2, the FSF could be taken over by somebody worse than Richard Stallman, create a new license stating anything it wishes (as long as it is called GPL v2 or later), and redistribute all my software under this new license. This is why the GPL is labeled a virus by some.

I am not up-to-date on LGPL v3. What I state above is for GPL v3 only.

     2. Due to the (L)GPLv2 and v3 incompatibility everything above glib
        (or gtk+) would have to be distributed under v3, which as
        already noted is a problem if you have any v2 only sources in
        any glib application. It would be a significant disruption for
        distributors to make sure all the licenses are OK.

It is only a problem if these v2 programs require updates. If the v2 programs stick to v2 interfaces, there is no issue.

     3. Companies are vary of GPLv3. It took a long time to begin to
        understand GPLv2, GPLv3 is still relatively more intimidating.

The GPL has always been scary. The people who were ever comfortable with it, probably didn't read the fine print.


Mark Mielke <mark mielke cc>

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