[arch-dev-public] GPL2 -> GPL3 license changes in packages

Simo Leone simo at archlinux.org
Thu Nov 8 06:15:35 EST 2007

On Thu, Nov 08, 2007 at 11:52:53AM +0200, Roman Kyrylych wrote:
> The license has changed to GPL3.
> I'm posting this to public list to make a notice that we should now
> look at GPL2->GPL3 relicensing process that more and more FOSS
> projects are doing.
> Also it could be nice to have GPL changed to GPL2 when updating other
> packages to clearly state the version.
Well, here's the thing...
9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
   of the General Public License from time to time.  Such new versions will
   be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
   address new problems or concerns.

   Each version is given a distinguishing version number.  If the Program
   specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
   later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions
   either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
   Software Foundation.  If the Program does not specify a version number of
   this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software

In other words, there are a few things going on here. First, I don't
know what you mean by "relicensing". If a version was never specified in
the first place, then any version of the GPL applies, yes, even GPL1.
Audacious hasn't changed its license, and they still do not specify a
particular version, so we can leave its license entry as "GPL", since
any version continues to be applicable.

I suspect that for the majority of other programs out there, the same
applies, most authors are too lazy to specify a version. The thing we
need to watch for is those authors that *do* choose to specify a version
at this point (which isn't surprising given the hubbub about gpl3).

I hope this also explains why we should _not_ be changing GPL to GPL2 as
we update old packages. The version that applies to them is *any*
version of the GPL, unless explicity stated otherwise.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/attachments/20071108/23ff778a/attachment.pgp>

More information about the arch-dev-public mailing list