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

Roman Kyrylych roman.kyrylych at gmail.com
Thu Nov 8 07:08:43 EST 2007

2007/11/8, Simo Leone <simo at archlinux.org>:
> 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
>    Foundation.
> 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.

It is GPL3 now.
They announced it since 1.4.0 DR1 and now they COPYING file has:
                    GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
                       Version 3, 29 June 2007

> 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.

Hm, valid point, so you propose to have GPL for GPL2+ (most software)
and GPL2 for GPL2-only (e.g. Linux kernel)?
Then I guess most PKGBUILDs that changed GPL to GPL2 should be fixed.

Roman Kyrylych (Роман Кирилич)

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