[aur-general] Licenses, GPL3 only

Alexander Duscheleit jinks at archlinux.us
Fri Aug 27 15:31:29 EDT 2010

On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 15:22:03 +0100
Peter Lewis <pete at muddygoat.org> wrote:

> On Thursday 26 August 2010 at 18:57 Alexander Duscheleit wrote:
> > Philipp Überbacher <hollunder at lavabit.com> wrote:
> > > Besides that, I think it's future proof.
> > > One issue though is that the meaning of:
> > > ('GPL2' 'GPL3')
> > > isn't the same as:
> > > 'GPL2 or later'
> > > It only is practically the same because there's nothing beyond
> > > GPL3 yet.
> > 
> > Just out of curiosity...
> > 
> > Supposed, there is a GPL4 around at some time in the future.
> > Now, if I receive some software under the terms of "GPL2 or later",
> > would it be in my right, to redistribute said software under "GPL3
> > only" as opposed to "GPL3 or later"?
> Yes, this is your right. Just as you can take some software released
> under "GPL2 or at your option, any later version" and redistribute it
> under GPL3 only. This is "your option". You do not have the pass the
> option on, since that doesn't form part of the copyleft.
> Of course, someone else can redistribute the original under GPL2
> only, GPL4 only, GPL2 "or later" or GPL3 "or later". That's their
> option :-)
That was my understanding, too. :-)

It gets more interesting, when I make changes to my redistributed
software, though.
If i understand correctly, if upstream is GPL2+ and my version is GLP3
only, I effectively either cut upstream out from my changes or force
them to upgrade their version to GPL3 only (not even GPL3+).
This looks to me, like I could violate the spirit of the GPL through the
GPL itself.
(Poaching in lawyers waters as a layman sure is fun :-D.)


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