Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Mar 2009 18:02 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
GNU, GPL, Open Source Eric S. Raymond is one of the three big figures in open source, together with Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. During a talk for the Long Island Linux User Group, he made some interesting statements about the GPL, namely that the GPL is no longer needed due to the way the open source movement works.
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RE[2]: No
by ichi on Tue 24th Mar 2009 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: No"
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

GPL's "v2 or later" is optional, you are making it sound as if poor programmers were being imposed the license updates by the evil guys from the FSF.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[3]: No
by Kalessin on Wed 25th Mar 2009 21:51 in reply to "RE[2]: No"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

GPL's "v2 or later" is optional, you are making it sound as if poor programmers were being imposed the license updates by the evil guys from the FSF.


Well, they are and they aren't. It's totally up to the programmer which version of the GPL they license it under - including whether it says "or later." The problem is that you don't know what later licenses will entail. A programmer may love v2 and have licensed their code under "v2 or later" only to hate v3 when it came out and regretted that they left the "or later" clause allowing their code to be put under v3.

Technically, v4 of the GPL (should they ever choose to make one) could be identical to the BSD license, or the Apache license, or whatever the FSF feels like doing. By leaving "or later" in the license, you're allowing the FSF to decide what your license will say whenever they put out a new license. There are no guarantees that a new version of the GPL will be something that you agree with.

Naturally, the way to avoid the problem is to license your code under a specific version of the GPL and not include the "or later" clause, but anyone who leaves the "or later" clause in their license is letting the FSF do whatever they want to their code license-wise.

Reply Parent Score: 1