[IAEP] ANNOUNCE: Moving Sugar to GPLv3+

Bernie Innocenti bernie at sugarlabs.org
Thu Apr 21 20:00:09 EDT 2011

On Thu, 2011-04-21 at 18:47 -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote: 
> On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM, Bernie Innocenti <bernie at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> > Q: Do we need to ask the permission of all copyright holders?
> > A: No, we'll take advantage of the "or any later version" clause in the
> > current license. We're not retroactively re-licensing existing code.
> This isn't actually true.  You can't change the license on my code --
> it's still "GPLv2 or later".  You can make a combined work where the
> new parts are GPLv3, and you can redistribute it under the terms of
> the GPLv3 (because of the "or later"), but you cannot change the
> license on the existing code unless you are the sole owner.  That is
> why the FSF does copyright assignment.

Isn't this exactly what I wrote?

  We're not retroactively re-licensing existing code.

> (See discussions on the net, for example: http://lwn.net/Articles/228354/ )
> I'm also opposed to this change, for three reasons:
> a) code of the affected code is mine, and i don't want to do it.

Authors can express their intentions through a license. If you didn't
want your code to be redistributed under a later versions of the GPL,
then why didn't you distribute as GPLv2-only?

> b) it seems to have no point, other than a philosophic one.  I'm
> opposed to change-for-change sake in this matter; it can only make
> things worse, and I see nothing which is being made *better*.

To me, this seems like the GPv3 has a long list of *practical*
advantages over the  GPLv2: 


A clearer patent license, better compatibility with other licenses,
anti-tivoization, protection from the DMCA, no ambiguities for
distributors, easier path to return into compliance for accidental

> (Ironically, moving to GPLv3 is taking freedoms *away* from users of
> Sugar).

Which freedoms are being taken away from the users of Sugar?

Bernie Innocenti
Sugar Labs Infrastructure Team

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