# GPLv3

##### Personal tools
You are here: Home Additional terms opinion, LaTeX

##### Document Actions

Size 7.5 kB - File type text/x-tex

## File contents

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\begin{document}

\subsection*{Introduction}

The wording of section 7 in Draft 1 proved difficult for many readers
to understand.  In Draft 2 section 7 has been entirely rewritten and
bears a new title that more accurately reflects its scope.  The new
section 7 is longer than the first version, but it is no less concise;
it now explicitly addresses certain issues regarding the presence and
validity of additional terms that were not covered in the first
version.  It is meant to be clear, comprehensible, and comprehensive.
Because most of the comments we received on section 7 were, in effect,
questions about its meaning and interpretation, we use this opinion to
explain how section 7 provides a framework for the analysis and
treatment of additional terms under the GPL.

The GPL is a statement of permissions, some of which have conditions.
Additional terms, terms that supplement those of the GPL, may come to
be placed on, or removed from, GPL-covered code in certain common
ways.  We consider those added terms additional permissions'' if
they grant exceptions from the conditions of the GPL, and additional
requirements'' if they add conditions to the basic permissions of the
requirements under GPLv3 is necessarily asymmetrical, because they do
not raise the same ethical and interpretive issues; in particular,
additional requirements, if allowed without careful limitation, could
transform a GPL'd program into a non-free one.  With these principles
in the background, section 7 answers the following questions: (1) How
do the presence of additional terms on all or part of a GPL'd program
affect users' rights? (2) When and how may a licensee add terms to

of our own software under GPLv2 with permissive exceptions that allow
combination with non-free code, and that allow removal of those
permissions by downstream recipients; similarly, LGPLv2.1 is in
essence a permissive variant of GPLv2, and it permits relicensing
under the GPL.  We have generalized these practices in section 7.  A
whether it was placed by the original author or by an upstream
permission to any part of a work for which the licensee has, or can
has written that part, the licensee is the copyright holder for that
part and can therefore give additional permissions that are applicable
to it.  Alternatively, the part may have been written by someone else
additional permissions on that part are, in turn, removable by
downstream recipients.  As subsection 7a explains, the effect of an
additional permission depends on whether the permission applies to the
whole work or a part.

We have drafted version 3 of the GNU LGPL, which we have released with
Draft 2 of GPLv3, as a simple list of additional permissions
supplementing the terms of GPLv3.  Section 7 has thus provided the
basis for recasting a formally complex license as an elegant set of
added terms, without changing any of the fundamental features of the
existing LGPL.  We offer this draft of LGPLv3 as as a model for
developers wishing to license their works under the GPL with
permissive exceptions.  The removability of additional permissions
under section 7 does not alter any existing behavior of the LGPL; the
LGPL has always allowed relicensing under the ordinary GPL.

it is conventionally understood, is only one of several facets of the
compatibility issue arises for three reasons.  First, the GPL is a
strong copyleft license, requiring modified versions to be distributed
under the GPL.  Second, the GPL states that no further restrictions
may be placed on the rights of recipients.  Third, all other free
software licenses in common use contain certain requirements, many of
which are not conditions made by the GPL.  Thus, when GPL'd code is
modified by combination with code covered by another formal license
that specifies other requirements, and that modified code is then
distributed to others, the freedom of recipients may be burdened by
additional requirements in violation of the GPL.  It can be seen that

Section 7 relaxes the prohibition on further restrictions slightly by
enumerating, in subsection 7b, a limited list of categories of
additional requirements that may be placed on code without violating
GPLv3.  The list includes the items that were listed in Draft 1,
though rewritten for clarity.  It also includes a new catchall
category for terms that might not obviously fall within one of the
other categories but which are precisely equivalent to GPLv3
conditions, or which deny permission for activities clearly not
permitted by GPLv3.  We have carefully considered but rejected
proposals to expand this list further.  We have also rejected
suggestions, made by some discussion committee members, that the
Affero clause requirement (7d in Draft 1 and 7b4 in Draft 2) be
removed, though we have revised it in response to certain comments.
We are unwavering in our view that the Affero requirement is a
legitimate one, and we are committed to achieving compatibility of the
Affero GPL with GPLv3.

A GPL licensee may place an additional requirement on code for which
only if that requirement falls within the list given in subsection 7b.
Placement of any other kind of additional requirement continues to be
7b list may not be removed, but if a user receives GPL'd code that
purports to include an additional requirement not in the 7b list, the
user may remove that requirement.  Here we were particularly concerned
to address the problem of program authors who purport to license their
the GPL together with unacceptable added restrictions that would make
those works non-free software.

Section 7 points out that GPLv3 itself makes no assertion that an
However, section 7 makes clear that enforcement of such requirements
is expected to be by the termination procedure given in section 8 of
GPLv3.

\subsection*{Conclusion}

Some have questioned whether section 7 is needed, and some have
suggested that it creates complexity that did not previously exist.
code that carries additional terms.  One of the objectives of section
7 is to rationalize existing practices of program authors and
modifiers by setting clear guidelines regarding the removal and
addition of such terms.  With its carefully limited list of allowed
\end{document}