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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2416: Square brackets?


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: jag on 2007-03-27 at 13:17 EST
0 agree:
noted by jag on 2007-03-27 at 13:17 EST:

What do the square brackets mean in this license? Elsewhere it refers to section numbers from version 2, but it's entirely unclear what they mean here.
noted by tieguy on 2007-03-28 at 17:23 EST:

As per the rationale document, they mean here that FSF/SFLC is not yet certain whether they should be included. See the rationale doc for why they aren't sure.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2417: Choice of numbers?


Regarding the text: 69
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: jag on 2007-03-27 at 14:04 EST
14 agree: freestu, spektre, tcort, easuter, rockmfr, larhzu, mbt, pboddie, samj, sepreece, horsten, wijnen, jamesgnz, mayeco
noted by jag on 2007-03-27 at 14:04 EST:

That's a bit puerile, don't you think? How old are we again? If we're going to seem childish, perhaps we could use version 3.1337 instead; at least it wouldn't be perceived as an inappropriate sexual reference.
noted by eml on 2007-03-29 at 19:09 EST:

i don't think it's puerile at all. It's a perfectly good natural number that needs no further explanation.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:10 EST:

My only objection is that "6.9" would be more plausible. The only GNU project program I know of that is anywhere close to hitting version 69 is Emacs.

No, I don't think it's puerile. You want puerile, look at Microsoft Office's EULA and some of the crazy stuff in there, particularly what you can use the clip art for. *That* is puerile.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-10 at 06:07 EDT:

I can imagine that some people would have serious issues with this, the developers of Jesux for instance:

http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Node/4081/

I can't imagine it would have much appeal in the southern states of the USA (isn't that activity illegal in some?), or in Catholicism.

If this draft of the GPL was the first I knew of FOSS, then I would probably write it off as a bunch of jokers messing around. I certainly wouldn't consider FOSS for use in mission critical systems.

And as it is, I would be embarassed to ask my boss, or, say, my girlfriend's parents to agree to this license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2418: Boilerplate Ty Coon complaint


Regarding the text: Ty Coon, President of Vice
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p12.s1
Submitted by: jag on 2007-03-27 at 14:07 EST
11 agree: fraggle, maginnis, pboddie, samj, bkuhn, sepreece, thezulu, wijnen, msikma, robilad, mayeco
noted by jag on 2007-03-27 at 14:07 EST:

While surely an unintentional consequence of trying to make an anti-corporate joke, given the controversy at the use of this name and its historical connotations in America as a derogatory term for black people, we should consider using a different name here.
noted by jbuck on 2007-03-28 at 17:42 EST:

I suggest "Mo Gul", as "mogul" is similar to "tycoon".
noted by gustavb on 2007-03-29 at 02:31 EST:

What controversy? In 25 years of being exposed to American media and movies, I've never heard that term. T. Ycoon / Tyc Oon just doesn't have the same ring. R. U. Sirius?
noted by bersl2 on 2007-03-29 at 04:00 EST:

The usage of "Coon" here is *extremely* inconsistent with the stereotype alluded to when using the word as a racial slur.
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 10:04 EST:

how about N. A. Seagull? if you want to get silly? Never heard the term 'coon' used in a derogatory way *except* referring to oil tycoon types.
noted by pboddie on 2007-03-29 at 12:53 EST:

I've always thought that the cited text was ridiculous and it doesn't necessarily make sense to non-native English speakers. President of Vice? Things like VPs aren't universal business terms, anyway. Why not just use descriptive words like "FirstName FamilyName, JobTitle" or even use bracketed terms and just tell people to replace them?
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:15 EST:

To me, it's obviously not a racial slur. I think the GPL has been like this since the beginning. I only got into free software in the GPLv2 era, so I could be wrong on this.
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:38 EST:

While I'm not usually one to care about such things, certainly someone somewhere considers 'coon' an offensive term (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=coon) and as such we should use something more professional (suggest boilerplate: Name, Position, Company or something innocuous like 'Acme, Inc.')
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 05:29 EST:

Acme is trademarked, isn't it?
Reference by ticket #2481 added by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:22 EST
Reference by ticket #2481 deleted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:22 EST
Reference by ticket #2418 added by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:22 EST
Merged into ticket #2418 by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:24 EST
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:28 EST:

I have previously offered up a spelling change to my last name, Kuhn, which sounds the same when read aloud but doesn't usually evoke the same immediate reaction as a racist term. Given that I was once Vice President of FSF itself, I thought it'd be a cute thing to do. But I suppose my own vanity and desire to be immortalized in GPLv3 might be influencing my thoughts on this matter.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2425: very awkward phrasing


Regarding the text: The systematic pattern of such abuse occurs in the area of products for individuals to use,
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: tieguy on 2007-03-28 at 09:37 EST
8 agree: aaronmf, maginnis, spektre, raphael, mbt, skquinn, kohlera, mayeco
noted by tieguy on 2007-03-28 at 09:37 EST:

Might suggest 'This abuse occurs systematically in products designed for individual use...'
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 10:20 EST:

Agreed and would substitute "This type of abuse most often occurs in the firmware of consumer goods..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2426: what is the intended audience here?


Regarding the text: most
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: eml on 2007-03-28 at 09:45 EST
14 agree: tcort, cyd, maginnis, tieguy, raulir, floppus, Adhemar, sanjoy, bkuhn, kohlera, gerv, stikonas, mole, mayeco
noted by eml on 2007-03-28 at 09:45 EST:

I don't understand the word "most" on the preamble. Is it really true that most software has non-free licenses? When the preamble was originally written this made sense, for sure, but now it sounds unnecessarily pessimist.

Maybe something along the lines of "The licenses for proprietary software are designed to take away your freedom to share..." would be clearer.

noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 12:07 EST:

Number One the statement as written is true. Most licenses are restrictive and are meant to take away parts of your freedome to use to subject of the license. Number Two this is a good example of plain language being used well to state the intent of a legal document and should not be tampered with, there are enough technical terms in this document. I would leave it alone.
noted by rockmfr on 2007-03-28 at 13:01 EST:

Recommend changing the wording from "most" to "some", as I can't see any undesired side-effects of using the word "some". This statement can also actually be proven. The "most" version would be a bit more difficult to prove, unless someone wishes to make up some statistics on the spot -- 98.7% of software is evil!

"Proprietary" is neither well-defined nor all-inclusive of the software being talked about in this section.

noted by masood on 2007-03-29 at 00:54 EST:

"most" software can also refer to software mostly in use. Since, non-free licenses cover majority of software that people run everyday such as operating systems, office applications ..., I think it's fair to emphasize on this point. After all, the real danger of non-free licenses is their dominant position in market.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-29 at 02:58 EST:

"most" can easily be proven, unfortunately. As stated by masood in the previous comment, non-free licenses cover the software installed on more than 90% of the PCs. Although I wish this would change soon, we can safely assume that "most" is and will be appropriate for quite a while.
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 15:07 EST:

Stallman himself has long argued that most software in the world is custom software: neither proprietary nor free but written for one group of users on a single work site. I agree with other comments that this is too pessimistic and alludes to a time when the idea of copyleft was novel. Copyleft is now an integral part of the world. I think we should reconsider this word, although I don't know if "some" packs any punch. Perhaps we should reword the whole sentence to something like: "Traditional proprietary licensing models take away your freedom..."
Dependency by ticket #2516 added by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 15:08 EST

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Child comment of 2426: 2516: Change wording ±

Comment 2516: Change wording


Regarding the text: most
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:00 EST
3 agree: mbt, samj, mjuarez
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:00 EST:

Change this to "The licenses for many software applications..." I'm not even sure "most" is accurate given how much software is released under various free software licenses.
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:12 EST:

Why not say simply "Some software licenses...".
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:18 EST:

Actually "The licenses for most software and other practical works" would change into "Some licenses for software and other practical works...".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2427: Essential Patent Claims


Regarding the text: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In section: gpl3.terms.0.0
Submitted by: aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 09:48 EST
0 agree:
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 09:48 EST:

A party's "essential patent claims" in a work are all patent claims owned or controlled by the party, including but not limited to the taking of any promise, pledge, undertaking or other obligation to protect from or refrain from enforcement of the potential or actual patent claim of another, whether already acquired or to be acquired, that would be infringed by making, using, or selling the work.
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 09:56 EST:

A party's "essential patent claims" in a work are all patent claims owned or controlled by the party, including but not limited to the taking of any promise, pledge, undertaking or other obligation to protect from or refrain from enforcement of the potential or actual patent claim of another, whether already acquired or to be acquired, that would be infringed or potentially infringed by making, using, or selling the work.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2428: does not clarify


Regarding the text: to make sure the software is free for all its users
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s2
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 09:54 EST
3 agree: spektre, cyd, maginnis
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 09:54 EST:

The initial part of the sentence is fine. Why spoil it?

If you must, try this:

"By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the recipients of such software are free."

It's not the software that must be free, but those members of the public who are in receipt of it.

'free software' is a descriptive term to identify the class of software. The thing that is free is the human being - NOT the software.

noted by mbt on 2007-03-29 at 11:50 EST:

I must disagree. The license is addressing software; not people. Furthermore, I think that we can all agree that the ultimate freedom is that of choice. It is important to distinguish that the software itself perpetuates the freedom, I think, so that the person looking at the software knows that if they choose to use that software, they are also choosing to be able to do more with their software than the alternative options.
noted by tony32 on 2007-03-29 at 13:55 EST:

I think the phrase "to make sure the software is free for all its users" is perfectly clear. If person A obtains GPL software for free, then he cannot pass it on to Person B, either in modified or unmodified form, unless it is also for free. Taking somebody else's work, which you obtained for free, then selling it on to someone else for a profit is totally against the principles of free software and the GPL.

I totally disagree with crosbie that it is the human being who uses the software that is supposed to be "free", not the software.

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 17:24 EST:

That people with a significant interest in the GPL can still disagree as to the principles of the GPL either indicates the preamble needs improvement, or that trolls have descended.
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 04:56 EST:

at tony32: Price has never been an issue for the GPL. To quote RMS "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer."
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-23 at 10:57 EDT:

Price is an issue when you read statements such as "to make sure the software is free for all its users". In this context "free" means "with no price" and not "free of any restrictions".

The use of the word "free" is therefore confusing and ambiguous, and therefore needs to be restated so that it is precise, exact and totally unambiguous.

If "free" is only intended to mean "without restrictions" and not "without price" then it should make this distinction quite clear.

If it is permissible to charge a price (as with "you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)") then the circumstances in which it is permissible, and more importantly not permissible, to charge a price should be clearly stated. For example, if I can charge a fee for distribution (where "distribution" is defined as conveying with the use of physical media) does it also mean that I cannot charge a fee for something which does not involve distribution? If I do not distribute the software but instead make a runnable version available over a network, is it permissible to charge users a fee each time they access the software? If I can only charge a fee which is sufficient to cover certain costs and therefore not make a profit, then the license should clearly state what those costs are, and make it clear tat it is to "cover legitimate costs" and "not for profit".

The current wording of the GPL is too vague and imprecise in this area, so needs to be rewritten to remove any misconceptions, misinterpretations and ambiguities.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2429: Grandfather Novell?


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: freestu on 2007-03-28 at 10:00 EST
1 agree: michals
noted by freestu on 2007-03-28 at 10:00 EST:

Does this bracketed phrase mean that Novell and their agreement with Microsoft is grandfathered in?
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 13:17 EST:

Please read the GPLv3 rationale (http://gplv3.fsf.org/rationale), especially section 3.4.4 "Note on the Microsoft/Novell Deal" on pages 25-27. The last two paragraph of that section explain precisely why this cutoff date may or may not be necessary.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2430: Grandfather clause?


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: freestu on 2007-03-28 at 10:07 EST
21 agree: spektre, tcort, vladc, easuter, raulir, michals, nb, pboddie, rhouse, pjm, marechal, sanjoy, ericfish, novalis, vincentc, kune, fraggle, prezaxl, edscho, nulled, masood
noted by freestu on 2007-03-28 at 10:07 EST:

Is the purpose of this bracketed clause to grandfather the agreement between Novell and Microsoft? If so, I think its a bad idea.
noted by doclist on 2007-03-29 at 17:38 EST:

Please read the rationale document.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2431: Rights are 'supposedly' already protected by law


Regarding the text: rights
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s1
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 10:13 EST
3 agree: bicchi, kohlera, ralphm
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 10:13 EST:

The GPL protects the freedom that it contrives for the licensee.

The law (rather than the GPL) is supposed to protect our rights.

Unfortunately, the law in the form of copyright suspended people's right to share and build upon public works.

So, if anything the GPL restores the licensee's right and protects this restoration.

Rights are what people start off with (supposedly inalienable).

Copyright and patents are commercial privileges that suspend rights (forgivably from a few corporations, but unethically from the public).

Licenses grant permission, i.e. selective/conditional restoration of rights suspended by privilege.

Let's get this terminology coherent and consistent.

The GPL has already demonstrated against abusive redefinition of license from contract (EULA), and free 'as in freedom not as in free beer', let's see it assert the proper definition for 'right' too.

noted by fej on 2007-04-06 at 17:11 EDT:

IANAL, but I don't think that all rights are inalienable. That they are not inalienable is a reason we need the GPL. For example, we are certainly not born with the right to use the gnu operating system. When I was born, there was no gnu; the right to use it was a right that had to be created, and given to me. If a right can be given, it can also be not given, and in some conditions even traded or taken away. I think the GPL here is rather consistent, not only with itself but with centuries of common and civil law usage of the term.
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-07 at 13:46 EDT:

fej, a lot of people think that licenses are contracts. A lot of people think that copyright is a right. A lot of people think that 'free' means 'free of charge' instead of 'unencumbered by constraint' (of which 'charge' is merely one constraint).

The fact that people with an interest in making things into more than they are will abuse terminology, doesn't mean that they achieve their ends.

You do not need an explicit 'right to use GPL software'. Your right to liberty enables you to associate and participate in a free market, your right to truth upholds the contract you make with a vendor to purchase a copy, your right to privacy ensures that none may interfere with your use of what is now your private copy. It's up to you to choose the markets and deals you make.

The state interferes with your rights by creating commercial privileges such as patent and copyright.

No license can create rights, it can only EFFECTIVELY restore to you the rights that the state has suspended from you. The state exchanged that suspension for a commercial incentive (in the biased delusion that this would be an equitable exchange, and one that it was authorised to make on your behalf).

No-one can give you rights. Even the state can't give you rights. You are born with rights. The state recognises them and protects them (if you're lucky). Unfortunately, the state can suspend its recognition of them for a 'limited time' whilst it gives someone else the privilege of selling the recognition of your rights back to you.

So, when the state creates a commercial privilege and calls it 'copyright', this does not create a right, it actually suspends your rights to liberty and privacy.

And I wouldn't look to lawyers as an authority when it comes to rights. They'll favour interpretations that support their corporate paymasters rather than relatively penniless individuals.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2432: "Patent Contributer"


Regarding the text: "contributor"
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: gustavb on 2007-03-28 at 10:18 EST
0 agree:
noted by gustavb on 2007-03-28 at 10:18 EST:

Think that distinction should be made between code contributer and patent contributer. Are two different roles. Suspect that licence would be simpler if treated as two roles.
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-28 at 10:45 EST:

I don't understand why the license would be simpler if treated as two roles. Usually that would result in required redundancy as you could not then rely upon language used for one type of license contributor to bind the other contributor. I believe it is better to leave this as is.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2433: "Patent licencing"


Regarding the text: Each contributor
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: gustavb on 2007-03-28 at 10:23 EST
0 agree:
noted by gustavb on 2007-03-28 at 10:23 EST:

Suggest following: Each patent licence contribution to a Program must grant a yadda-yadda licence to all works covered by the GPL, or that licence cannot be accepted.

Basically, patent licence must be free enough to ensure future freedom, or patent licence cannot be accepted, and program incorporating ideas by that unacceptably licenced patent cannot be distributed AT ALL.

Freedom or death.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2434: This is missing the terminating /


Regarding the text: http://www.gnu.org/licenses.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p13.s1
Submitted by: fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:28 EST
9 agree: raphael, rockmfr, thomas, mbt, eml, samj, miloso, mayeco, johnston
noted by fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:28 EST:

This URL is missing the ending '/'.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2435: Missing trailing slash


Regarding the text: http://fsf.org
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:29 EST
16 agree: raphael, rockmfr, ewanm89, gfenton, IanLewis, larhzu, mbt, eml, bicchi, mkorman, jamesgnz, kohlera, msikma, mjuarez, johnston, f234k
noted by fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:29 EST:

This URL is missing a trailing '/'. It should read "http://fsf.org/" or "http://www.fsf.org/".
noted by samj on 2007-03-29 at 15:57 EST:

Agree with the trailing slash but not with the superfluous 'www.' prefix
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 18:21 EST:

When I type "http://fsf.org" in my web browser, it is redirected to "http://www.fsf.org/", so I think the "www." should be included, unless the fsf is planning on dropping it from their website.
noted by adhemar on 2007-05-28 at 17:50 EDT:

I agree with jamesgnz, with one addition.

The absolute preferable situation would be that the site becomes no-WWW class B (meaning http://www.fsf.org redirects to http://fsf.org/).

But if the website’s configuration stays as it, then the link should read http://www.fsf.org/. With trailing slash.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2436: Missing trailing slash


Regarding the text: http://www.gnu.org/licenses
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p5.s1
Submitted by: fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:30 EST
7 agree: raphael, rockmfr, larhzu, samj, rodom, mayeco, johnston
noted by fraggle on 2007-03-28 at 10:30 EST:

This URL is also missing a trailing slash and should read "http://www.gnu.org/licenses/".
noted by gerv on 2007-03-28 at 16:22 EST:

Actually, no. There is a resource called "licenses" at the top-level of the website "www.gnu.org", and so it is rightly referred to as "http://www.gnu.org/licenses" . It may, as it happens, be implemented server-side by a directory called "licenses" with a file inside called "index.html", but then again it may be implemented by a CMS which maps the name "licenses" to some content in its database. You can't tell, and so cannot state categorically that a trailing slash is "missing".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2437: possibly ambiguous


Regarding the text: valid for at least three years and valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:40 EST
8 agree: raphael, illy, erge, mnalis, kohlera, mole, mux2005, johnston
noted by tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:40 EST:

This statement is in the form: A and B or C. Maybe it could be reworded to "valid for at least three years. After the initial three years, the offer must remain valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model"
noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 12:17 EDT:

Or even the shorter:

"valid for at least three years, and then for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model"

Gerv

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-08 at 22:44 EDT:

/ This statement is in the form: A and B or C /

I disagree. I think the statement is clearly A and (B or C). "valid for at least three years or customer support for that product model" doesn't make any sense.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2438: Definition please


Regarding the text: only occasionally
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p3.s2
Submitted by: tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:46 EST
6 agree: vladc, michals, ccady, stevenj, jamesgnz, johnston
noted by tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:46 EST:

What is this alternative allowed or not allowed? What is the exact meaning of 'only occasionally'?
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 06:04 EDT:

If 6c is to be included, specify a limit on the number of copies that can be made in this way, e.g. 10 copies.

Occassionally could concievably be once a week, and if the original conveyor is required to distribute source for the next 3 years, this would make them responsible for over 150 copies when they only made one copy themselves.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2439: Definition please


Regarding the text: noncommercially
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p3.s2
Submitted by: tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:50 EST
3 agree: vladc, bluebirc, ccady
noted by tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:50 EST:

What does 'noncommercially' mean here?

Does it mean... The source code is conveyed without a fee? The object code is conveyed without a fee? Both are conveyed without a fee? A bussiness isn't allowed to use this method?

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-23 at 11:42 EDT:

If the dictionary definition of "commercial" means "for profit" then "noncommercially" surely means "not for profit" and not simply "by a commercial organisation". It is possible for a commercial organisation to do something without making a profit. Perhaps the term "noncommercially" should be changed to "not for profit" to remove any confusion.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2440: Best compromise


Regarding the text: 13. Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 10:51 EST
3 agree: mole, kohlera, jamesgnz
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 10:51 EST:

Given a compulsory-reciprocation license is distinct from a liberty-restoration license, it's indeed best that the licenses remain separate.

Compatibility at the linkage level certainly helps preserve a clear demarcation between source subject to each license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2441: prefered form for modification


Regarding the text: machine-readable Corresponding Source
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p0.s1
Submitted by: tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:52 EST
7 agree: tcort, raulir, IanLewis, raphael, samj, jring, gerv
noted by tcort on 2007-03-28 at 10:52 EST:

Shouldn't this instead be 'preferred form for modification'? A machine can read a book using OCR (optical characters recognition) or read a DRM restricted file with the correct key, but neither is suitable for easy modification.
noted by vstarre on 2007-03-28 at 12:00 EST:

agree that this needs to be clarified, but "preferred" opens up its own problem. I prefer source files which don't require proprietary programs to edit or compile, but those aren't always possible, and even when they are I don't believe it should be the burden of the distributor to magic them into existence.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-29 at 03:08 EST:

See also my comment on "preferred form of the work for making modifications to it" in section 1. People using different tools may have very different ideas of what is the "preferred form". In some cases, these "preferred forms" may be mutually exclusive. See the example in that comment for more details about why this could be a problem. Although I agree that "machine-readable" is not a very good choice of words, "preferred form" is not perfect either.
noted by ianlewis on 2007-03-29 at 03:09 EST:

"Preferred source code" is defined earlier in the document which makes it easy to understand what this text is talking about. The "preferred" language that vstarre mentioned is self defined.
noted by ianlewis on 2007-03-29 at 03:11 EST:

Actually, this should probably just say "source code" as that is the term that is defined earlier in the document.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2442: tell people they can omit this


Regarding the text: , or (at your option) any later version.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p3.s1
Submitted by: tcort on 2007-03-28 at 11:01 EST
1 agree: easuter
noted by tcort on 2007-03-28 at 11:01 EST:

Many people don't know that they can omit this part to make their program GPL v3 only. Please consider adding a sentence or two explaining this point.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2443: Grammar - among


Regarding the text: between
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s3
Submitted by: maginnis on 2007-03-28 at 11:06 EST
1 agree: aaronmf
noted by maginnis on 2007-03-28 at 11:06 EST:

Should read "among those subprograms" between is for interactions of just two subprograms.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2444: define "based on"


Regarding the text: The resulting work is called a "modified version" of the earlier work or a work "based on" the earlier work.
In section: gpl3.definitions.p2.s2
Submitted by: wasabi on 2007-03-28 at 11:13 EST
0 agree:
noted by wasabi on 2007-03-28 at 11:13 EST:

This still does not contain a definition of "based on". What does "based on" mean?

We all know the common "linking" stuff... but "based on" is a very subjective term. It needs to be clarified. Does this mean linking in the sense of copying original work into new work or "using" in layman terms. If I write some software which talks to a GPLed piece of software through a pipe, does that make my work "based on" the other? I would certainly think it would. I am using their code to accomplish a job. There is nothing here disimilar to linking except on a technical level. Yet, people commonly consider this 'ok'.

Please clarify the term. Thanks.

noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:31 EST:

As with the GNU GPL v 2, what constitutes a derivative work is a matter for local copyright law to decide; it cannot, and should not, be addressed in this license.
noted by mole on 2007-03-29 at 12:44 EST:

Based on and modified version appear to be listed as synonyms for the definition "to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of a verbatim copy", so it sounds like they are both synonyms for derivative work. Might it be better to use the phrase "derivative work" here instead?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2445: This section should be removed.


Regarding the text: 13. Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:19 EST
9 agree: kaol, mole, strobhen, ismaell, wijnen, fraggle, rodom, tfelker, mux2005
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:19 EST:

This section should be removed; if the copyright holder wishes to cross-license with the Affero GPL, he or she should explicitly cross-license. Forcing this cross-licensing upon all users of the GNU GPLv3 would mean that any loopholes in the AGPLv2 would "contaminate" the GNU GPLv3.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:57 EST:

The only way for this to be safe would be if the Affero GPLv2 is identical to the GNU GPLv3 + a restriction related to availability of the code when used as a network service (similar to how the Affero GPLv1 is the identical to the GNU GPLv2 + a new section 2d).

If the Affero GPLv2 only adds a restriction and does not offer any additional permissions, then it should be safe from loopholes. Or more precisely, as safe as the GNU GPLv3, which is what matters here.

But until I see the Affero GPLv2, it is hard to support that section as it is currently written.

noted by gerv on 2007-03-28 at 16:20 EST:

It's not a cross-license. It's an additional permission to link. There is no way in which the GPL code falls under the Affero GPL or vice versa. So there would not be "cross-contamination of loopholes".
noted by mole on 2007-03-29 at 11:35 EST:

A web search on Affero General Public License turned up the page: http://www.affero.org/oagpl.html which claims to be "Version 1, March 2002", but doesn't appear to exist in version 2. The Affero General Public License version 1 (from 2002) references the GPL version 3, but appears in effect to be the GPL version 2 with some minor changes for supporting distribution by web services. Compulsory cross licensing with this license appears to strip all the new provisions of the GPL3. It is far better to deal directly with the issues for which the Affero license was created in the GPL V3. I absolutely agree that this special case compulsory cross-licensing clause should be removed.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-05-01 at 18:50 EDT:

/ Compulsory cross licensing with this license appears to strip all the new provisions of the GPL3. /

Since the AGPL v1 is based on the GPL v2, then presumably the AGPL v2 will be based on the GPL v3.

/ It is far better to deal directly with the issues for which the Affero license was created in the GPL V3. /

I think a lot of people are unhappy with this idea, as they see the AGPL as significantly different from the GPL.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2446: Replace this segment


Regarding the text: for anyone to copy, free of charge and under the terms of this License, through a publicly available network server or other readily accessible means
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2.s1
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:23 EST
1 agree: illy
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:23 EST:

The GNU GPL does not require, in general, that anything be "free of charge"; for example, source code can be offered for the reasonable charge of printing a copy. I suggest replacing this part with "under the preceding conditions of this license", or such.
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-24 at 08:19 EDT:

If you may charge a fee for GPL software, but only "reasonable" charges which cover to cost of supplying physical media, whether it be magnetic, paper or otherwise, then perhaps the word "free" should be changed to "not for profit". Either you can charge a fee or you cannot. Either you can charge a fee to cover certain legitimate costs (such as providing physical distribution media) or you can charge whatever you like and make a fat profit. It is about time that the GPL clearly stated the reasons for which you can and cannot charge fees, and whether those fees should only cover certain costs or to make a profit. Too many parts of the current draft hint at different things in different sections, so depending on which section you are reading you get a different interpretation.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2447: If you want it to be excluded, specify the deal expicitly.


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: ibor on 2007-03-28 at 11:30 EST
3 agree: vladc, easuter, nulled
noted by ibor on 2007-03-28 at 11:30 EST:

Let's see how many people will come along showing agreements allegedly signed prior to that date.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2448: Move to next paragraph?


Regarding the text: A "Standard Interface" means an interface that either is an official standard defined by a recognized standards body, or, in the case of interfaces specified for a particular programming language, one that is widely used among developers working in that l
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p1.s1
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:35 EST
4 agree: tieguy, raulir, mole, mux2005
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:35 EST:

The "Standard Inferface" definition, like the "Major Component" definition, are used in this license only for defining what "System Libraries" are. However, "Standard Interface" is given its own paragraph, while "Major Component" is defined as a clarifying comment in the "System Libraries" definition paragraph. I suggest putting the "Standard Interface" and "Major Component" definitions consecutively.
noted by tieguy on 2007-03-28 at 17:00 EST:

I agree with the first comment; I found this structure confusing when I first read through it.
noted by mole on 2007-05-02 at 10:05 EDT:

I agree. The structure is confusing. Use three paragraphs, in order: Standard Interface, Major Component, System Libraries.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2449: Remove this part?


Regarding the text: and tells the user that there is no warranty for the work (unless you provide a warranty)
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s1
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:38 EST:

This requirement seems unnecessary.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2450: Get out of jail free card is handcuffing GPL enforcers


Regarding the text: , provided 60 days have not elapsed since the most recent violation
In section: gpl3.termination.p0.s3
Submitted by: vladc on 2007-03-28 at 11:40 EST
23 agree: easuter, kaol, maginnis, mbreuer, larhzu, mbt, skquinn, graceej, marechal, ericfish, bicchi, mnalis, flaschen, thezulu, kohlera, ismaell, ccady, njaard, dmichaud, mjuarez, mayeco, jamesj, mux2005
noted by vladc on 2007-03-28 at 11:40 EST:

Please drop this section of the sentence. The 60 day rule is a "get out of jail free" card for unscrupulous interests who violate the GPL in the hope that no-one will immediately notice. What if court proceeding take more than 60 days? By the time the verdict is given out the guilty party won't be in violation of the license anymore and therefore the judge will be forced to rule in the violators' favor.

I've watched http://GPL-Violations.org for some time and realize that it takes months for a GPL violation to be noticed, months before developers who care are contacted, and months before those developers can hire a lawyer and mount a realistic lawsuit. Not to mention the exorbitant legal costs involved in asserting the FOSS developer's copyright.

Ask yourselves: would the RIAA/MPAA refrain from suing people if they downloaded a song/movie more than 60 days ago? Yeah right! So why should FOSS developers be handcuffed in this way?

Finally, judges are well prepared to decide whether to prosecute "old" violations, where "old" is defined by the jurisdiction's copyright laws and statute of limitations.

Again, please don't shortchange GPL enforcers. If the GPL is unenforceable, all of other provisions are worthless!

Removing this part of the sentence would give GPL enforcers however long they need to notify the infringer, and it will make GPL enforcement easier. As a developer who releases code under the GPL, I'd hate it if my own license started imposing deadlines on me!

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 19:00 EST:

The 60 day limit is a little odd, but it is certainly no "get out of jail free" card. Regardless of whether you have had your license terminated or not, you can still be sued for any GPL violations. Terminating your license simply allows authors to sue you for all your legitimate use of GPL works too. If your violation was relatively minor, then this might be the only way that they can be sure of repossessing your house.
noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 12:36 EDT:

"The 60 day rule is a "get out of jail free" card for unscrupulous interests who violate the GPL in the hope that no-one will immediately notice. What if court proceeding take more than 60 days?"

The 60 day rule is for putting the violator on notice. If they continue the violation, court proceedings can take as long as they need to.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 05:45 EDT:

Please read my Comment 2809: Death penalty for parking infringements
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 11:54 EDT:

I agree that this should be struck or at least extended to something significantly higher (I suggest no less than 24 months). Especially small parties attempting to enforce the GPL against big parties might not want to move too hastily. They will want to evaluate the situation, maybe collect money to pay for a lawyer, find a lawyer and consult that lawyer, before they even send out the notice to the infringer. Especially hobbyist developers will often be hesitant to send a notice to a big company unless they can secure community support first, which may take much more than 60 days.

An additional problem with the 60 days rule is that the time of the most recent violation is often hard to pin down and you'll often be required to argue that a violation is ongoing, which is not always an easy case to make. For instance, what if a company sold routers containing Linux without providing source, but has stopped doing so 180 days ago. They don't offer firmware images for download but they do have a support crew that repairs the machines, which may or may not include replacing the firmware. Is it an ongoing violation if they don't replace the firmware? IOW, is it an ongoing violation, just because employees regulary touch the machines in question? In any case, how do you prove this without access to inside information about their support? Will you have to sue just to find out in discovery that they don't touch the firmware anymore which makes your lawsuit collapse (with all the costs involved)?

The 60 day rule hinders practical enforcement, because it encourages weasel arguments and bargaining for days on the part of the infringer ("You sent the notice to our EMEA branch but that is not the actual licensor of the product. Once the notice had been relayed to our American branch the 60 days had passed. Sorry pal. Better luck next time.") Sure, you can always sue to get this settled, but who will take the risk of a lawsuit if he can't even be sure he has legally provided the necessary 60 days notice? So the doubts that the 60 days rule introduces put the infringer in a good position to discourage the licensor from enforcing his rights.

Another argument against the 60 days rule is that it seems to significantly weaken the GPL with respect to one time transactions. For instance if someone creates a work that includes GPLed code specifically for a customer and has that customer sign a restrictive NDA that violates the GPL, he may get off. If a copyright holder does not hear of this within 60 days, then there's nothing he can do against the violator, not even terminate his rights to use that GPLed software in the future. Or would argue that this is an ongoing violation, because the NDA is ongoing? IANAL, but I don't think that this is a case that is easy to make, which brings us back to the paragraph further above. Uncertainty like this discourages enforcement of the GPL by small parties and therefore weakens it.

Finally, the 60 days rule gives licensees a reason to be careless, because it limits their window of exposure to legal consequences. I think that the threat of legal consequences not limited in time is a good deterrent against infringement.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2451: Elaboration not needed


Regarding the text: Specifically, if the interface presents a list of user commands or options, such as a menu, a command to display this information must be prominent in the list; otherwise, the work must display this information at startup.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s2
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:42 EST
2 agree: samj, flaschen
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:42 EST:

In the interest of space, the license should provide examples in this way only on important points, such as the precise definition of corresponding source. It is not necessary, and in fact distasteful, to dictate that the program should add "a list of user commands" and so forth.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2452: network server


Regarding the text: place
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p4.s1
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:46 EST
2 agree: mathfox, kohlera
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:46 EST:

It is not clear, until further in this paragraph, that "place" means (typically) a network server. I suggest "...from a designated place, such as a network server, ..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2453: Whose license?


Regarding the text: version 2 of the Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: kaol on 2007-03-28 at 11:46 EST
5 agree: raphael, njaard, bkuhn, mux2005, thomasd
noted by kaol on 2007-03-28 at 11:46 EST:

Like 14., this should identify the legal entity that publishes Affero General Public License.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:36 EST:

As the current draft stands, anybody could write a license and claim that it is the "version 2 of the Affero General Public License" (unless some Affero trademark applies in their country/jurisdiction). This would be too easy to abuse.

Granted, a simple web search currently shows the right license among the first hits, but even that could change over time.

noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:45 EST:

Sorry, my previous comment should have said: "a simple web search currently shows version 1 of the Affero General Public License"... Not version 2.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2454: Definition of the term "organizations" suggested


Regarding the text: organizations.
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s4
Submitted by: maginnis on 2007-03-28 at 11:47 EST
1 agree: jamesgnz
noted by maginnis on 2007-03-28 at 11:47 EST:

"Organizations" seems to apply to two or more individuals here but used in Section 10 to refer to parts of the work.

Also, when describing two or more individuals where the concepts of "propagate" or "convey," DO NOT apply, then it seems that the boundary conditions of the organization need to be specified.

Does the term organization refer to strictly legal organizations such as corporations, charities, etc. or does it refer to informal organizations such as clubs, schools, etc.

What makes an individual a member of the organization? How long must a member be in the organization before the GPL terms "propagate" and "convey" do not apply? To circumvent the GPL, can organizations (i.e., companies) make their customers members?

What about organizations such as the federal or state governments? Does the GPL terms "propagate" and "convey" apply to the Army sharing GPL'd based code classified as SECRET with the Navy? Since government employees are public employees and cannot copyright a work, does the GPL apply to any software created by government employees? Under what conditions is a private contractor a member of the government organization? Does the GPL apply to GPL'd based code classified as SECRET and written for the government?

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 13:41 EST:

I think that employees, contractors, or agencies of an organisation, are not considered in receipt of a GPL licensed work (not subject to its terms nor granted any liberty) delivered to the organisation and any derivative developed therein, unless the organisation explicitly delivers copies to them for their own private possession.

So, if as IT manager for MS, Fred Bloggs walks into a shop and buys a copy of RedHat with his MS credit card, Fred Bloggs is not a licensee, but MS is. However, MS may send a memo telling Fred to freely distribute copies of Red Hat to all staff who want one (whereupon recipients become licensees). However, simply because an employee obtains access to a copy within the organisation, even if they obtain permission to produce further copies for the organisation, doesn't grant them permission to obtain a legitimate private copy.

I think that 'organisation' is defined by the licensee, either it's "All workers in the Red Cross" or "The Red Cross" or "Fred Bloggs who co-incidentally happens to work for Red Cross at the weekend".

As far as an organisation developing GPL derivatives and selling employment contracts to people wishing to utilise the software goes, well, this is actually a non-issue. If the employment contract is sold (and you don't get paid anything) then it's doubtful to be recognised as such, moreover it could be demonstrated that you have provided consideration for the software copy and consequently you should become a licensee.

Otherwise, the maximum penalty for unilateral publication of unreleased software (to which one has access as an employee) should be an equal share in its development costs (where a share is defined as the reciprocal of the number of persons granted access to the software).

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 05:02 EDT:

/ Otherwise, the maximum penalty for unilateral publication of unreleased software (to which one has access as an employee) should be an equal share in its development costs (where a share is defined as the reciprocal of the number of persons granted access to the software). /

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning for this... Is it something like anyone who has access to the source could publish it, and if everyone who had access published it, then they should all be fined the same, and if one person published it, then you can't be sure that others haven't, or won't, and the total of all fines shouldn't be more than the total cost of development? This is all I can think of.

But surely just as much harm is caused if one person publishes 10 copies as if a group of 10 people publish one copy each, so why should the later case potentially incur total fines 10 times greater?

I think it might be best for the GPL to stay away from setting penalties, since it's a whole other complicated issue.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-24 at 16:22 EDT:

The idea is that all collaborators involved in a collective work have a right to unilaterally publish the collective work. Everyone is presumed to have borne an equal share in the cost of developing the work. So, the most that any single collaborator can be liable for is their equal share.

In other words, a collaborator cannot be held liable for anything in addition to development costs, e.g. loss of potential market value.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2455: Definition


Regarding the text: A "User Product"
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s1
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:48 EST
6 agree: samj, eml, sumnerp, bsost, kohlera, gerv
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:48 EST:

This definition, and the definition of "Installation information", should be merged into a single paragraph and moved to the Definitions section.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2456: Let us see this version 2 first.


Regarding the text: version 2
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: kaol on 2007-03-28 at 11:49 EST
10 agree: raphael, jastiv, jring, illy, larhzu, mole, sanjoy, mayeco, mux2005, thomasd
noted by kaol on 2007-03-28 at 11:49 EST:

Where can this AGPL version 2 be read? Is it still being drafted? Are you asking us to approve compatibility with another license blindly?
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 13:00 EST:

This is discussed in the rational document, to quote:

Version 2 of the Affero GPL is not yet published. We will work with Affero, Inc., and with all other interested members of our community, to complete the drafting of this license following the release of Draft 3, with a goal of having a final version available by the time of our adoption of the final version of GPLv3.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2457: Typo


Regarding the text: for example, the work has been installed in ROM
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:49 EST
1 agree: michals
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:49 EST:

This should be: "for example, *if* the work..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2458: Materially?


Regarding the text: when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:51 EST
4 agree: vladc, skquinn, mnalis, ArneBab
noted by cyd on 2007-03-28 at 11:51 EST:

Tivo, for instance, might argue that modified copies "materially" affects the operation of its network in the sense that it reduces their profits accruing from operating the network.
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:38 EST:

that shouldn't hold, they still make money from selling the box and network access. The companies whose product is transmitted over the network might complain, but that's not affecting the operation of the network.
noted by rjenkins on 2007-03-30 at 05:07 EST:

I agree, an explicit clause is needed, possibly something along the lines of: 'If the User Product is used with a network or internet based data, media or information service, the use of code modified as allowed by this licence cannot be used as a reason to restrict or deny access to the data, media or information service, provided the modified code does not access the network or internet service in a manner materially and adversely different to the unmodified User Product.'
noted by sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 10:57 EDT:

The comment by illy misses the fact that services that work with DRMed content typically have liability clauses in their contracts with the content providers such that they are open to HUGE damages if they are responsible for the content being released. The content providers also watermark the content so that they can identify what distribution channel it went through.

So "materially" is definitely met by any client-side change that allows release of protected (or, if you prefer, restricted) material.

However, as Bruce Perens has pointed out, more effective client architectures can make it harder for client-side GPLed software changes to allow leak of content, so that alone may not be sufficient justification for blocking a client just as a result of a software change.

In practice, however, I personally doubt that a court would agree that the license had any effect on service agreements in any case, so I tend to think that the paragraph is simply stating reality, rather than expressing a particular right granted by the license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2459: Generalization


Regarding the text: patent license
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2.s1
Submitted by: wmshi on 2007-03-28 at 11:52 EST
0 agree:
noted by wmshi on 2007-03-28 at 11:52 EST:

Should we not constrain this provision to Patent license only, but any agreement that is in violation of GPL? Ditto for next paragraph.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:51 EST:

This section 11 is related to patents, so it makes sense for it to refer to a patent license. The more general aspect of conflicts with the GPL is covered by section 12, which starts with: "If conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise)...". Note that "agreement" is included in the list.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2460: Conditions are so specific as to be weak


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: pjm on 2007-03-28 at 12:06 EST
15 agree: nb, flaschen, vadim, polymath, sanjoy, ismaell, wijnen, pboddie, prezaxl, Soong, moritzh, jamesj, tfelker, nulled, masood
noted by pjm on 2007-03-28 at 12:06 EST:

Removing these words would seem to make the license stronger with no adverse effects. The business of the third party doesn't appear relevant.

I'm guessing that the payment terms are there to only bring the clause into effect when the distributor is an active participant in the arrangement. However, it appears to open a loop-hole - what if the payment terms are NOT 'based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work' The payment terms seem to be so specific that they can be trivially worked around.

noted by blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:49 EST:

Indeed. Does it matter if Novell's payment to Microsoft is flat-rate or per-copy?
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-22 at 22:18 EDT:

/ Indeed. Does it matter if Novell's payment to Microsoft is flat-rate or per-copy? /

I don't think it would be a bad thing if it was a once-off payment though.

noted by blinken on 2007-05-04 at 16:00 EDT:

jamesgnz: Why? The effect on Novell and its customers is small, and the effect on the rest of the market (FUD, divide-and-conquer etc.) is nil.
noted by nulled on 2007-05-29 at 23:50 EDT:

Novell wimped out to Microsoft. Novells undoing. Will this undo Linux and GNU and Free Software? No... fear not. Microsoft is big but we all know the bigger you get the more power you have the more greedy you become and the more people you piss off along the way. Keep to GPLv2 and stick to gutt instinct. Do not let politics and fear motivate a License that has specific dates. Licenses should be clear but not too specific because this is a broad subject. Do not include iron clad dates ( numbers ) in a verbal document trying to justify organic things. It is that simple.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2461: Developers, authors, users, recipients, licensees, etc.


Regarding the text: which is to protect users' freedom to change the software where changes are possible
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s2
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 12:13 EST
0 agree:
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 12:13 EST:

Who is the license talking to? It should be the licensee. The GPL may strive to preserve liberty for all recipients of free software, but 'you' and 'your' are terms that identify the licensee. EVEN IN THE PRE-AMBLE. If the license is to indicate 'members of the public who are in receipt of free software' then it should use an appropriate identifier because 'you' means 'the licensee'.

Why suddenly introduce terms such as 'author' and 'developer'?

Even the term 'user' is highly suspect. Is it the user of the source code, the user of the license, or the user of the device currently executing the software?

The license may, where it can, address use of the software, but it does not address the user.

The GPL can only address the licensee, and the licensee is someone otherwise constrained by copyright, i.e. a person able to duplicate or create derivatives of the software - someone who we may deduce is in receipt of a copy of the software.

The GPL cannot grant privileges to users, it can only grant privileges (even if conditionally constrained) to licensees. Licensees are those who legitimately receive a copy of the software.

Users of someone else's device do not receive a copy of the software.

Therefore the GPL restores liberty (suspended by copyright and patent) to all immediate and descendant licensees of the GPL. Not necessarily all users of such software.

There are many licensees who are users, but users of GPL software are not necessarily licensees.

Users who would like to be licensees need only contrive to become a legitimate recipient of the software, i.e. buy or be given a copy (whether on a medium or stored within a consumer device).

It is necessary to be rigorous concerning the distinction between user and licensee in order to protect the human right to privacy (which encompasses the right to private property).

The public's liberties concerning free software are delimited by the boundary of everyone else's private domain.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2462: provide acces to what network server?


Regarding the text: to provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:14 EST
0 agree:
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:14 EST:

There is no mention of who should operate the network server in b) (2), contrary to option d) that requires the distributor to ensure that the server remains available. It could be tempting for some distributors to point to a third-party server that they do not control (and do not pay for). I am not convinced that the requirement for the offer to be "valid for at least three years..." would be sufficient to discourage some distributors from pointing to a third-party server and just hope that it will stay around long enough, without contacting the owners of that server.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2463: This is only use of word "noncommercial"


Regarding the text: noncommercially,
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p3.s2
Submitted by: kaol on 2007-03-28 at 12:21 EST
8 agree: vladc, raulir, ccady, Adhemar, eml, kohlera, pboddie, gerv
noted by kaol on 2007-03-28 at 12:21 EST:

If this word would be removed, GPLv3 wouldn't discriminate between commercial and noncommercial uses, at all. I think we would be better off if it would be that way.
noted by kaol on 2007-03-28 at 16:35 EST:

Now that I've read the part about "User Products" below a bit more carefully, I can see that this use of "noncommercial" isn't the only case of discriminatory language against a specific group.
noted by tony32 on 2007-03-29 at 13:39 EST:

The dictionary definition of commercial is "Interested in financial return rather than artistry; likely to make a profit; regarded as a mere matter of business". I therefore take it that "noncommercial" is the same as "not for profit". The whole idea of "free" software is that it is not permitted to take someone else's work which you have obtained "for free", then pass it on to others for a profit. If you received it for free under the terms of the GPL then you can only pass it on to others if it is also under the terms of the GPL. It is not permitted to charge anyone for GPL software *except* to cover the costs of any distribution media (such as a CD, for example). This means (as far as I understand it) that a private individual cannot distribute GPL software for a profit as this then falls into the category of a commercial transaction. On the other hand a commercial organisation may distribute copies of GPL software for free as this transaction is entirely non-commercial, regardless of the fact that the organisation is involved in other activities which are not non-commercial. It is the transaction which involves the GPL software which is the issue, and not any other activities in which the parties performing the transaction may be involved.
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 05:25 EST:

at tony32 (again): "Free as in speech, not free as in beer." Cost is never the issue (market forces just keep it low). This section is trying to protect individuals from having to host the source to GPL binaries that they distribute when they recived the binaries with an offer of the source code as section b states they can, but haven't taken the offer. It's designed to allow friendly sharing of binaries recived by section b, Nothing more.
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 05:26 EST:

at tony32 (again): "Free as in speech, not free as in beer." Cost is never the issue (market forces just keep it low). This section is trying to protect individuals from having to host the source to GPL binaries that they distribute when they recived the binaries with an offer of the source code as section b states they can, but haven't taken the offer. It's designed to allow friendly sharing of binaries recived by section b, Nothing more.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2464: the


Regarding the text: any
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s2
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 12:26 EST
2 agree: augustz, hkBst
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 12:26 EST:

I would have thought that 'Any program' refers to 'any copyrightable work...', but that 'The program' refers to 'the copyrightable work...'

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2465: "prefered form" depends on the context


Regarding the text: preferred form of the work for making modifications to it
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p0.s1
Submitted by: raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:29 EST
8 agree: gfenton, raulir, asffld, bsost, flaschen, mkorman, kohlera, mjuarez
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 12:29 EST:

As I already mentioned when the 1st draft came out, the "prefered form" for making modifications to the work is a bit vague and depends on the context. Should it be "prefered" by the original author, by anyone who modifies or propagates the work, or by anyone who just receives the work?

Concrete example: someone creates a cross-platform application and distributes it. The source code includes the usual Makefiles and configure scripts for building it using free software tools. Later, someone else makes extensive changes and improvements to the application but since they are using proprietary tools for building it (say, Visual Studio running on Windows), they replace all the original Makefiles by project files that are specific to that proprietary tool. This is the "prefered form" for the second developer, but this excludes the original author who will not be able to use the modified code. To some extent, the new code has lost a part of its freedom.

Credits to tml (who ported GTK+ and GIMP to Windows) for discussing this issue with me last year.

noted by ianlewis on 2007-03-29 at 03:03 EST:

This small paragraph is trying to define and distinguish between "source code" and "object code". If you say that "source code" is the preferred work of the original author then what is the preferred work of the second author?

In your example, the new code has lost some of it's freedom in that it can't be built on anything other than windows but it's the same as if someone modified the code just to remove some features. This person modified the code in accordance with the GPL's original intent and changing features can be added and removed from the program is not really the domain of the GPL license. The domain of the license covers in what situations you are allowed to make a modification or to distribute the program. It shouldn't really make these kinds of restrictions on the type of modification.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2466: Drop first-time violation get-out-of-jail-free card, impossible to count # of violations by corporations and their thousands of employees.


Regarding the text: However, if this is your first violation of this License with respect to a given copyright holder, and you cure the violation within 30 days following your receipt of the notice, then your license is automatically reinstated.
In section: gpl3.termination.p1.s1
Submitted by: vladc on 2007-03-28 at 12:44 EST
9 agree: kaol, maginnis, illy, goldie, graceej, flaschen, rodom, stikonas, jamesj
noted by vladc on 2007-03-28 at 12:44 EST:

Please drop this whole paragraph. Don’t give first-time offenders special privileges, because it is impossible to determine whether or not a legal entity is a first-time offender. If a Microsoft employee violated the GPL, does that violation count toward his employer or towards the individual? Imagine Microsoft taking advantage of this loophole by making each of their employees take turns violating the GPL. Or Microsoft might decide to pay non-employees for violating the GPL on their behalf.

And it’s not clear what counts as an official violation. Is it being accused of violating? Is it being sued by the copyright holder? Is it losing a court case? How about settling out of court?

All this paragraph does is suck up to powerful infringers and makes enforcing the GPL harder for the copyright holders. Please remove it!

noted by raphael on 2007-03-29 at 03:24 EST:

On the other hand, including this paragraph in the license gives a clear incentive to correct the violations as soon as possible and to avoid repeating that mistake. This may have more impact when it is in the license than if the same deal is proposed by the copyright holder during a discussion about the violation.

Also, I don't think that any judge would seriously allow a company to claim that the violations have been performed by individual employees and that they are not responsible for it.

Although many violations of the GPL are malicious, there are also many accidental violations based on honest misunderstandings. This paragraph allows those who made a mistake to correct it quickly without suffering too much from it. This shows some goodwill from the GPL licensors and I think that it is a good thing.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 21:21 EDT:

/ This paragraph allows those who made a mistake to correct it quickly without suffering too much from it. /

I don't think it's strong enough to do that. Forget about suing Microsoft for a minute, and think about what happens if you're on the wrong end. Say Microsoft buys out Sun, and gets the copyrights on OpenOffice.

Microsoft: This is a copy of OpenOffice you gave to a friend.

You: Yes...

Microsoft: It didn't come with a written offer for the source, as required by GPLv3 Section 6 clause b. That's your first offence.

You: Ok, I'm really sorry, I promise to be more careful...

Microsoft: And you didn't conspicuously publish a copyright notice on it as required by GPLv3 Section 4 paragraph 1. YOU'RE TERMINATED!

You: Damn.

Microsoft: Would you like to buy a commercial license?

(See Comment 2809: Death penalty for parking infringements)


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2467: Overly complicated, simplify


Regarding the text: To protect your rights, we need to make requirements that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s1
Submitted by: augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:49 EST
2 agree: gerv, schabi
noted by augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:49 EST:

This paragraph is overly complicated. Forbid anyone to deny you these rights has multiple negatives, and would be cleaner as Forbid anyone from denying you these rights. The whole paragraph could be re-written as: To protect these rights you in turn have certain responsibilities if you distribute or modify copies of the software. So much cleaner.
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:27 EST:

No, that is not much cleaner and it is more significantly also not clearer.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2468: Unnecessary


Regarding the text: For both users' and authors' sake,
In section: gpl3.preamble.p6.s2
Submitted by: augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:53 EST
1 agree: kohlera
noted by augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:54 EST:

Could simply read: The GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed, so that problems will not be associated erroneously with a previous version. Perhaps I don't use or modify the software, but do research on its source code. Why shouldn't I also care about the version history? In other words, users and authors is both unnecessary and too specific. Even other software programs may find it useful to grep though and identify changes.
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:39 EST:

"For both users' and authors' sake, " does contrast nicely with the previous sentence "For the developers' and authors' protection, the GPL clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free software. "
noted by katwalsh on 2007-03-30 at 23:08 EST:

I'm inclined to think of any relationship with the code other than authoring it as "using" it, including using other software to analyze it.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2469: Copy edit


Regarding the text: for individuals to use
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:56 EST
0 agree:
noted by augustz on 2007-03-28 at 12:56 EST:

change for individuals to use to for individual use

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2470: is a fee really required?


Regarding the text: in return for a fee
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.p2.s1
Submitted by: raphael on 2007-03-28 at 13:03 EST
6 agree: Adhemar, skquinn, samj, flaschen, wijnen, mux2005
noted by raphael on 2007-03-28 at 13:03 EST:

What if some distributor is foolish enough to offer a warranty at no cost? It would be suicidal for small businesses, but larger ones could be bold enough to assume liability in certain (limited) cases without requiring any extra fee.
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:49 EST:

Or a warranty that is something other than a (financial) fee.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-22 at 05:40 EDT:

I agree. This "in return for a fee" does not seem to be required and therefore only adds confusion. This is something for the market to decide. I also agree with "adhemar": A company may provide a warranty in exchange for something else than a fee, e.g. a license.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2471: worldwide is too small


Regarding the text: worldwide
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: ixphin on 2007-03-28 at 13:03 EST
7 agree: illy, aaronmf, kohlera, pboddie, Adhemar, kune, tfelker
noted by ixphin on 2007-03-28 at 13:03 EST:

With only a worldwide license I could charge NASA fees to use my patent on a Mars rover. If I code and contribute my work on the moon (or a space station/ship or some other world) I could then charge fees to users on Earth. Even if this grants a license for each world I am using the work on it still does not protect items not on a world (a communications satellite or interstellar probe for example).
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:49 EST:

good point, but it needs to be a short description. "universal" mabey?
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 18:55 EST:

make it "universe-wide", that will take care of it.
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:20 EDT:

I don't think this should be a problem at all. First of all, "world" is not planet, but the universe as far as it is relevant for a person. That is, for some people the world may be only their village, for many it currently is this planet. When more planets are colonised, they will be included in the definition automatically AFAIK. However, looking at the dictionary this is just one of the definitions, others are indeed limited to the planet. Anyway, a "worldwide" patent license would mean IMO a license valid for any patent office on the planet. So the mars rover and the satellite shouldn't be a problem. Colonisation of other planets might be though. I don't actually expect that to happen any time soon, but if this terminology imposes a problem in that case, I agree that it should be changed to something more appropriate. IANAL though, and I have the feeling that "worldwide license" is a standard term with a well-defined meaning. If so, it probably is highly advisable to use it.
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-04 at 15:53 EDT:

"universe-wide" would sound so much better (and more impressive) than "worldwide"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2472: Drop the "based on"


Regarding the text: or a work "based on" the earlier work.
In section: gpl3.definitions.p2.s2
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:13 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:13 EST:

There's now a perfectly good definition of "modify" and "modified work". By keeping the "based on" things just get muddled.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2473: Permission under applicable law


Regarding the text: copyright permission
In section: gpl3.definitions.p2.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:14 EST
1 agree: tfelker
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:14 EST:

I would use "permissible under applicable copyright law" rather than "copyright permission". Otherwise it's not clear if you mean local copyright law or any country's.
noted by maginnis on 2007-03-28 at 15:29 EST:

I think you mean "not permissible under applicable copyright law"
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:08 EST:

"reserved to the author under applicable copyright law"
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:28 EST:

I think what is there is fine. "Permissible under applicable copyright law" is bad since the actions may _not_ be permissible. "Not permissible..." is bad since the actions may _be_ permissible. "Reserved to the author..." is bad since the author has the ability to grant rights to others.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2474: Here it's done correctly


Regarding the text: applicable copyright law
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:14 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:14 EST:

So sync the above with this text

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2475: The covered work


Regarding the text: work
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:16 EST
1 agree: samj
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:16 EST:

The covered work, to remain consistent

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2476: To produce such modified work


Regarding the text: produce it
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p0.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:16 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:16 EST:

To produce such modified work

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2477: A modified work


Regarding the text: a work based on the Program
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p0.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:17 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:17 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2478: The "preferred form" is in Corresponding Source


Regarding the text: machine-readable Corresponding Source
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p0.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:18 EST
5 agree: illy, ccady, samj, mole, mux2005
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:18 EST:

No need to add the "machine-readable". A printout of the C source is not the preferred form for modification so it's not Corresponding Source
noted by boywonde on 2007-04-10 at 08:08 EDT:

The "machine readable" language in this section of previous versions of the GPL has created confusion and should be eliminated from this draft. The definition of "Corresponding Source" in the new draft makes this even more confusing, and the comments to this section reflect this. We do not need to multiply terminology unnecessarily.

Since "Corresponding Source" by definition contains some machine readable code in the new draft, the term "machine readable Corresponding Source" will either be interpreted as some new kind of Corresponding Source different from that in the definition, or it will serve to limit the definition of Corresponding Source elsewhere in the license. Either way, it makes more sense to eliminate adjectives that create ambuguity unnecessarily.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2479: valid for THE LONGEST OF


Regarding the text: alid for at least three years and valid f
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:18 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:18 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2480: An offer to provide download access?


Regarding the text: to provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:20 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:20 EST:

Does this really mean, you must offer to provide access to download? No benefit in that compared to sending out a disk.

It would make more sense to say "(1) an offer to send on durable medium, valid for 3 years, or (2) providing access for three years".


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2481: Does that cover firmware downloads?


Regarding the text: specifically for use in
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:22 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:22 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2482: Execute to what extent?


Regarding the text: execute
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:23 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:23 EST:

I can imagine some electronics company allowing installation of modified binaries which subsequently don't get the decryption keys for the recorded movies. Is that execution?

Is execution in a sandbox from which the software can't do anything "execution"?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2483: Maybe restrict to just laws?


Regarding the text: when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:25 EST
1 agree: skquinn
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:25 EST:

FCC regulations for instance. So "when the modification itself violates a law or regulation applicable to the User Product, or violates the rules and protocols of a network".

That way you cover things like FCC broadcast rules.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2484: This extends the definition of Corresponding Source


Regarding the text: must be in a format that is publicly documented, with an implementation available to the public in source code form,
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p11.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:26 EST
3 agree: raulir, flaschen, mux2005
noted by merijn on 2007-03-28 at 13:26 EST:

Already Corr Source must be in preferred form for modification. So move this text to the definition of Corresponding SOurcde.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2485: bad english


Regarding the text: Any attempt otherwise to propagate or modify it is void
In section: gpl3.termination.p0.s2
Submitted by: sds57 on 2007-03-28 at 13:50 EST
15 agree: vladc, maginnis, blinken, raulir, illy, mbt, pod, samj, graceej, kohlera, njaard, sepreece, jamesgnz, jamesj, mux2005
noted by sds57 on 2007-03-28 at 13:50 EST:

"an attempt" cannot be void. it can invalidate the license, rendering it void.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2486: WTF?


Regarding the text: If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a patent license providing freedom to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific copy of the covered
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: jag on 2007-03-28 at 14:05 EST
7 agree: anjrew, illy, hawk, sanjoy, flaschen, gerv, mux2005
noted by jag on 2007-03-28 at 14:05 EST:

I know this is a legal document and all, but one of the beauties of GPLv2 was that a normal person could read it and understand it. I'm a pretty smart guy and I don't have the first clue what the hell this paragraph means. It'd be nice if the lawyer-speak were toned down as much as possible so people like me still know what exactly we're proposing when we license our code under GPLv3.
noted by jbuck on 2007-03-28 at 17:48 EST:

In particular, I don't understand why the clause "pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement" is there. Does this mean that if I figure out how to do a patent license in two steps, I have a loophole? This kind of language is too clever for its own good.

It appears that the intent is simply that if I give someone a covered work, or arrange for someone else to, and I grant the recipient a patent license, then I have to grant the same patent license to all recipients. Now, please find a way to say that that can be understood clearly by all readers as well as stand up under the law.

noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:53 EST:

why not change "a single" to "any number of" and correct tenses?
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-21 at 08:12 EDT:

I wholeheartedly agree with jag. This paragraph is one long convoluted sentence. Please split it up into several smaller sentences. I know you can do it. Just pretend you're talking to a child :-)

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2487: Software container?


Regarding the text: A "User Product"
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s1
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 14:20 EST
6 agree: kaol, mathfox, illy, bsost, ccady, Soong
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 14:20 EST:

This introduction of user and consumer products seems overly specific.

Why not encompass all and any device or medium able to contain or represent a copy or derivative of the licensed work?

There are software containers, which when ownership is transferred, perforce transfer ownership of the software therein.

There are machines able to execute the software. Some machines are software containers, some interact with software containers.

So why not define 'software container' and 'software executing machine' - or whatever terms are considered more appropriate, e.g. media, computer, etc.

Why the heck are we introducing yet another term to subclassify members of the public.

There are human beings, licensees, software (and containers thereof), and computers. That's about it.

Show me a consumer product that executes software that cannot be classed more generically as a software executing machine.

Focussing on Consumer Products seems to accede to those who wish to produce medical or military devices that are exempt from some of the GPL's constraints.

And how would 'professional products' be classified? Are they 'consumer products'?

noted by blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:57 EST:

See Section 1.2 of the rationale document. It explains this in depth.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 05:41 EST:

Thanks blinken, I had read the explanation. :)

The thing is, I think this is a last minute kludge that introduces a can of worms.

I think a better demarcation can be made between devices that one controls vs devices that one doesn't.

And that demarcation is one of ownership.

If you don't want to be a licensee of the free software within a device then these are the only requirements necessary: 1) You are not the owner of the device 2) The device prevents access to obtain a copy or derivative of the software therein (an encrypted copy is classed as a derivative)

Or in other words if you are one of these peculiar organisations that need assured access prevention to computing devices upon your premises, then lease a secure device.

I appreciate that many people don't like the idea that people can sign a contract to rent a computing device (games console), and consequently remain theoretically unable to access the software thereon (without physically damaging the device), but people have freedom of choice as to whether to buy or rent. If you want the software within, you buy (contract free). If you don't, you rent (rental contract).

Note that this doesn't interfere with GPL's prohibition against binding purchasers of free software with a restrictive contract. The rental contract covers the device that contains the software. If the rented device permits access to obtain a copy/derivative of the software then that means the renter is a GPL licensee.

A GPL licensee becomes one either by: 1) Legitimately receiving a copy or derivative of GPL software, OR 2) Owning a device that contains a copy or derivative of GPL software

If you rent or borrow a device for private use you only become a licensee if the device permits you access to obtain a copy or derivative of the software thereon.

However, if you use someone else's device whilst in someone else's employment or on someone else's private premises, that doesn't by itself constitute coming into 'legitimate receipt' of a copy - even if you contrive access.

noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 10:26 EST:

you said this much better than I did, thanks :)
noted by chresto on 2007-03-29 at 10:51 EST:

See tglx's comment on the GPL v3 2nd draft on encryption or authorization keys.

He gave the example of a manufacturer of potently dangerous industrial equipment, such a laser welding robots, where if the manufacturer does not lock the device down against modification, and an end user injures themselves after making foolish modifications, they are likely to be found liable for those injuries, even though it was outside their control. In effect case law requires manufacturers to try as hard as possible to prevent safety critical functions from being disabled.

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 11:08 EST:

In this case Chresto, manufacturers in countries (with legislation of doubtful merit) where obligations and responsibilities continue after sale of potentially dangerous devices, those manufacturers can either not use GPL software or they can lease their dangerous machines and be permitted by the GPL to prevent access or modification of the software by the leaseholder.

If would be purchasers are upset that their country's laws effectively prevent sale of such devices then they can petition for a change to the law.

There are probably work-arounds, e.g. laser welding robot self-assembly kits with GPL based control software available elsewhere.

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:54 EST:

I actually disagree with making this distinction for completely opposite reasons. I believe consumers should also be allowed to choose to bind themselves to not modifying the software, so long as they are not required to make that choice as a result of receiving the software.

Thus, a person buying a device should have the GPL-guaranteed right to modify the software. But, if the person wants to use that device in a particular context, such as with a particular network game or cellular phone network, the person should also be free to give up that right while using the device in that context.

In fact, of course, I don't think the GPL has anything to say about that choice, as long as the service/context arrangement is reasonably separated from the sale of the device. Thus, buying a phone from a carrier could not carry such a restriction as a term of service, but buying a laptop and then signing up with a particular network game system could. As long as the restriction isn't a condition of acquiring the software, the license doesn't really come into the equation.

noted by blinken on 2007-04-11 at 13:28 EDT:

See comment 2923 for a specific mechanism for voluntary "vendor lock" following sepreece's suggestion above.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2488: Independently actionable procedure?


Regarding the text: methods, procedures
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s1
Submitted by: anjrew on 2007-03-28 at 14:27 EST
2 agree: blinken, mux2005
noted by anjrew on 2007-03-28 at 14:27 EST:

Wouldn't this language permit a distributor to describe a procedure that involves say emailing the desired modified source code to the distributor who would then apply their own private encryption key to the resulting binary and send back a binary which will execute. IANAL, but this language doesn't seem to force the distributor to give out the necessary key for me to make my own installable binaries, and it doesn't specify any restrictions on what those methods or procedures might involve or what rights or money I might have to give them in order to follow them.
noted by blinken on 2007-04-11 at 13:36 EDT:

Similarly, the Installation Information may involve compiling the source using a proprietary SDK that costs $10,000, is available only from the device's manufacturer, and produces binaries that work only on a specific device. Do we allow that?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2489: Should FSF provide an Affero-like license?


Regarding the text: version 2 of the Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: samizdat on 2007-03-28 at 14:29 EST
7 agree: hawk, jring, raphael, vincentc, sanjoy, schabi, thomasd
noted by samizdat on 2007-03-28 at 14:29 EST:

Section 13 is an improvement over previous drafts because it enabled simplification of Section 7 by removing the provision there for an 'optional' Affero-like clause as an 'additional restriction'. Such 'additional restrictions' made the GPLv3 fundamentally more complex than the GPLv2: potentially many different licenses in effect, each different in subtle ways. I approve of the Section 13 approach, because I approve of the intent to allow an Affero-like restriction compatible with the license. Nothing else closes the 'Google loophole' in which operators of huge commercial web sites and server farms can effectively evade copyleft completely, using free software to build derived works the source to which they keep secret.

However, leaving the Affero-like feature to be specified by another organization seems unwise. It was an advantage of the old section 7 approach that FSF, not Affero, provided the exact language of the Affero-like restriction. Also, license versioning (re: future versions) is complex enough with only the FSF licenses involved.

I would like to see FSF publish a separate license, in the same sense that the LGPL is a separate license than the GPL, which differs from the GPLv3 only in its copyleft clause: only by including an Affero-like restriction (perhaps using language like that removed from section 7). This new FSF license and GPLv3 would refer to each other in their respective Section 13's.

There is no getting around the fact that unless an Affero-like clause is (a) prohibited or (b) required by GPLv3, two licenses are needed. That is what an 'optional restriction' implies. Previous discussion seems to have decided neither (a) nor (b) is acceptable to the whole community. The only question remaining is whether FSF will take responsibility for the Affero-like alternative license. I think doing it right is important enough that FSF should not punt on it any longer.

noted by hawk on 2007-03-28 at 18:53 EST:

Just pushing "I agree" is not enough to express how violently I agree with this!
noted by chandon on 2007-03-29 at 13:41 EST:

One of the points of "Affero Compatibility" is to make the GNU GPL compatible with the Affero GPL. There is existing code licensed under the Affero GPL, and allowing that code to be used in GNU GPL licensed programs is beneficial. Any alternate suggestion should retain that property.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2490: Ownership


Regarding the text: the right of possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized)
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 14:32 EST
3 agree: illy, sepreece, flaschen
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-28 at 14:32 EST:

Let's keep it clean.

When a purchaser buys a 'User Product', its ownership is transferred to them. It is only ownership of the software that is in doubt - and hence fully addressed by the GPL.

The software container or software executing machine is either physical (in which case ownership transfer is pretty clear cut) or digital (in which case it is a derivative work).

Either it's my mobile phone (and I am a GPL licensee) or its someone else's mobile phone that I'm borrowing or hiring (and I am not a GPL licensee).

'Consumers' can cope with the distinction between owning something and not owning it. If you say you only enjoy the GPL license if you own a copy of the software (or the container thereof) then that's fair. Why should anyone be a licensee simply because they get to use someone else's device (thus without owning the copy therein)?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2491: DRM can be considered proper "operation of the network". Keep as in Draft 2.


Regarding the text: when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: vladc on 2007-03-28 at 15:04 EST
14 agree: bluebirc, mathfox, mbreuer, erge, illy, novalis, samj, eml, skquinn, mnalis, flaschen, thezulu, ArneBab, prezaxl
noted by vladc on 2007-03-28 at 15:04 EST:

Tivo can easily claim that everything except their encrypted protocol and DRM adversely affects the operation of the network. This wording is as weak as water!

Keep the wording from Draft 2:

If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.)

noted by floppus on 2007-03-29 at 17:09 EST:

The section of Draft 2 you quoted has a very different purpose.

This paragraph is a no-op. It's simply clarifying that the GPL does not require Tivo to provide service to your modified system. Which it doesn't, and it shouldn't. If your modified version breaks their network, by all means they should be allowed to shut you out. Their service is well outside the scope of the GPL.

The sentence you quoted has to do with what the Installation Information does for you. Tivo is not required to provide service, but they ARE required to provide the information you need so that -- if you are careful and don't break anything -- they can't tell the difference. They may claim that not using DRM or whatever is harming their network, but it doesn't make any difference, because they can't tell whether you're using DRM or not.

I think that the paragraph above describing Installation Information is actually quite simple and elegant as it is: "The information must suffice to ensure that the continued functioning of the modified object code is in no case prevented or interfered with solely because modification has been made." But anyway, that's where the sentence you quoted would have gone.

noted by locutas on 2007-04-04 at 05:20 EDT:

The wording from draft #2 breaks field debugging. More and more programs pop up a box when they fail, asking permission to send details of the crash to the entity responsible for code development or maintenance. That process, I believe, forms a critical part of the process of improving software. But to do it, you have to know which report corresponds to which source, something that the wording in draft two would have forbidden.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2492: Removing ROM exemption makes GPLv3 useful for open hardware projects


Regarding the text: But this requirement does not apply if neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install modified object code on the User Product (for example, the work has been installed in ROM).
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: vladc on 2007-03-28 at 15:46 EST
5 agree: kaol, michals, mbt, samj, kohlera
noted by vladc on 2007-03-28 at 15:46 EST:

Please remove this sentence. Exempting hard-wired code (ROM) means that the GPLv3 is useless for open hardware projects.

The Open Graphics project (http://OpenGraphics.org) wanted to release the hardware schemas for the open-source graphics cards under the GPLv3 so that other companies that base products on the ones produced by the Open Graphics project would also have to provide the hardware schemas for their modified products. But if this exemption is in place, it looks like the Open Graphics project and other open hardware projects will have to find another license.

But you can still fix this by removing the ROM exemption (highlighted in this comment).

noted by michals on 2007-03-29 at 01:49 EST:

Does it mean that modifying TiVo to include some hyphotetical software on a cartridge ROM makes it GPLv3-compliant, despite cryptological checks on the contents of such a ROM? If it is, then it won't protect against such practices, and this has been supposed to be one of the most important reasons for this license.
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:11 EST:

This section seems to only remove the need for installation information . Requireing installation information for a non-modifiable device is impossible. Mabey this section needs to make it clear that it's only removing the need for installation information, not any other provisions.
noted by michals on 2007-03-30 at 18:38 EST:

Maybe a cartridge ROM combined with cryptological checks isn't in compliance with this license... but crippling some hypothetical device by deliberately installing ROM inside instead of flash-based memory (just to not to be forced to release the crucial information on how to execute the software - including the secret private keys, etc.) definitely is compliant to the current draft - this is the main reason for me to object to that part of the sentence.

There should be some additional clarification of the fact, that the whole "secrecy" thing around the validation of the software installed on ROM is definitely NOT the part of the "Installation Information" and must be published anyway.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:06 EST:

If the ROM can be swapped out easily, I believe the Installation Instructions still need to explain how.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2493: Why just the contributor


Regarding the text: Each contributor
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: ibor on 2007-03-28 at 16:01 EST
4 agree: gustavb, illy, wijnen, tfelker
noted by ibor on 2007-03-28 at 16:01 EST:

Why not anybody else making money from, distributing or using the contribution? How about a company paying a freelance programmer to write and contribute some code covered by a patent they own? They could later use or even sell the product without being the contributor. Thay could even arrange one of the later described agreements.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2494: Too vague


Regarding the text: durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p1.s1
Submitted by: cjcox on 2007-03-28 at 16:17 EST
1 agree: mbt
noted by cjcox on 2007-03-28 at 16:17 EST:

We all know that original Emacs used the magnetic tape route. Is that a "customarily used" medium? Probably not anymore. Are floppies? There it's a bit gray'er. Perhaps a more explicit list is wise here with a method for adding to the list (???). The danger is that one can choose a significantly difficult medium (e.g. DEC TK-70 format) that sort of ensures the source never gets read.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-29 at 23:56 EST:

What is customarily used varies widely depending on the type of computer. On a brand-new PC (and for that matter, just about anything made in the last 5 years), that could be a DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, or USB pen drive, among others. On an old VAX, that might be your beloved TK-70 magnetic tape. I don't think it's any more vague than it necessarily needs to be. Making a list is bad: we do not want to have to go back to the drawing board to churn out GPLv4 when other media become "customary" and others fall out of favor!
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-24 at 06:49 EDT:

I think that the word "customarily" should be removed as it opens up the case where someone uses a medium which is customarily used for a purpose other than the distribution of software. For example, a DAT tape is used primarily for backups, whereas a CD/DVD is used primarily for distribution. Every PC has a CD/DVD drive whereas very few have a DAT drive. Someone could therefore distribute the software on a DAT tape, but because this medium is not "customarily" used for distribution it would not be covered by this section.

We do not know what new types of media will be available in the future, or whether they will be single or dual purpose (backups and/or distribution), so this section should cover ANY physical media whether it is primarily used for distribution or not.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2495: Novell? No.


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: cjcox on 2007-03-28 at 16:23 EST
0 agree:
noted by cjcox on 2007-03-28 at 16:23 EST:

Look... it's not even about Novell. It's the fact that Novell did something with Microsoft. However, there could already exist business dealing involving patents that do not involve the high profile Novell-Microsoft pact. With that said, I have no idea if this statement belongs in the document though. After all, we're talking about GPLv3... no deals have happened under GPLv3.
noted by nulled on 2007-05-29 at 22:44 EDT:

Yes, but it is obvious that this is because of Microsoft/Novell agreement. There is real fear in this specific date which is easy to work around, too conclusive and too narrow minded. Fear should not be the motivating factor in any license. This type of response ( the GPLv3 ) is a fear response and is not unlike a response to a business/shop paying money to the MOB for protection, such is the Novell/Microsoft deal. Software if FREE should stay neutral and therefore not respond at all.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2496: Denying network access flies in the face of Net Neutrality


Regarding the text: Network access may be denied when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network or violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: vladc on 2007-03-28 at 16:31 EST
7 agree: erge, mbreuer, illy, flaschen, thezulu, locutas, mux2005
noted by vladc on 2007-03-28 at 16:31 EST:

Please remove the sentence highlighted in this comment. First of all, it is unclear who is doing the denying of network access: the client's hardware or the server. Imagine a Tivo-like appliance designed so that the network card commits suicide if the md5sum of the loaded operating system has changed. The GPLv3 in its current form would allow this type of DRM because of the loophole introduced by the sentence highlighted in this comment.

In combination with the "ROM exemption" (http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/rt/readsay.html?filename=gplv3-draft-3&id=2492), this sentence forms an even greater loophole: GPL'ed but unmodifiable software stored in ROM would be the one performing the md5sum and killing the network card.

As for "rules and protocols", this is an open invitation for DRM to be included in them. Terrible idea to even mention them. And it might give credence to those that are trying to kill Net Neutrality.

Again, please delete this whole sentence.

noted by novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:11 EST:

I don't think it matters if the network-card-killer is GPL for the proposed scenario. So long as the software on the Tivo is GPL, the GPL could prevent suicide.
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:02 EST:

I think the principle expressed in this sentence is important. The service a client connects to has to be able to reject the client if the client does not play nicely with the service. I think that's absolutely mandatory.

I also agree that there is room for abuse in the specific language used - that "rules and protocols" could be interpreted in ways that would bar simple replacement.

I htink you can address that by extending the sentence with something like changing "when the modification itself mateirally" to "when the change in behavior caused by the modification, and not the simple fact that the software was modified, materially..." I *think* that's what they were trying to convey by the "the modification itself".

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:01 EST:

Most likely, the license couldn't stop service providers from blocking network access from the network server. However, the license shouldn't allow the client code to disable it (which invalidates the Installation Information), and it probably isn't necessary to explicitly allow (which might encourage) the server doing the blocking.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 10:07 EDT:

I also would like to see this sentence go. It adds uncertainty for unclear gains. I don't think a copyright license like the GPL has (or should have) any force over service contracts a licensee may or may not want to offer. But the presence of this sentence suggests that the GPL purports to do just this, which could be the source for new FUD and scare away enterprise users.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2497: A self-sufficient definition would be better


Regarding the text: Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: kaol on 2007-03-28 at 17:09 EST
9 agree: raulir, michals, illy, samj, flaschen, hawk, prezaxl, jamesj, mux2005
noted by kaol on 2007-03-28 at 17:09 EST:

I think that if you can't make the point without referring to external documents, it should be rethought.
noted by michals on 2007-03-29 at 02:04 EST:

Why not just assume that anything offered to an end user is a User Product? Not doing so is dangerous, because for example someone can "lend" the product (TiVo?) indefinitely (or do something similar) instead of simply selling it, and circumvent this part of the license.
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 08:06 EST:

now you have to define end user

a reasonable definition of an end user is anyone who uses the product. You can't do this, or it would remove the possibillity of being used in things like voting machines, where the end user *shouldn't* be able to modify the product

neccissary loophole

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-16 at 08:13 EDT:

I agree with kaol. Either the definition of User Product given in the GPL is sufficient, then the external reference is not necessary, or it is not sufficient, then it needs to be amended, because I tell you that most GPL licensors and licensees will never read that act. I don't even know where I would find it if I wanted to read it. This is also a slap in the face of ordinary hobbyist developers, because this is an insider comment for lawyers. Tell me, why would I want to release my software under a license that's not meant for me to understand?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2498: Why upper-case


Regarding the text: Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability.
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.0.0
Submitted by: thomas on 2007-03-28 at 17:11 EST
5 agree: hkBst, eml, bicchi, wijnen, stikonas
noted by thomas on 2007-03-28 at 17:11 EST:

It's upper-case again, why is this needed?
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-30 at 02:38 EST:

It's explained in a footnote in the Rationale/Annotated Draft document:

"There is authority under United States law suggesting that effective warranty disclaimers must be "conspicuous," and that conspicuousness (...) is absent when a disclaimer has the same typeface as the terms surrounding it (see Stevenson v. TRW, Inc., 987 F.2d 288, 296 (5th Cir. 1993))."

Personally, I prefer bold typeface to make text conspicous, but this License is ofter read in plain text, so the FSF follows the (American) legal tradition that "conspicuousness can be established by capitalization"

Further in the footnote: "We have reason to doubt that such authority would apply to copyright licenses like the GPL. Nevertheless, pending further research, we have cautiously decided to restore the capitalization of both the warranty disclaimer and the liability limitation".


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2499: How can this be enforced?


Regarding the text: automatically extended to all recipients of the covered work and works based on it.
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: wmshi on 2007-03-28 at 17:20 EST
2 agree: blinken, flaschen
noted by wmshi on 2007-03-28 at 17:20 EST:

I cannot see how to enforce this provision. The transgresser is a third party who, assumably, had not accepted this license.

This clause is specifically aimed at MS in the context of MS/Novell agreement. Say they ink the agreement after this draft license go into force. Microsoft then sue me. How can I exercise this defense as a GPL software user or contributor?

(Aside : Arguably, Microsoft has not convey or propagate any GPL software in the agreement. Can it can argue it only convey SUSE coupons (service agreement) and has nothing to do with software? I believe the key point here is does the definition of "propagate" covers it?)

IANAL. My reading is that this paragraph only apples to the transgressor if and only if (s)he is using GPL software, as this is the only way to say that (s)he had accepted the license. In my worst case scenario, it could only apply to the trangressor if he himself is using that particular software he sues another party. If (s)he does not use GPL software, (s)he falls through this net. One particular grievence I have with MS/Novell agreement is that it is basically an agreement of MS with SUSE's customer, in disguise as an agreement of MS with Novell to side step the GPL. I am concerned that this wording falls into the same category. It can be read as a agreement between me and the person who supply software to a third party vendor of GPL software in disguise as an agreement between me and the third party vendor. This means we lose the moral highground.

Moreover, the ugliness of MS/Novell agreement is that it works because it is a agreement that will work for the third party (SUSE's customers) by default, i.e., MS don't sue. However, I cannot see how this paragraph helps me because the vendor signed an GPL infringing agreement.I am not even the "third party" in this agreement.

noted by blinken on 2007-04-05 at 00:27 EDT:

Agreed. This clause seems completely ineffective against Microsoft. The best you can do is try to invoke it against Novell by aruging that Novell is indirectly providing a patent license. A bit far fetcched.

That said, this paragraph can help in other cases. It essentially says that granting a patent license is admission that patent is relevant and its license is within your power, so you're forced you to grant that license to everyone *even if you're not a contributor but a mere conveyer*. That's very good, since the main patent grant (mysteriously absent from this draft; it used to be the last sentence in paragraph 1 of this section) is supposed to apply only to contributors.

noted by flaschen on 2007-04-05 at 05:55 EDT:

Right. I gave my take above before seeing your response. The FSF really seems to think this would apply to the Novell-Microsoft deal (http://gplv3.fsf.org/dd3-faq). I can only say I think they're completely wrong. Microsoft is the one giving the patent licenses, but not the one distributing. We have to rely on the "arrangement with the third party" clause, which can work since Novell (and presumably others like them) do agree to the arrangement; that clause badly needs the date loophole cut out, though.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2500: Impractical Terms?


Regarding the text: practical works
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: jastiv on 2007-03-28 at 19:38 EST
8 agree: skquinn, samj, crosbie, kohlera, pboddie, goldie, stikonas, mayeco
noted by jastiv on 2007-03-28 at 19:38 EST:

Who decides what practical works are? I don't think we should to put this term in the GPL.
noted by mbt on 2007-03-29 at 11:44 EST:

I think that perhaps it should say something to the effect of “other types of copyrightable works”, or something more objective. “Practical” is a relatively subjective term, and probably does not belong in a formal document such as this one.
noted by mbt on 2007-03-29 at 11:44 EST:

I think that perhaps it should say something to the effect of “other types of copyrightable works”, or something more objective. “Practical” is a relatively subjective term, and probably does not belong in a formal document such as this one.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:38 EST:

Agreed, I know what this means only because I listened to one of Stallman's speeches.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2501: Why Modifications to the GPL Must Be Allowed


Regarding the text: but changing it is not allowed.
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: dakdevel on 2007-03-28 at 19:48 EST
1 agree: johnston
noted by dakdevel on 2007-03-28 at 19:48 EST:

Free software needs a free license! The GNU GPL alone will never be sufficient as an all-encompassing document able to cover every program. It must allow reasonable modifications. The open source revolution will fail if the software industry giants continue to attack developers in court for harming their monopolies. Opponents to allowing modifications to the GNU GPL say that one could release a non-free license as the GNU GPL, or that it is immoral to edit the GNU GPL. Obviously, the GNU GPL must require modified versions to say “This is not the GNU GPL”. Also, modified versions of the GPL could not allow modifications, because this would cause so many strange versions of the GPL to be created that some would look nothing like the GPL. Because the GNU GPL doesn’t allow modifications, it is non-free, thus, Richard Stallman contradicts himself by releasing the GNU GPL as non-free intellectual property and violates his own community's definition of morality. Others say that an exception file can change the GNU GPL without editing it. However, if anyone does not notice the exception file, and offends Microsoft®, the developer of the program will be required by a lawsuit filed by Microsoft® to stop distributing the program, or worse, the Free Software Foundation could be charged for supporting a program intended to break laws. The GPL does not fit every program. Most open source programmers are not lawyers alongside being programmers, and cannot write their own licenses. Some programs, particularly encryption programs, need a license specifically stating that they are the intellectual property of someone who is a citizen of a country outside of the United States, to get around our export laws. This is not needed for most programs. For a program which copies CDs and DVDs, the license ought to say “This program may not be used to illegally copy anything.” Otherwise, a user would make an illegal copy of five movies, two music CDs, and a video game, resulting in the developer being sued because he wrote a tool for software piracy. For example, in the DeCSS lawsuit, a programmer was sued for freely distributing a legal program. The problem was that the program could be used to illegally copy DVDs over the Internet. This time, the programmer won, but if he had lost, the Business Software Alliance® would have sued whoever had the most money, most likely the Free Software Foundation, because very few open source programmers can pay extravagant damages in lawsuits.(Landley) The GPL cannot prevent all of these problems and still allow programs which cannot possibly be used in an illegal way to be entirely free. Very strong licenses are needed to protect programmers from lawsuits. Clearly, Microsoft® doesn’t like open source, and will do anything they can to stop it. Look at all of the antitrust lawsuits. How can Microsoft® survive despite its obvious guilt? They must be bribing judges to lessen their penalties for monopolizing the American operating system market. Think about it, if you have fifty two billion dollars and someone tried to take all of it away, what would you give to keep most of it? If you were a judge, how high a bribe would you accept? Would five million dollars be enough? If you were fighting your most powerful enemy, the Free Software Foundation, what would you give? If Microsoft® bribes judges in a fight against the Free Software Foundation, the innocence of the developers involved and the Free Software Foundation must be obvious or the judge could accept the bribe without raising suspicion and destroy free software. If all programmers could make it impossible for themselves to be successfully sued, open source’s replacement of commercial software would be inevitable, and soon no one would pay for software, or pirate it, again. The open source revolution is based on freedom. Developers will feel more comfortable with their own licenses applied to their software, giving them more freedom as to what one can do with their programs. However, they will want the license to prevent themselves from being sued. So, they will each need a lawyer, which few programmers can afford. The solution is to add an exceptions file. But then, twenty people will ignore the exceptions file and do something illegal with the program, and Microsoft® will sue the programmer. The only remaining solution is to let programmers modify the GPL. It will cause far more open source programs to be released. Also, it will keep the people who really fuel the free software revolution satisfied. What is to be lost in allowing reasonable modifications to the GPL? More has been lost already in banning modifications to the GPL. When modifications are allowed, there will be a surge of programs released which were too powerful to be safely released under the old GPL. Over time, more free programs will be written because developers will feel more secure in releasing them. The Free Software Foundation will be safer from lawsuits arising from illegal activities, mostly software piracy and bad hacking, using free software. Morally, the GPL must be as free as the programs it is applied to. Many new free software users or developers have left free software and reverted to using Windows® or writing shareware because of this irony and moral error. They will not come back until it is corrected, or possibly not at all. The longer the mistake is left uncorrected, the more people will leave free software forever. There is no adequate substitute for a truly free license. There is nothing wrong with allowing reasonable modifications to the GPL. What are we waiting for? It is time to allow modifications to the GPL now!
noted by zekeg4 on 2007-03-28 at 21:52 EST:

Is it possible to copy/paste the GPL with your own modifications and rename it? If this is possible then the modification of the GPL should not be allowed. Why should my modified licence carry the GPL name? The GPL should be standard for this exact reason, you should be able to see that a program comes with the GPL and instantly know what it means.
noted by raphael on 2007-03-29 at 02:46 EST:

The GPL is successful because developers and users know what it means (well, most of them do). Allowing modifications would break that confidence.

Furthermore, there is already a wide range of licenses to choose from. Some of them are compatible with the GPL, some of them aren't. Allowing modifications of the GPL is just encouraging the proliferation of additional licenses, probably mutually incompatible. This does not help anybody, except for the very few developers who would like the GPL with "just one minor modification".

In summary, this is a bad idea.

noted by mbt on 2007-03-29 at 11:41 EST:

I would have to agree with “raphael”. The GPL itself should not be modifiable, because when someone says that they are releasing software under the terms of the “GNU GPL”, that means that they are using the license, as published by the Free Software Foundation.

If people want to re-name the license and then change it for their own purposes, I can’t see any reason to disallow it. But any modified version of the GNU GPL must not be able to be called the GNU GPL; it would be counterproductive.

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 13:58 EST:

Yes, this is probably not really a matter of modification, but of integrity.

Indeed, there is such a thing as the 'moral right of integrity'.

This is a matter of truth rather than a monopoly over derivative works.

One could say (with a tad more sophistication):

"Anyone can modify this license, but they may not misrepresent the derivative work as the GPL, nor as being the work of the FSF or the authors of the GPL, nor approved, endorsed, or warranted by the FSF, either explicitly or implicitly (whether by omission or context). However, if any attribution is given, it should credit the GPL as source material. "

Even so, the FSF may feel it safer to simply make a blanket ban.

noted by floppus on 2007-03-29 at 15:51 EST:

dakdevel,

First of all, the FSF has in the past allowed people to create modified versions of the GPL. As I understand it, the main point is simply that it must be absolutely clear that your modified version is not the GNU GPL.

Of course, you can always write your own license. Doing so without a lawyer's assistance is generally not recommended. But remember, part of the point of the GPL is that it's a common license that a lot of people use, so although it's a strong copyleft, you can combine code from multiple GPL sources into one program. A modified version of the GPL would not have this property.

Encryption export restrictions have nothing to do with copyright. If you want to say, "This program has been written by non-US-citizens," feel free to do so; but I'm not sure why you think that has anything to do with the license. If you mean that the license should actively ENFORCE some particular set of export restrictions, I would go so far as to say that makes the software non-free.

As to the DMCA... if you're violating the DMCA, you're violating the DMCA. The copyright of the program you happen to be using to violate the DMCA has nothing to do with it. Saying "this program may not be used to do anything illegal" obviously doesn't make anything illegal that wasn't illegal beforehand, and it certainly won't have any effect on whether you'll get sued for distributing the program. And again, if you mean that the license should actively enforce some particular set of DMCA-like restrictions, that would make the software non-free.

Also, neither the FSF nor the BSA had anything to do with the DeCSS case. You should get your facts straight.

Remember too, the GPL is a license, not a EULA. A license gives people the freedom to do stuff. A EULA takes freedom away.

noted by skquinn on 2007-03-29 at 23:42 EST:

In response to dakdevel's comment:

You make several mistakes.

First, the FSF is not part of the open source movement. The FSF is part of the free software movement. Some things are similar between the two, but the fundamental goal of each is entirely different. You mention "open source" way too many times in your document to possibly have grasped this.

Second, it is not clear exactly what you mean by "non-free intellectual property". Are you referring to a copyright on the license text, a trademark on the use of "GNU GPL", or something else completely different? There is a reason "intellectual property" is on the "words/phrases to avoid" list.

Third, you also use the word "piracy" which is on the "words/phrases to avoid list". Which raises the question: who's side are you on?

Fourth, the free software movement itself is anathema to Microsoft. Nothing we do will change that. Well, nothing short of buying out Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and the other major stockholders enough to get a 50% plus one share majority, which is about as likely as an ice hockey game in the middle of Death Valley in the summer.

Fifth, the GPL is not about restricting the use of the program. The license to run the program freely for any purpose is beyond the scope of the GPL.

Sixth, Microsoft would get all kinds of bad press from suing the FSF. Believe me, were it to happen, I would personally do my part to make sure every news agency and blogger I could contact knew about it, even it if was the last thing I ever did. The FSF is a 501(c)3 organization; legally, they are as much of a charity as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army.

Finally, Nothing stops you from writing your own license or from using a license besides the GPL or LGPL. Some programs released under a no-ad BSD-style license or something very similar. The xiph.org audiovisual codec libraries are an example of this; we gain next to nothing if those codecs are not adopted, and they were in fact released under a no-ad BSD-style license with Richard Stallman's blessing.

noted by johnston on 2007-05-08 at 16:05 EDT:

I completely agree with darkdevel's basic point that modifying the GPL should be allowed for everyone, as long as they make it clear it's a modified version, so they don't represent it as the GPL. A copyright licence is a functional work, and I think all functional works should be free in the same sense as free software. I've heard Richard Stallman say something similar to that in his speeches before. I'd possibly even go as far as saying the FSF is doing something unethical by not allowing modified versions. Citing disadvantages such as licence proliferation isn't justification for denying people that freedom. Similar problems can occur in free software, such as forks, as derivative works can be made, but I'm sure the FSF would agree that that doesn't mean GNU should be made proprietary.
noted by johnston on 2007-05-11 at 19:30 EDT:

raphael and mbt, we're not saying that people should be allowed to make modified versions and pass them off as the GPL. Obviously that would have bad consequences. We're also not saying that people should be able to release derivatives of GPL'd software under a licence other than the official GPL (unless the original software is also under another licence), as that would defeat the whole copyleft concept.

raphael, it's true that allowing modified versions would probably result in licence proliferation and more people releasing software under incompatible licences. However, I don't think those risks justify denying everyone the freedom to release modified versions (and therefore denying them the freedom to control a part of their lives, if they release software). In most cases, people will choose not to release software exclusively under a GPL-incompatible licence for those reasons, but I think everyone should have that freedom.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2502: "The program" vs "the work"?


Regarding the text: However, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not comply with this subsection, your work need not make them comply.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s3
Submitted by: hawk on 2007-03-28 at 20:42 EST
0 agree:
noted by hawk on 2007-03-28 at 20:42 EST:

This confuses me; either it contradicts the requirement or I failed to grasp the difference between "The Program" and "the work". Would it be too basic to define "The Work" in section 0?

I presume the idea is that you need not add the feature, and the original authors need not supply it (they do not rely on the GPL for anything). However, since 5d starts with a requirement, the language makes me wonder whether I missed something important.

Somehow the extension to "copyright-like" laws made by uneasy about this.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2503: Is subsection 5d justified?


Regarding the text: However, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not comply with this subsection, your work need not make them comply.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s3
Submitted by: fitzsim on 2007-03-28 at 22:02 EST
1 agree: kaol
noted by fitzsim on 2007-03-28 at 22:02 EST:

The rationale documents describe changes made to the language in 5d but they don't explain why the subsection is necessary. Isn't the language in 5b sufficient to ensure the user is informed of his rights?

5d requires licensees distributing certain types of works, but not others, to make functional modifications to the work over-and-above the necessary documentary modifications. This seems both onerous (the licensee may only want to modify the non-interface parts of the work) and arbitrary (licensees of certain works -- those whose interactive interfaces do not comply with 5d -- are exempt).

noted by kaol on 2007-03-29 at 01:08 EST:

FWIW, 5d is similar to GPLv2 2c. Though I've never liked it myself either.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2504: Nit


Regarding the text: and/or
In section: gpl3.preamble.p5.s1
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:17 EST
7 agree: blinken, IanLewis, raphael, illy, eml, mkorman, mayeco
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:17 EST:

Should just say "and".
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-23 at 11:10 EDT:

I disagree. You must allow for the following possibilities: a) distribute the software without modification b) modify the software but do not distribute the modifications c) distribute the modified software

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2505: Peculiar definition of a contributor


Regarding the text: based
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:46 EST
0 agree:
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:46 EST:

According to the "based" language here, the latest party to modify the Program is not a contributor until someone else further bases their work on the Program. "Contributor" normally means anyone who has work in the Program. Having the definitions match common usage makes for a clearer text.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2506: Possible ambiguity of what is copied


Regarding the text: making of a verbatim copy
In section: gpl3.definitions.p2.s1
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:55 EST
0 agree:
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 22:55 EST:

Someone might interpret this as "other than the making of a verbatim copy [of part of the work]". Stating explicitly that it is "a verbatim copy [of the whole work]" would make it crystal clear to the SCOs of the world.
noted by sklein on 2007-04-03 at 14:20 EDT:

It might be appropriate to add here that conversion of a verbatim copy of the corresponding source to object form is the same as making a verbatim copy.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2507: Define first


Regarding the text: Major Component
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s2
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:00 EST
5 agree: blinken, IanLewis, skquinn, kohlera, gerv
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:00 EST:

Definition of "Major Component", like the other definitions, should come before its first use in the text.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2508: Whence this patent grant assurance?


Regarding the text: Each contributor grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:03 EST
1 agree: flaschen
noted by blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:03 EST:

How can the GPL make this assurance to the licensee, now that the 2nd half of this paragraph has been deleted? The remaining patent grants requirements are conditional and potentially weaker.
noted by flaschen on 2007-04-05 at 06:04 EDT:

I agree. Where is the corresponding, "If you convey/contribute to a covered work, you similarly covenant to all recipients[...]"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2509: New interfaces


Regarding the text: However, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not comply with this subsection, your work need not make them comply.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s3
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:06 EST
4 agree: mbreuer, hawk, samj, n0dalus
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:06 EST:

Seems like this means that all new interactive interfaces must display such notices, whether or not the Program does so with its other interfaces (if any). Why not just say that such notices may not be removed from interactive interfaces that already have them?
noted by floppus on 2007-03-29 at 16:20 EST:

Well, for one thing, there's the question of what happens when you take code from an interactive program and put it into a non-interactive program (or a library.) In this case you're presumably not preserving any of the user interface, so you can't preserve the notices. If you then stuck the code from the library back into a newly-written interactive program, you could dodge this requirement entirely.

Also, what you're suggesting sounds a little bit like Invariant Sections. It should be clear that the notice doesn't need to be an exact copy of the original program's notice. (Otherwise, what happens when you merge two programs? Or translate the notice into another language?)

Interactive programs, in general, ought to inform the user that they are free software. That's the reason we have this restriction in the first place. I think the restriction as it stands is pretty good -- if for some reason you want to create an interactive program which doesn't have these notices, the only way to do it is if all the copyright holders agree to it.

noted by n0dalus on 2007-03-30 at 21:27 EST:

If it just said that notices can't be removed from existing interfaces, then what if I develop a new interface that's almost the same as an existing one but with a purpose to effectively remove the notice? Maybe if it said something to the effect of; if the program has a notice displayed in any of the current interfaces, it must be included in any new interfaces.

I also thought of a loophole where this kind of requirement can be avoided. Many programs are managed using a public CVS server or other SCM, and it is possible that notices were added in a patch at some point in time. Would it be violating the terms of the licence to checkout the source code from before the notice was added, and then backport all patches except the ones that add the notices?

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 09:53 EDT:

I think that the result achieved by a provision to forbid removal of such interfaces is also achieved by prohibiting the misrepresentation of the origin of ... (see section 7). And the latter is more flexible in that it would allow a licensee to remove the interfaces (e.g. for fitting the program to a space-constraint environment such as a mobile phone) as long as other measures are taken (such as a notice in the manual to the phone) to inform users that parts of the software are GPL software by author X.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2510: Public source code and patent license?


Regarding the text: cause the Corresponding Source to be so available
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2.s1
Submitted by: blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:08 EST
4 agree: n0dalus, flaschen, sanjoy, mux2005
noted by blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:08 EST:

Why was public source code availability deemed sufficient to absolve a patent license? Having a source code that is unusable due to patents is of little use.

Neither draft 2 nor draft 3 provided a rationale for this allowance. Moreover, it was raised in several comments on draft 2 but not answered there either.

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-21 at 08:01 EDT:

I have the same problem as blinken. It's probably not necessary to add explanatory text to the license itself, but please put an explanation into the rationale of the 4th discussion draft and later the GPL3 FAQ. I'm sure that a lot of licensees uninitiated in the intricacies of patent law will wonder about how the public availability of Corresponding Source shields them against patent aggression.
noted by blinken on 2007-06-02 at 09:15 EDT:

This is addressed by FSF's Brett Smith in a Groklaw interview (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070501092619462). He says:

------ When someone is relying on a patent license in order to convey a GPLed work, it creates a number of problems. For starters, the people who get the software may be afraid to convey it to other people. In that scenario, everybody would effectively pay a royalty to the licensee, and there won't be any competition pressuring them to bring the price down, either. When the source is publicly available, it's harder for them to set up that toll booth.

What can the user do with the source they download? Depending on what patents are involved, and how the software is written, it might be possible to modify the software so that it no longer infringes them. For instance, if the software is a video playback program using licensed codecs, you could modify it to use Ogg Theora instead, and still benefit from interface code and other generic features that were in the original program.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also have some protection from patent infringement claims, depending on exactly who you got the software from and how they're related to the licensee. It seems likely that you have at least some sort of implied license to exercise your rights under the GPL. There's still some legal risk here, but not as much as there has been in the past. As always, each user will have to decide for themselves how much risk they can handle.

As long as noncommercial developers can get the code, we think patent licensees will have a hard time breaking the development and distribution cycles for free software. This option, along with public availability requirement earlier in the paragraph, keeps the code flowing. ------


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2511: Why only "software" in the product?


Regarding the text: software
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:10 EST
0 agree:
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:10 EST:

Most of the license is not restricted to software. Why here, then? There may be other relevant free content besides software, too.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2512: a single transaction -> any single transaction


Regarding the text: a single
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:14 EST
0 agree:
noted by blinken on 2007-03-28 at 23:14 EST:

This is easier to parse if phrased "any single transaction".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2513: Taking away of freedoms misattributed


Regarding the text: take away
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:49 EST
2 agree: crosbie, hawk
noted by raulir on 2007-03-28 at 23:49 EST:

It is the default mode of copyright law that takes away the freedoms, not licenses. Licenses are designed to grant the minimum amount of freedoms required to make money.
noted by masood on 2007-03-29 at 01:11 EST:

I think licenses do take away further freedom from their users. For instance, I don't think copyright law itself deny users' right to run a copyrighted program (purchased legally) on a virtual machine or somewhere else except their desktop PCs, but a license can do that.
noted by mbt on 2007-03-29 at 11:47 EST:

I agree with “masood”; Copyright Law mostly says that you can not copy and redistribute copyright content. Even books come with licenses that “tighten the hatches” when it comes to what you can and cannot do with the book under terms of copyright law. Copyright licenses can help restrict the work farther than the law itself does to a “naked” copyrightable work.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 06:26 EST:

Theoretically licenses are meant to grant permissions to the licensee for acts that are otherwise not permitted.

In practice licenses have been abusively corrupted into quasi-contracts, i.e. "By removing the shrinkwrap from this EULA you grant us the right to raid your premises at any time, confiscate anything we fancy, and rough up you and your family for our own vicarious pleasure".

The GPL strictly adheres to the true definition of 'license'.

Licenses need not be provided by any copyrighted work.

So, raulir has a valid point. Licenses cannot take away your freedom (unless corrupted into contracts). It is copyright and patent law that take your freedom away (and most unethically so).

Most (proprietary) licenses fail to restore any significant amount of freedom (suspended by copyright/patent).

Some licenses only restore freedom to the immediate licensee (BSD) leaving it to them to decide whether to continue the restoration of this freedom to people they distribute derivatives to.

The GPL restores freedom to the licensee on condition that they restore the same freedom to everyone to whom they deliver their derivatives.

In this way the GPL effectively restores the public's freedom to enjoy, share and build upon published free software.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2514: Liability?


Regarding the text: or run
In section: gpl3.notacontract.p0.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-28 at 23:54 EST
4 agree: raulir, illy, mbt, jamesgnz
noted by jring on 2007-03-28 at 23:54 EST:

Do require that you need to accept the disclaimer of liability in order to run the program or section 9 could cause trouble for developers in some countries.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 04:38 EST:

I think it is important that people /are/ required to accept the license before using works. The right to run should be covered in section 2 basic permissions.

(Note that in addition to the section 15 warranty disclaimer, there may also be additional section 7a warranty disclaimers.)

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-01 at 18:55 EDT:

1) Licenses give you permission you don't already have 2) If you have an authorised copy of a program, you already have permission to run it - unless you've contracted this permission away - which seems a tad silly...

This section is largely informative, rather than conditional permission.

Even if it wanted to, the GPL could not require acceptance of the license as a precondition to run the program.

The GPL is not the abominable bastardisation of a license known as the EULA.

noted by stikonas on 2007-04-12 at 17:35 EDT:

Does that mean that there are no countries in which section 9 could cause trouble?
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-05-18 at 05:23 EDT:

/ Even if it wanted to, the GPL could not require acceptance of the license as a precondition to run the program. /

Are you sure? I understood that copyright law was initially intended for paper copies, and that with digital works, the act of using the work, since it is copied into computer memory, is a grey area.

But if this is so, how do warranty disclaimer work? Are they seperate from the rest of the license in some sense? Are there implications here for warranty disclaimers added as additional restrictions?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2515: Keep It


Regarding the text: License[, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: questin on 2007-03-28 at 23:58 EST
3 agree: blinken, timi, jamesgnz
noted by questin on 2007-03-28 at 23:58 EST:

This section is not only good for Novell. It lets all enterprises supporting the FSF know that they will not be blind-sighted by the community. There are many enterprises that have contributed much and pushed the cause forward in one way or another. Non-retroactive licensing protects their interests and encourages their support and confidence. Corporate confidence is important, no matter what we idealistic geeks may prefer.
noted by pboddie on 2007-03-29 at 12:40 EST:

Enterprises which truly support the FSF should be aware of the FSF's position on software patents. Since no software is currently licensed under the GPLv3, no-one is having any privileges revoked if the GPLv3 forbids antisocial patent-related agreements, although such parties will be stuck with non-GPLv3 versions of software if/when such software is relicensed. (Note that removing this date from the text has nothing to do with retroactive licensing - such licensees are bound only by the terms to which they have already agreed.) Corporate confidence, where this presumably means the confidence to have the upper hand in making antisocial (anti-community) agreements, is certainly not as important as software freedom - something that genuine corporate participants in the community should (and do) recognise.
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:46 EST:

There's nothing retroactive about not grandfathering in the Novell-Microsoft agreement. They made it regarding GPLv2 software, and they can keep doing it forever that way no matter what the GPLv3 says. No one is changing those terms.

But if Novell want to use GPLv3 software, then let them play by the GPLv3 rules, even if they dreamt of their loophole in the GPLv2 before the GPLv3 existed. So: delete the loophole in square brackets.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-29 at 22:22 EDT:

/ Enterprises which truly support the FSF should be aware of the FSF's position on software patents. /

Half of them don't even understand the GPL. Hell, I'm not even sure I do.

/ Since no software is currently licensed under the GPLv3, no-one is having any privileges revoked if the GPLv3 forbids antisocial patent-related agreements, although such parties will be stuck with non-GPLv3 versions of software if/when such software is relicensed. /

Since the FSF is relicensing GNU project software under the GPLv3, anyone using any version of GNU/Linux who finds themselves unable to agree to the GPLv3 (because of prior comittments) is going to have serious problems with security updates. Whether you call this "revoking privileges" or not is splitting hairs.

noted by nulled on 2007-05-29 at 22:53 EDT:

A License if deployed for Free Software should stay neutral. Fear, such as Microsoft/Novell should not be allowed to influence a License or anything for that matter. When a Logger comes for a Tree to cut down, the tree does not shiver in fear... it simply is what it is. If 'Free' Software is really free, then it is what the people do with the software that matters.

Do we all honestly think Microsoft has enough money/power to trap ALL companies like Novell using patents and FEAR or we will sue tactics?

This brackets clause has 'fear' smeared all over it. And we all know that fear can make you do stupid things.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2516: Change wording

This Comment is part of the discussion on:
#2426: (eml) what is the intended audience here?


Regarding the text: most
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:00 EST
3 agree: mbt, samj, mjuarez
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:00 EST:

Change this to "The licenses for many software applications..." I'm not even sure "most" is accurate given how much software is released under various free software licenses.
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:12 EST:

Why not say simply "Some software licenses...".
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:18 EST:

Actually "The licenses for most software and other practical works" would change into "Some licenses for software and other practical works...".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2517: Change of wording


Regarding the text: The
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:01 EST
0 agree:
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:01 EST:

Remove "The" because it doesn't only occur in this area.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2519: Why limit it?


Regarding the text: with respect to a given copyright holder
In section: gpl3.termination.p1.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:22 EST
2 agree: Adhemar, aaronmf
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:22 EST:

Make it the first violation of the license, period. Otherwise it could be systematically abused against one copyright holder after another.
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 18:53 EST:

Since termination of the license is optional in any case there is no point in allowing more than one violation. The one violation should be a "heads up" no more, no less. If after the violator gets the "heads up" he/she/it gets to violate against other license holders it defeats the purpose of the clause which is to give some leeway to the ignorant.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 05:51 EDT:

/ Since termination of the license is optional in any case there is no point in allowing more than one violation. The one violation should be a "heads up" no more, no less. If after the violator gets the "heads up" he/she/it gets to violate against other license holders it defeats the purpose of the clause which is to give some leeway to the ignorant. /

Have you any idea how many GPL violations might be accidentially made by even a careful GNU/Linux distribution?

Please read my Comment 2809: Death penalty for parking infringements


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2520: Linux kernel


Regarding the text: so long as they remain in full compliance
In section: gpl3.termination.p2.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:24 EST
0 agree:
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:24 EST:

What if the original violation makes it impossible to remain in compliance? As could happen if the full source was not disclosed? Think binary blobs in the Linux kernel etc ...
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:45 EST:

If downstream recipients from such violators couldn't have licenses terminated, that would open the door to GPL-violation-for-a-fee businesses. I won't give out source, so you don't have to either! Bad idea, despite the Linux kernel problems.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2521: Rewording needed


Regarding the text: the recipient automatically receives
In section: gpl3.autolicense.p0.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:27 EST
1 agree: michals
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:27 EST:

Make this a requirement rather than a statement of fact. As it is it seems to say that this happens automatically under copyright law. Make it say "in order to propagate this work you must give the recipient a license to ...".
noted by mathfox on 2007-03-29 at 07:32 EST:

Is there a specific legal reason for your change? Your proposed wording complicates use of the GPL by adding an explicit agency relation between all distributors and all licensors.

disagree for now.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:48 EST:

Requirement 5.c. already takes care of this, for each copyright holder.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2522: ADSL providers and cable modems


Regarding the text: the right of possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized),
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:32 EST
0 agree:
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:32 EST:

My ADSL provider insists that the cable modem they installed is their property and that I am not allowed to modify it in any way. I can see TiVo saying they still own the devices they distribute, that they simply let you have some of their hardware in your house...
noted by mathfox on 2007-03-29 at 07:17 EST:

When someone lends you an USB stick with GNU packages, he is distributing software; similarly, when cableco is sending you a set top box, they are distributing software on the flash disk in the box. Should the legal form cableco chooses when providing you the box (lease or sale) make a difference to the end user for his GPL rights to modify the box? (Consider that cableco drafts the contract with the consumer and might not offer an option to buy.)

If you want to protect computer users from lock in, unwarranted restrictions and treacherous computing, it's best to expand this protections to computer renters too.

noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:35 EST:

if you don't own the box, why should you have any right to modify the box. Basic concept of ownership there.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 11:42 EST:

Yes, I have to agree. It's a case of Caveat Emptor.

If you're a user who is willing to surrender your own freedom through a voluntary rental contract (without this being imposed upon you against your will via copyright), and don't actually want to own the device or have access to the software that controls it, then I don't think the GPL should stand in the way.

If the renter of a set top box can access the software sufficient to make a copy, then they should become a licensee because of this. This adheres to the GPL's requirement that anyone who obtains a copy should be a licensee.

However, if the set-top box or Tivo is not your property - despite being on your premises for your legitimate use - then if the device physically prevents access to make a copy of the software, you are not in receipt of a legitimate copy and not a licensee.

I realise there may well be a vast number of 'dumb consumers' happy to create a rental market for closed devices, but I don't think it's GPL's mission to save people from themselves.

Remember, the free software ideology has prospered and proliferated in spite of the market for proprietary software. There's no reason why the same shouldn't happen for the sale of open devices, vs the rental of closed devices - irrespective of the fact that GPL software may be exploited within the closed devices.

If you want to become a GPL licensee of the software within a closed rental device there's nothing stopping you purchasing a copy of the software from the developer (or from someone else who's already purchased a copy).

At the end of the day the GPL has to decide whether it prefers the clumsy introduction of a distinction between consumer devices and non-consumer devices, or the acknowledgement that GPL software may be used within a rented, closed device without the renter becoming a licensee.

Consumer vs non-consumer OR owned vs non-owned.

I'd say 'ownership' was the better demarcation. It accords far better with private property rights.

noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 05:09 EST:

there's a bit more here: if the renter can take a copy of the GPL software off their rented box, but the box is still rented, they become a GPL licencee, and still should be able to be prevented from modifying the box that they've rented by the owner of that box. (I lend you a usb stick, to pass you some software, I can tell you that you're not allowed to delete anything from it, or add anything to it, just copy the software.)
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 06:58 EST:

I agre Illy. Simply becoming a licensee to software held on someone else's device doesn't then grant any privileges over their property.

You own the copy of the software that you were able to make. If you want to modify the device, you need to buy it or another one like it.

You only have a right to enjoy the ability to execute modified GPL software on devices that you own (that were supplied with the GPL software that you modified).

noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 05:03 EDT:

You're not alone. In France, the major ISP (Orange.fr, formerly known as Wanadoo) distributes a DSL modem-router device known as "LiveBox", made by Thomson/Inventel or by Sagem, that internally uses a Linux kernel, and that contains implementations of GPLed softwares. But the sources for them are inaccessible, as well as the documentation about how firmware updates are installed. Such prohibition was included, because the box is distributed but remains the property of Orange/France Telecom (against a small monthly subscription that also covers the cost for the free warranty or replacement for the device in case of dysfunctionning). But this was considered prohibited under French law, because this was considered forced sale (this router model is mandatory to get access to multiplay offers, like VoIP thelephony, or TV), so Orange had to propose a separate offer where the modem-router is not rented, but SOLD. The problem is that when it is sold, it is not different from the model that is rented. It comes with a one-year warranty, but it is NOT usable on any other ISP than Orange. But there is still no other source included in the sold package, and Orange, Sagemn and Inventel refuse to give the sources about the package to allow users modifying the firmware for using it on another ISP, or to add missing features (like UPnP support, or IPv6 support in the PPP session), or to remove some features (like the forced connection to some hidden Orange update service that will automatically update the firmware without asking to the user).

The Livebox has been distributed with MILLIONS of units, most often in France, but also in UK and the Netherlands and other countries where Orange is operating as an ISP. This is a massive infringement of the GPL by France Telecom/Orange.

noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 05:18 EDT:

note that the sold Livebox comes with a CDROM containing the program needed to reload a damaged firmware, and there's a copy on the CDROM of the original firmware as it was manufactured.

The firmware file on that CDROM is not encrypted, but digitally signed; it's easy to see the parts in that file that are containing GPL binaries for the modified Linux kernel, some services, a flash filesystem, GCC runtime libraries, plus some customisations that allow it to interoperate with the vxWorks internal OS, and the device-specific OS controler and boot loader (all of them are included in the firmware file).

But the CDROM contains NOTHING about the required copyright statements for the GPL software. The only copyrights present are those from Thomson/Intel or Sagem (the modem manufacturers) and from Orange (for the Orange specific customizations working with Orange online services, or the Orange logo and trademarks, or Orange documentation and help files).

We are not asking for the sources of the vxWorks kernel or the boot loader (similar to BIOS on manufactured PC motherboards), but we want the complete sources of the modified Linux kernel as well as the drivers that allow them to interoperate with the vxWorks kernel and its bootloader, and build intructions that allow making a working firmware. The way through which the proprietary vxWorks kernel and boot loader are linked to the modified linux kernel is also questionable; we currently don't know what the Linux kernel MUST implement for the whole firmware to work successfully without system hangs.

noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 05:26 EDT:

But note that even the sold Livebox is also abusive under French law: this is also a bundle with forced sale of a Orange *service* subscription along with a *material* product. Orange is walking on the grey area here where customers are given a choice between Orange and... Orange (i.e. the sold Livebox or the rented Livebox, both of them having equal access to all services including multiplay offers that REQUIRE a Livebox and NO other modem). But Orange still refuses to give users the choice of their modem: it's a Livebox only, or no access to the multiplay offers. In other words, all is bound to the subcription service offers, and the sale of the modem is illusory (it's just a pricing arrangement where you pay only once for the modem, with limited one-year support, instead of paying a monthly bill with unlimited support).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2523: Clarification


Regarding the text: Network access may be denied when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network or violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:40 EST
7 agree: mbreuer, novalis, illy, thezulu, kohlera, sanjoy, wijnen
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:40 EST:

Clarify that this is only allowed if the modification actually does alter network behavior and that simply suggesting that any modified code could possibly have security vulnerabilities is not enough. As it stands it is far to easy for companies to say "well we are afraid what might happen if we let everybody on" and the block any modified software.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 09:37 EDT:

"alter network behaviour" doesn't cut it. If a checksum of the firmware is transmitted as part of the network protocol (and that checksum is computed by the network chip itself so that the software can't fake it) then every change in the software does certainly "alter network behaviour" and would allow locking out of the client, which would allow an easy circumvention of the GPL's provision.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2524: the program in question


Regarding the text: acceptance of any version
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.p2.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:49 EST
2 agree: illy, wijnen
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:49 EST:

Clarify this to say "That proxy's public statement of acceptance for you or anybody else to use a particular version is permanent authorization for you to choose that version for the work in question." This is necessary because currently it seems to require that the proxy gives you permission to use ANY version, and also, it doesn't make it clear that this is allowed if he expresses acceptance for the program to be put under that version rather than just expressing acceptance of teh license in the "yea that is a good license" kind of way.
noted by sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 21:45 EDT:

Do you mean that the "any" is ambiguous? If so, I agree. It could mean that the proxy has to say exactly "you can use any version" or that the "any" is outside in the sense that the proxy can specify whatever version they like (e.g. version 3).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2525: Aplies even if you only run/posess


Regarding the text: Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability.
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.0.0
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:50 EST
7 agree: eml, skquinn, samj, illy, flaschen, wijnen, mux2005
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:50 EST:

Make it clear that this disclaimer applies even if you don't redistribute the program. Currently the license states you don't have to accept it in order to run the program, which invalidates the disclaimer.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-22 at 05:23 EDT:

As I've said elsewhere, I see no value in having the GPL disclaim power over running the program. It adds unnecessary confusion (such as this question about whether the warranty disclaimer applies or not) and doesn't help anyone. Simply change the GPL to state "You are allowed to run the program." and remove all statements to the effect that the GPL does not need to be accepted for running.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2526: Is this word necessary?


Regarding the text: civil
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.p2.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:54 EST
4 agree: samj, wijnen, kdean06, jamesgnz
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:54 EST:

Remove the word "civil" as it could have implication in some legislatures that distinguishes between different types of legislation.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2527: Redundant


Regarding the text: in the hope that it will be useful
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p4.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:57 EST
3 agree: Adhemar, samj, wijnen
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:57 EST:

This is not necessary. Keep it as short as possible.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:27 EST:

Lol. This license has bigger wordiness problems than that.
noted by mkoziuk on 2007-04-18 at 17:54 EDT:

So the license doesn't apply when I don't want my software to be usefull...:p

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2528: Version 3


Regarding the text: GNU General Public License
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p4.s2
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:57 EST
4 agree: samj, illy, stikonas, mayeco
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 00:57 EST:

"GNU General Public License version 3"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2529: And


Regarding the text: or
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 01:16 EST
0 agree:
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 01:16 EST:

This should be an "and".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2530: license *from the given copyright holder* is automatically reinstated


Regarding the text: your license is automatically reinstated
In section: gpl3.termination.p1.s1
Submitted by: blinken on 2007-03-29 at 01:27 EST
3 agree: illy, mbt, tfelker
noted by blinken on 2007-03-29 at 01:27 EST:

Make it clear that only the license from that particular copyright holder is reinstated. If there are other holders with respect to which this is not the first violation, the license from them may remain revoked.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2531: not enough


Regarding the text: unpacking, reading or copying
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p11.s1
Submitted by: michals on 2007-03-29 at 01:52 EST
2 agree: mbreuer, illy
noted by michals on 2007-03-29 at 01:52 EST:

maybe also for "compiling and executing", because without this, the software could be checked by hardware before execution, which should go against GPL IMHO.
noted by mbreuer on 2007-03-29 at 09:08 EST:

also installation.
noted by blinken on 2007-03-29 at 11:04 EST:

The text is fine. Compilation, execution etc. are already taken care of elsewhere and in a better way. This paragraph is just to ensure that the code and instructions are readible.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2532: MS-Novell


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: nocturn on 2007-03-29 at 01:53 EST
9 agree: nb, freestu, rhouse, sanjoy, michals, ericfish, flaschen, easuter, kune
noted by nocturn on 2007-03-29 at 01:53 EST:

I do not think we should give Novell a get-out-of-jail free card.

They clearly and deliberatly violated the principles of free software, even though the GPLv2 didn't explicitly forbid it.

noted by wmshi on 2007-03-29 at 08:16 EST:

While I agree that the wording of GPLv3 will mean it is very difficult for Novell to continue with the patent agreement with Microsoft, I do not think Novell, or anybody, should get a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Since what is wrong will always remains wrong, anyone conveying GPL v3 software should be treated the same. The only get-out-of-jail-free card that should be granted is the narrow circumstances to those who inadvertently entered into a restrictive agreement, as a results of activity not related to GPL and can demonstrate good faith prior to a cut-off date. And I would like to give the writers of the software, a say in the matter. Therefore I would word it in a way that says we allow the copyright holders of GPL software to grant you an exception if the agreement was before a cut-off date, not a carte-blanche.

If a cut-off date is to be imposed, it should be the day GPL v3 is adopted. I do not see a need to discuss whether this date should be postponed or brought forward.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2533: version 1 vs version 2, HTTP


Regarding the text: Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-29 at 02:07 EST
1 agree: skquinn
noted by jring on 2007-03-29 at 02:07 EST:

I don't know what version 2 of the Affero GPL looks like, but if it is just GPLv3 with the Affero section 2(d) added to it, then it should not require that the transmission be by http, as that is not necessarily the protocol that is used on the network and the original application.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2534: Don't bloat the license with this special casing


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: uraeus on 2007-03-29 at 03:52 EST
7 agree: kaol, hkBst, strobhen, eml, flaschen, fraggle, rodom
noted by uraeus on 2007-03-29 at 03:52 EST:

You shouldn't bloat the already wordy GPL3 with special casing for another licensense like this. Especially one like this which has next to no use.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 06:23 EST:

It's an otherwise small but significant difference between the two licenses.

Compulsory publication of private modifications (if publicly exploited) vs voluntary publication of private modifications (whether publicly exploited or not).

There are many users of the GPL who have mistaken its objectives as compelling reciprocation - instead of restoring liberty.

This is probably because the anti-obfuscation clause of GPL is mistaken as compulsory reciprocation, when it's simply a case of "If you choose to publish, you publish without restricting the liberty of the public, which includes obstruction through obfuscation (binaries without source)".

There is actually no obligation by the GPL for authors of derivatives to publish their modifications, nor should there be.

However, there are those who do feel strongly that people who exploit their software should be obliged to reciprocate by being forced to publish any modifications they make. This warrants a distinct license.

The proposition is that the principles underlying each license have sufficient affinity that each may explicity acknowledge the other, and tolerate linkage with work thereof.

I think the bargepole is long enough. Some may think it too short, or even that no contact should be countenanced.

noted by vincentc on 2007-04-01 at 07:07 EDT:

uraeus: read this and thou shall see: http://www.linux-mag.com/id/3017/

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2535: "these rights"


Regarding the text: the rights
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s1
Submitted by: hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:30 EST
1 agree: fej
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:30 EST:

should still be "these rights".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2536: "(1) asserting" and "(2) offering"


Regarding the text: Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software, and (2) offer you this License which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.
In section: gpl3.preamble.p5.s1
Submitted by: hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:35 EST
2 agree: eml, skquinn
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:35 EST:

"(1) asserting" and "(2) offering" would make this sentence better.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2537: no date-based exceptions


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:51 EST
10 agree: nb, Adhemar, michals, asffld, flaschen, tryggvi, easuter, rodom, prezaxl, schabi
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-29 at 07:51 EST:

no date-based exceptions please.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2538: what happens if you recived it in accordance with section6c


Regarding the text: only if you received the object code with such an offer, in accord with subsection 6b.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p3.s2
Submitted by: illy on 2007-03-29 at 08:02 EST
0 agree:
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 08:02 EST:

6c implies that if you recive the object code under the conditions of 6c, then you cannot redistribute yourself, should be edited to "in accordance with subsection 6b or 6c"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2539: any two parties can claim having an old agreement


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: nb on 2007-03-29 at 08:35 EST
8 agree: rhouse, flaschen, tryggvi, ismaell, stikonas, Soong, edscho, masood
noted by nb on 2007-03-29 at 08:35 EST:

In some jurisdictions at least, there is no requirement for this kind of agreement to be in writing. Any two parties who wish to make an evil deal like the MS-Novell deal can simply claim having orally agreed on a broad agreement of this kind before whatever date is specified, and it is impossible to prove such a claim to be false.

The text in brackets must be deleted for this part to have any teeth.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2540: Don't allow patent trolls to make software non-free


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: nb on 2007-03-29 at 08:41 EST
18 agree: blinken, stevenj, illy, dthursto, ericfish, flaschen, kohlera, polymath, ismaell, wijnen, pboddie, prezaxl, Soong, jamesgnz, moritzh, tfelker, mux2005, masood
noted by nb on 2007-03-29 at 08:41 EST:

Whether the evil company that tries to make some GPL'd software non-free is in the bsuiness of distributing software is irrelevant. Imagine instead of the Microsoft-Novell deal a similar deal between a patent troll company (which could possibly be secretly funded by Microsoft) and a company which distributes GPL'd software commercially.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2541: What about someone who illegitimately comes into possesion of a modified work?


Regarding the text: You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s1
Submitted by: mbreuer on 2007-03-29 at 08:59 EST
12 agree: samj, rjenkins, horsten, flaschen, asffld, bsost, kohlera, kdean06, sepreece, ccady, yuhong, mux2005
noted by mbreuer on 2007-03-29 at 08:59 EST:

I should think this would be limited to anyone who legitimately comes into possession of a copy. If I modify a GPL program for internal use never intending to convey or propagate, and someone steals a laptop with the binaries, why should I be obligated to provide a license? I should be allowed to reclaim the bits (along with the transfer medium).
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-30 at 04:52 EST:

This is not a problem, since this provision only applies upon conveying, i.e. it only applies to work that had already been conveyed.

(This comment is like Comment 2626.)

noted by yuhong on 2007-04-13 at 00:17 EDT:

And nor should I be obligated to provide the Corrosponding Source for that work
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 05:01 EDT:

That this only applies if you convey a work doesn't help. What if I give the work to an outside contractor? Then I have conveyed the work and from that point on I would be required to give Corresponding Source to every thief who manages to obtain a copy (which is not hypothetical considering that there are black sheep in almost any company).

Yes, I know that the contractor would be allowed to pass on the work and that I may not contractually restrict him from doing that without violating the GPL. That is beside the point. The contractor elects not to exercise his rights under the GPL, because he doesn't want to piss of his customer. And I trust the contractor. So no one gets a copy from the contractor and the contractor deletes all of his copies after doing his work. But even then the GPL puts me at risk, because this one act of conveying to the contractor, even though all of its physical consequences have been undone, requires me to produce Corresponding Source to anyone who hacks into my servers and manages to grab the binary. Even worse, I have to provide Corresponding Source to someone who obtained the binary from a hard drive he bought in a used computer from an unknown stranger, i.e. someone who has himself committed no crime, so that I do not have any legal ways of preventing him from demanding Corresponding Source by threating a lawsuit for a computer crime.

I think that the chain of conveyance that led to some party having a copy needs to be legal for that party to have any rights. Illegal activities should never ever be rewarded by giving someone rights he could not have obtained in a legal way.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2542: 60 days is unreasonably short


Regarding the text: provided 60 days have not elapsed since the most recent violation
In section: gpl3.termination.p0.s3
Submitted by: nb on 2007-03-29 at 09:06 EST
8 agree: mbt, rdavies, mnalis, flaschen, thezulu, ismaell, jamesj, Adhemar
noted by nb on 2007-03-29 at 09:06 EST:

60 days is an unreasonably short timeframe in the case of violations where it cannot easily be verified whether the violations continue or not.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2543: freedom 0 - user product - incompatable


Regarding the text: "User Product"
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s1
Submitted by: illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:07 EST
5 agree: samj, sumnerp, sepreece, PzyCrow, Soong
noted by illy on 2007-03-29 at 09:07 EST:

I'm going to quote freedom 0 at you:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

Defining a subset of uses that get extra rights seems to be directly opposed to freedom 0. I have read the reasoning for this, and I disagree with the need to make this an exception. The distinction between owners and users rights should be enough to protect big buisness (users don't get any rights forced by the GPL, only the owners do), they can rent their hardware if they don't want control, let's call a spade a spade amd make it clear who has control in that situation.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2544: f) Convey the object code for demonstration purposes


Regarding the text: Conveying Non-Source Forms
In section: gpl3.nonsource.0.0
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 09:15 EST
1 agree: dogshed
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 09:15 EST:

I'd like to give away copies of a freely copyable binary to a software user group in order to demonstrate that I'd produced the underlying source code to an enhancement that the group would probably pool funds to pay for.

In other words, in order for the GPL to assist in rewarding authors for production and publication of GPL software shouldn't it enable authors to promote their as yet unreleased work by allowing them to publish a free demo in binary form?

f) Convey the object code at no charge for demonstration purposes as long as the corresponding source has not yet been conveyed to any other party (outside yourself or your organisation).

So, authors can give away binaries as long as they haven't conveyed the source. Once they have conveyed the source (presumably given payment), then they can no longer convey binaries via this method.

I'd also say that the demo binaries should clearly identify themselves as demos of GPL software, that they are freely copyable and, precisely because their purpose is to demonstrate and promote the sale of unreleased source code, are exempt from the requirement for accompanying source code.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:21 EST:

The GPL does not allow any release of binaries without at least an offer of source. That would inherently compromise freedom, and is highly undesirable. I see nothing in your clause to stop these "demo binaries" from being permanent. Either way, it's a bad idea.
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 08:13 EDT:

Well, the offer of source is "Once I have been paid $1,000 for my labour, the purchaser will become a GPL licensee."

Anyway, I appreciate 'binary-only demos of unreleased GPL source' is an apparently radical clause, but given it would still be possible given abolition of copyright and patent law, it seems worth considering for admission into the GPL.

Otherwise, demos of GPL source must be produced using proprietary code, which seems a tad ironic, i.e. in order to demonstrate and promote free software that you've written, you have to produce a non-GPL demo (despite it necessarily being free of charge and freely copyable).

If the demo has to be freely copyable and free of charge, I suspect that the only possible incentive to use this clause would be in order to promote the sale of GPL software. Or in other words, how can anyone make any money using this clause without eventually releasing the source code? Given payment for support between two vendors one of whom sells the source, one of whom doesn't, the one who sells the source will be more competitive.

Perhaps this should wait for GPLv4? :-)

noted by pboddie on 2007-04-02 at 09:38 EDT:

crosbie: "Otherwise, demos of GPL source must be produced using proprietary code, which seems a tad ironic, i.e. in order to demonstrate and promote free software that you've written, you have to produce a non-GPL demo (despite it necessarily being free of charge and freely copyable)."

How is it "ironic"? You aren't licensing anything to these recipients under the GPL, and the only connection the GPL has with the situation is your presumed intent to eventually license the software under the GPL given payment. In other words, you're making a proprietary demo to promote a transaction which *may* involve Free Software at a subsequent point in time. Why should a Free Software licence cover such non-free distribution?

Such a clause is in complete opposition to the meaning of the GPL. Why couldn't a proprietary software company just call their work a demonstration of GPL-licensed code and then drive a truck through the resulting hole in the licence?

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 12:38 EDT:

pboddie, I had half a mind not to propose it, but I believe the time for this clause will come one day, probably not for GPLv3, maybe v4.

To demo unreleased GPL code I have the following options:

1) Private demonstration - people can visit my premises and play with the binary on my PCs - I don't have to supply the source 2) Take my PC to each potential customer - I visit everyone and let them use the demo 3) Remote demonstration - I let people interact with the software remotely 4) Non-GPL demo - I rewrite my code using BSD licensed code (or MS code) 5) Video recording - of someone using the code

But, without my proposed clause, I can't give away a demo using GPL software - unless I also surrender the source code - which I don't want to do until I've been paid for it.

You say "Why couldn't a proprietary software company just call their work a demonstration of GPL-licensed code and then drive a truck through the resulting hole in the licence?"

Well, as I indicated in my earlier note, a proprietary software company would have difficulty making any money from GPL 'demo-only binaries' if they couldn't charge for them and had to permit them to be freely used and copied.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-10 at 07:28 EDT:

/ To demo unreleased GPL code I have the following options: /

You missed one. If your program is your own work, and links only to the Linux kernel (which has it's own additional permission clause) and/or LGPL works (such as Gnome), then you can distribute it however you like without having to rewrite anything. I think this is sufficient.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-10 at 07:35 EDT:

By 'GPL code' I meant code that was necessarily GPL because it is a licensed derivative.

For code that does not need to be GPL licensed, obviously the issue does not arise.

noted by johnston on 2007-05-11 at 20:23 EDT:

I completely disagree with this. That would just allow people to distribute proprietary software under the GPL, as long as they said it was a "demonstration", as others have pointed out. That's completely against the spirit of the GPL, the Free Software Foundation and the free software movement in general, so it shouldn't be allowed. The fact that people would be unlikely to do it if they can't make money from it is irrelevant. Some people still choose to write and distribute proprietary software without being paid.

In terms of providing a demonstration, you could still do that if you don't actually give the person a copy of the software, by demonstrating it on your own computer, showing them a video, or letting them use it remotely (which is still allowed by the GPL without giving source code, and which the Affero GPL is designed to prohibit).


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2545: Everyone needs an opportunity to cure the violation before termination of license


Regarding the text: at any time, terminate the rights
In section: gpl3.termination.p0.s4
Submitted by: mbreuer on 2007-03-29 at 09:17 EST
1 agree: larhzu
noted by mbreuer on 2007-03-29 at 09:17 EST:

The violator needs to be given the opportunity to cure the violation before termination. Absent this, large businesses will not use GPL V3 software in any business-critical application. Large companies have many employees, and they do sometimes make mistakes. I'd drop the 60 day provision (above) and the 30 day (below) and replace with a time limit after notice of violation to cure the violation. The possible cures probably need to be stated somewhere as well - releasing code, or re-writing without GPL components.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:41 EST:

That's not true. There's no such deadline in GPLv2, and GNU/Linux is routinely used for business-critical servers.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2546: no easy way to verify


Regarding the text: anyone who possesses
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: erge on 2007-03-29 at 09:28 EST
0 agree:
noted by erge on 2007-03-29 at 09:28 EST:

There is no easy way to verify if somebody possesses the objectcode.

So in reality there either will be a fallback to the rule in gpl 2, or some clever person reqally requires a prove about possesion of object code, before sendig source, which would make the whole thing much more complex for both sides.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2547: Unnecissary Liability for Future Software Releases


Regarding the text: unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: jalockli on 2007-03-29 at 10:15 EST
12 agree: pboddie, Chandon, rhouse, pjm, anp, flaschen, ismaell, fraggle, josh, Soong, nulled, masood
noted by jalockli on 2007-03-29 at 10:15 EST:

Completely unnecissary. Microsoft and Novell will always be able to use their covenant on the software available at the time.

There is no reason that software written 5 years from now should still have this liability.

Please don't include this.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2548: More definitions


Regarding the text: 1. Source Code.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.0.0
Submitted by: dkrohn70 on 2007-03-29 at 10:23 EST
3 agree: eml, jamesgnz, mayeco
noted by dkrohn70 on 2007-03-29 at 10:23 EST:

This section seems to include definitions. Shouldn't "Source Code" and the other definitions ("Standard Interface", "System Libraries", "Corresponding Source") just be items under the Definitions section. It might also be nice to make each definition a subsection.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2549: Why do I have to accept this to modify the code?


Regarding the text: or modify
In section: gpl3.notacontract.p0.s3
Submitted by: ccady on 2007-03-29 at 11:26 EST
2 agree: kdean06, ccady
noted by ccady on 2007-03-29 at 11:26 EST:

Why must a person accept the GPL to *modify* the code for their own use? Doesn't a person have that right regardless of this license? I suggest removing the words "or modify" if they are unnecessary.
noted by novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:15 EST:

Re-read 17 USC 106 (2).
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-03 at 15:18 EDT:

Yes, nocalis, one needs, per 17 USC 106 (2), authorisation from the copyright holder to modify the work. Fine. So why does the GPL simply not state, preferably in the beginning: you have the right to (a) receive; (b) have; (c) study; (d) run; (e) modify; and (f) running modified copies of the Program, no strings attached. Essantially, it's only the distribution part, per 17 USC 106 (1), that should be subject to quite some rules (making sure that what you distribute remains free).
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-04 at 15:49 EDT:

Actually. It's not really a problem here. The last paragraph of section 2 ("Basic Permissions") does more or less what I want, specifically (e) and (f): "Propagation of covered works that you do not convey, and making modified versions of the Program that you do not convey, are permitted without conditions, so long as your license otherwise remains in force."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Issue 2550: This "partial coverage" concept contradicts notion of GPL compatibility and "additional restrictions"


Regarding the text: will continue to apply to your covered work but will not apply to the work with which it is linked
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s2
Submitted by: bkuhn on 2007-03-29 at 11:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-29 at 11:38 EST:

This part of Section 13 seems to contradict the known historical teaching from FSF regarding GPL compatibility, and the "additional restrictions" language in GPLv3DD2 Section 7. Generally speaking, under GPLv2, it was not possible to create a new derivative work that combined GPLv2 works with those under GPLv2-incompatible licenses.

A GPLv2 incompatible license was historically defined as "a licenses which places additional restrictions not permitted by GPL". GPLv3 S. 7 was designed to increase the scope of that compatibility, but it still clearly states "All other non-permissive additional terms are considered 'further restrictions'".

As I see it, the core AGPL requirement (that source code be made available via to all network users of the software) will constitute an "additional restriction" as described in GPLv3 Section 10. I realize that AGPLv2 hasn't been written yet (and I've volunteer to serve on the drafting committee for it), but I simply don't see a way that you can reach the clear goal of the AGPL while not imposing a "further restriction" as defined in this GPLv3DD2.

It appears that GPLv3DD2's S. 13 is designed to act somewhat like its own Section 7: allowing a certain type of additional restriction. However, it does not go far enough. It seems to imply that you can keep some files in larger derivative work under GPLv3 and others under AGPLv2. In that case, what is the license of the whole work? It can't be GPLv2, because that will contradict the Affero network-source-distribution requirement. It can't be AGPLv2, because it will contradict GPLv3's Sections 7 and 10.

In other words, this text contradicts this historical thinking on what a Free Software copyleft license must do. Generally, in the Free Software world, we've believed that even while a particular license notice lives with each file in the larger work, the entire copyrighted work has a single known license. This is precisely why GPL-compatibility always meant "the other license allows the conveyor to distribute the non-GPL'd work under full terms of the GPL".

Most will agree that even in a GPLv3/AGPLv2 compatibility situation that each file in the work should carry their own license notices referring to the individual licenses; that's standard Free Software modification/redistribution practice anyway. However, the work as a whole must be under a single license. It seems that GPLv3 S. 13 simply doesn't go far enough to make the core AGPL provision compatible with GPLv3, such that the entire license of the work can be stated clearly without contradictions.

Queue changed from Inbox to Issues by bkuhn on 2007-03-29 at 11:41 EST
Queue changed from Issues to by bkuhn on 2007-03-29 at 11:42 EST
Queue changed from to Issues by bkuhn on 2007-03-29 at 12:42 EST
noted by flaschen on 2007-04-04 at 14:29 EDT:

You're right. This clause can only work if the newest AGPL says AGPL works can link with GPLv3 works in this manner (this is the plan). I.E. it has to be reciprocal.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2551: more precise and concise definition


Regarding the text: by some manner, permitted by this License, of making, using, or selling the work
In section: gpl3.definitions.p5.s1
Submitted by: ccady on 2007-03-29 at 11:50 EST
1 agree: ccady
noted by ccady on 2007-03-29 at 11:50 EST:

I suggest: "... that would be infringed [in a manner permitted by This License, including using, modifying, conveying, or selling the work], but do not ..."

or, more simply: "... that would be infringed [by the Basic Permissions defined in section 2], but do not ..."

I do not understand what "making" the work means.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2552: doesn't ability to void the warrantee remove the need for "User Product" language?


Regarding the text: The requirement to provide Installation Information does not include a requirement to continue to provide support service, warranty, or updates for a work that has been modified or installed by the recipient.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s1
Submitted by: stevenj on 2007-03-29 at 12:47 EST
3 agree: alexbk, illy, flaschen
noted by stevenj on 2007-03-29 at 12:47 EST:

According to the rationale, the reason for the "User Product" language was that certain large enterprise customers prefer not to have the DRM keys, because they want the vendor to control their system updates.

However, according to this text, can't the vendor simply say that they will no longer update or warrantee the system if the user employs the DRM keys to modify it? It seems that this should remove the need for the controversial "User Product" language.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2553: Modifications


Regarding the text: your work need not make them comply
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s3
Submitted by: mole on 2007-03-29 at 12:50 EST
0 agree:
noted by mole on 2007-03-29 at 12:50 EST:

Should this be "changes in a modified work not make them comply." It sounds like the intent here is to not force people who modify code that doesn't comply with this section to add a compliant interface. The phrase "your work" seems to include the original author, and thus seems to make the section optional.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2554: Names and including this section


Regarding the text: How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
In section: howtoapply.0.0
Submitted by: pboddie on 2007-03-29 at 13:03 EST
5 agree: samj, bkuhn, kohlera, wijnen, lcchueri
noted by pboddie on 2007-03-29 at 13:03 EST:

As noted in the other remarks about the various names used in this section it's arguably better to either use bland but descriptive names (eg. MyApplication, FirstName, FamilyName) than to expect people, particularly non-native English speakers to pick up subtle references. It might be best to just use bracketed terms like throughout in order to more easily guide people around the parts that need parameterising.

Guidance is needed about whether this section should be included in the licence file or not. My impression is that this is optional "metadata", but I've seen many people include this text in their licence file, even though its relevance is diminished: the licence is already applied, and advice about using it - whilst desirable - is a peripheral matter. The text should say that this section is optional unless otherwise stipulated somewhere: in which case, such stipulations should appear in this section.

noted by mgiuca on 2007-03-30 at 06:44 EST:

pboddie: I think (at least in GPLv2) it was necessary to include this bit inside the license file. It is part of the license; we want people to know how to distribute it, whether they are looking at the copy on the GNU website, or any copy included with a program.

Anyway, I agree that we need more formal names. "Gnomovision" and "Ty Coon", while cute, are a bit confusing and informal.

noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 14:55 EST:

The license is made needlessly longer with this section attached. The GPL is supposed to do two things: (0) make a political statement about the freedom of software and (1) be the legal-ese of the strong copyleft. This section is simply off topic. I suggest it be stricken and moved to another document.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-22 at 05:42 EDT:

I think this should remain in the license file just like the Preamble. It serves to promote the spread of the GPL.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2555: Too specific.


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: chandon on 2007-03-29 at 13:29 EST
6 agree: illy, flaschen, vadim, ismaell, Soong, jamesj
noted by chandon on 2007-03-29 at 13:29 EST:

This section seems to very neatly cover the Novell/Microsoft deal without covering any variations to that deal, much less any deal with similar effects but different mechanics.

The threat here is *any* patent license to some but not all of the users the a GPL covered work is distributed to.

"You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an agreement with a third party that would give a patent license to some, but not all, recipients of that work. Further, you may not publicize a limited license nor may you use it as a sales differentiator, even if it is not the result of an explicit agreement."

noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:39 EDT:

I think companies will not like your wording, because distribution of the covered work may not have anything to do with them.

That is, the problem is any patent license to some but not all of the users the GPL covered work is distributed to by the licensee, either directly or indirectly.

In particular, if A distributes the work to person B and company C, then C distributes it to some partners, not publicly, with the unwritten agreement that they will not publicize it (even though it is clear that they are legally entitled to do this), including a patent license that C thinks they need, then C still wants to be able to sue B (or maybe even A, but that seems very unwise) for violation of the patent.

In fact, IMO it would be good to forbid this, but it is something to at least consider. After all, such a construction "may effectively invalidate some of the companies patents in places where they don't expect it". I can see that they fear this, and may choose to not use this license because of it (and avoid any software that does).

noted by nulled on 2007-05-29 at 23:04 EDT:

We are all reading into this TOO MUCH with too much wording.

Software is Free to use, distribute, modify and sell as a SERVICE. PERIOD... GPLv2 states all that.

This GPLv3 is response to fear of Microsoft/Novell. Are we really THAT scared? Ubuntu/Linux is being sold by DELL. Microsoft is responding with BULLY and COHERSION tactics ( not unlike the MOB in 1920's New York ) ... PAY or you get hurt is the message Microsoft gave to Novell and Novell gave in like a lost puppy.

Yes, Microsoft has money. Yes, they coherced Novell. No, they can not coherse the entire WORLD.

Get over it... It is no suprise that Linus Torvalds will not convert the Kernel to v3 ... smart man he is.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2556: sharing of modifcations


Regarding the text: making modifications that you do not share
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s1
Submitted by: tony32 on 2007-03-29 at 14:15 EST
0 agree:
noted by tony32 on 2007-03-29 at 14:15 EST:

If someone takes a GPL'd work, modifies it and places the result on an internet server which he then charges third parties to use, is this classed as "sharing"? As neither the executable nor the source code ever leaves the server it is not "conveyed", but the third parties are still in effect running the executable, and paying for the privilege.

"Making a modification that you do not share" would imply that only the person who made the modification can run the modified executable. Making that modified executable available to others, whether it be giving them copies which they can run on their own servers, or allowing them to access the executable from your own server, would still be classed as "sharing" in my book.

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 17:54 EST:

You probably need the Affero license if you wish to compel those who modify your work to publish their modifications.

The GPL does not compel publication of private modifications.

Remember, the GPL restores liberty to those who purchase or are given copies of GPL software. It doesn't require that simply because you use the software that you must be given a copy free of charge.

Free as in freedom - not as in free beer.

Buy a copy today, and enjoy the restoration of your freedom.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 10:49 EDT:

crosbie said: "The GPL does not compel publication of private modifications." I agree totally, but when a modification is shared with other people it is no longer private, therefore must be published for free under the terms of the GPL.

Sharing can be accomplished either by allowing a third party to run the modified executable on their own computer, or by running the modified executable from your own computer (such as in Software as a Service, or SaaS). In the second case you are not supplying a copy of the modified executable to a third party, but you are still allowing them to run a modified copy, even if it is from a remote location.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-05 at 13:01 EDT:

Whether you allow the public to remotely execute a copy of your code on a remote server, or locally execute it on your local notebook PC, the copy remains private and unpublished until you convey that copy.

You may not like someone else publicly exploiting their private work, but the remedy is to purchase a copy from them, whereupon you become a licensee.

Why do you believe you should get someone's private modifications without having to pay for them?

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-05 at 13:31 EDT:

To crosbie: I should NEVER have to pay for any GPL software (other than to cover the costs of distribution) otherwise it would not be GPL software. The GPL clearly states "... that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs" which means that you cannot charge any sort for fee for accessing the new program otherwise it would not be a "free program". You may make any changes you like to the software, but if you share it with others it must be for free, other than to cover the costs of distribution. If you charge any sort of fee which is NOT associated with distribution then it ceases to be a "free program" and is therefore in violation of the GPL.
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-05 at 15:01 EDT:

tony32, the GPL permits 'reasonable fees' for the costs of providing source code to recipients of GPL licensed software, and usually the source code is provided free of charge.

However, the 'not as in free beer' aspect of free software means that anyone can charge any amount they like for a copy or derivative of the software.

1) I can walk into a shop, buy a copy of Red Hat for $100, and then offer it to you for $5,000. 2) I can modify some GPL software, and offer to sell you a copy of my modifications for $5,000. In both cases you don't have to buy a copy from me, but you can't demand I surrender the software (source code or binary) for any lesser price, let alone $0. And nor can anyone else.

The point of the GPL is not to ensure that copies are free of charge, but that once you do have a copy (whether you purchased it or were given it), you are free to anything you like with your copy of the software - and are entitled to the source code free of charge (or at cost of media and/or p&p).

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-24 at 09:05 EDT:

The GPL states that the only time when you are *not* forced to release any modifications that you make to a GPL'd work is when you do not share those modifications. In other words, those are private modifications to which only you have access.

However, if you put a modified binary on a shared server and charge others to access that binary, then those modifications are no longer "private", therefore the source code *must* be made available under the terms of the GPL. Even though the modified work has not been conveyed, it has now been propagated to a group of users who are accessing the modified work.

So if I take some GPL software, modify or extend it and place it on a shared server, then charge others a fee to access it, is that still GPL software or not? Are those modifications private or not? Must I release the amended source under the GPL or not?

If the notion that you may charge ANY fee you like for GPL software is counterbalanced by the understanding that someone else may offer access to the same GPL software for a lesser fee, which then causes the fees to be as low as possible instead of as high as possible, surely it is against the spirit of the GPL to say "here is a piece of GPL software, which is "free", but you have to pay me $10,000 before I will give you access to a copy"?

If it is generally accepted that the only fee that you may charge is to cover the costs of supplying physical distribution media (which implies that you cannot charge anything if there is no physical distribution), then why isn't this simple fact spelled out in the license? Either I can charge a fee only to cover legitimate costs, or I can charge whatever I like and make a profit. Which is it? Profit or non-profit?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2557: Referencing a specific law is a bad idea


Regarding the text: No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention
In section: gpl3.drm.p0.s1
Submitted by: hawk on 2007-03-29 at 14:44 EST
7 agree: samj, flaschen, bsost, tryggvi, goldie, stikonas, mux2005
noted by hawk on 2007-03-29 at 14:44 EST:

Although it is much better (for a Dane) to quote an international law than a US-only law, I intensely dislike a reference to *any* specific law. (The reference to Magnuson-Moss has the same problem, BTW). It weakens the license in my view and smells of defeat. The GPL is not merely a legal contract, it is a statement of intent. If you want me to choose the GPL, you better leave me with the impression that I understand it. I understand there are nuances I do not understand (or are even unknown until established in court), but referencing a specific law just smack it in my face. Sure I could find the law, but I probably could not understand it and feel I should be able to specify what people can do with my creation. What does this paragraph accomplish that the second paragraph does not cover? Or are there better ways?
noted by jbuck on 2007-03-29 at 15:18 EST:

hawk: one thing this paragraph might accomplish that the second paragraph might not is to keep programmers out of jail. The US DMCA has language that subjects programmers to five years in jail in some cases for tampering with an "effective technological measure" that interferes with copying, and the WIPO copyright treaty has similar language.

Your aesthetic preference for a standalone license has some merit, but that isn't the only consideration.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:14 EST:

It might be enough just to say, "No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention of such technological measures."
noted by tryggvi on 2007-03-31 at 08:51 EST:

flaschen's version is better in my opinion. I do not believe it is wise to limit the license to any particular law, be it international or not. It is necessary for the GPL to work for current laws _and_ future law changes or new treaties.
noted by hawk on 2007-04-01 at 19:07 EDT:

I could live with flaschen's suggestion, but it would be better if it could be more general. The second paragraph requires you to waive any interest, so why not state that the license only allows you to convey the work if you have the legal power to waive all rights mentioned in the next paragraph?
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-10 at 09:24 EDT:

Like many I am a free software programmer (i.e. both licensor and licensee of GPLed works) in my spare time. I'm not a lawyer. I don't have a lawyer and certainly not an IP lawyer. I strongly sympathize with hawk's statement. I too, want to have the feeling that I *understand* the license that I'm licensing my works under. And I don't understand this section. I can live with the WIPO reference if it is really likely that it helps free software developers, but what I can't live with is to have *only* the WIPO reference. I know that being concise is one of the goals of the GPL, but cutting GPL size by incorporating external references is not the way to do it. So at the very least, explain to the uninitiated what this section is about. And I'm not talking about definitions but about purpose. What's the purpose of this section? What uses is it trying to prevent.

You may think that this section is only targeted at big evil corporate users but you shouldn't be too sure of that. When I was 16 (long time ago :-) I developed copy protection code just for fun, just because I saw it as a challenge to come up with a protection stronger than those trying to crack it. I don't think it's unthinkable that a hobbyist develops some kind of "effective technological measure" just for fun and wants to release it under the GPL. He should be able to understand from the GPL alone, without refering to WIPO treaties (which we know this guy won't read) whether that makes sense at all for his program. If he can't do that I see two possibilities, both undesirable:

1.) He releases under the GPL although it doesn't make sense and thereby causes legal complications for himself and corporate users who want to use his code. Enemies of the GPL may use such a case to demonstrate how the free software community and the GPL cannot be relied upon by corporations.

2.) He releases his code under a different license than the GPL (possibly non-copyleft) although it would have made sense to release under the GPL. He thereby deprives the free software world of a contribution.

BTW, I don't think commentary in a rationale or an FAQ entry can help here. Many free software programmers don't read those. They're in the game for the fun and reading legalese isn't fun. You can be happy if they read the GPL at all. On the other hand I do think that referencing the WIPO treaty in the FAQ on the FSF website would be sufficient to achieve the legal goals of having the reference in the license itself. After all, if the reference is not in the license and it ends up in court, it will have to be determined how those parts of the section that are not clear from the license itself are to be interpreted. And since the FSF is the author of the license, its public statements will necessarily be taken into account.

So my suggestion is: Move the WIPO reference to a rationale document or statement on the FSF website so that lawyers can use it when fighting over this section (which hopefully will never happen) and for the rest of us, include a clear description (even if it is longer than the current section) of what kind of "technological protection" a GPLed program can not be used for.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2558: The business does not matter, the agreement does


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software,
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: goldie on 2007-03-29 at 14:59 EST
7 agree: illy, flaschen, polymath, sanjoy, ismaell, Soong, masood
noted by goldie on 2007-03-29 at 14:59 EST:

whatever the business of the third party is, it should not be off the hook. What if the business is changed from distributing software to suing software vendors or supporters of free software? Just remove that portion as irrelevant, the entrance to a freedom-narrowing agreement should be more than enough.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2559: Remote attestation is inherently harmful


Regarding the text: Network access may be denied when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network or violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:10 EST
5 agree: samj, illy, sanjoy, wijnen, ArneBab
noted by novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:10 EST:

We need to distinguish between rules and protocols that involve the externally visible actions of the client, and those that are purely client-side. The mere fact of modification must not be sufficient to trigger denial. Nor must network operators be allowed to approve and disapprove of modifications on the basis of their purely client-side behavior. Any time a network operator can deny access to a client which is externally indistinguishable from one of its own, it gains an unacceptable amount of control over client operators.

Thus remote attestation must be forbidden. The previous language did this. The new language does not.

noted by ArneBab on 2007-04-02 at 10:27 EDT:

Why don't you state: Only the product may restrict itself. So the server to which the program connects must be GPLv3, too, and both are one product which is allowed to restrict itself. Interaoperability of GPLv3 with non-free servers might be reduced that way, but it stays possible to create secure networks. Also it would still be possible to create a new product (client+server), which operates differently, but you'd also need to modify the server to do this. So, if TiVo doesn't do it right, you could create your own TiVo using their code, but you wouldn't need new TiVo-Boxes (just another server).
noted by sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 10:46 EDT:

(a) ArneBab's suggestion is a use restriction (you can only use this with GPLv3 clients), which FSF generally opposes (and the law probably doesn't allow to begin with)

(b) In practical terms, most services are not available in GPLv3 implementations, so this would be an enormous limitation of the utility of GPLv3 software. Your GPLv3 browser would not be able to connect to a website running on a Microsoft server, for instance.

(c) To the extent that the network service is a separate entity from the distributor of the software, there is simply no way the license can restrict the network service to begin with, so if it can find out the software version, it can cut it off if it likes. That's why the license promotes theidea of being able to install so that the software looks the same as the unmodified version. However, I don't see any reason to believe the Installation Instructions requirements can work around every possible way the service might recognize a client modification, so I think this is a situation that can't be remedied through the license.

noted by novalis on 2007-04-05 at 10:50 EDT:

ArneBab, you need to understand Secure Boot and Remote Attestation in order to understand this section of the license. I don't say this to bolster my position, but to explain that I'm eliding premises because I assume that everyone who cares about this issue understands how TCG/NGSCB works.

RA means that anyone who supplies you with an essential network service can control what software you run while interacting with that service or any data provided by that service. Draft2 eliminated RA between parties. You could still use it on your corporate network, but not between companies. That eliminated the power that people running essential network services had when the primary client is GPL, preserving the ability of anyone running GPL code to modify it and use the modified code.

Draft3 weakens this, and that's my problem.

noted by novalis on 2007-04-05 at 10:53 EDT:

sepreece, I think your last sentence is probably wrong. Starting from an unmodified client with source code, it should be easy to ensure that each change doesn't affect the output of the client. Any attempt to use checksumming or similar tricks can be easily worked around, since the code cannot be obfuscated. As long as the output remains the same, servers will be unable to detect a difference.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2560: Cure period misworded


Regarding the text: rovided 60 days have not elapsed since the most recent violation.
In section: gpl3.termination.p0.s3
Submitted by: novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:14 EST
1 agree: larhzu
noted by novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:14 EST:

You mean "since the most recent violation was cured".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2562: Loophole?


Regarding the text: based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:20 EST
1 agree: illy
noted by novalis on 2007-03-29 at 15:20 EST:

What if the payment is a one-time lump sum?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2563: Remove bracketed clause


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: dzonatas on 2007-03-29 at 15:53 EST
5 agree: mgiuca, marechal, ismaell, kune, nulled
noted by dzonatas on 2007-03-29 at 15:53 EST:

Remove: That [bracketed clause] will make it harder to claim prior art. First, given a date - anybody can say the arrangement happened before or after to their benefit. Second, there are granted patents even though prior art does exist. The prior art predates the patents by many years. This clause is bad when the assumption has been that the patent claimant has anything to do with software under GPL. Third, a company may still distribute patented software under the GPL with patents claimed by someone not even dealt with the software without knowledge of such patents. (The linked-list patents, for example) A licensee's only hope to protect against such patent claims is to reveal prior art. Even though it is not explicit, the bracketed clause creates an assumption that prior art doesn't exist under such arrangement because knowledge of such patents are assumed - even though it is not explicitly stated that way just look at the logic down the road of how it would be played out in court. Forth, it is best to keep the patent terms uniform and remove the bracketed clause. It will make sure that cases brought up about the GPL are uniform. The bracketed clause presents a greater legal headache for many individuals then fewer that it intends grandfather. Fifth, if a clause like this must be added - remove the date and specifically state the intent, likewise "unless the arrangement upholds the GPLv2 and includes in the arrangement a certification to not adopt any license being a successor to GPLv2." Notice how I used the word "certification" to prevent wrongful retroactivity.
noted by nulled on 2007-05-29 at 23:35 EDT:

Very well said. This is about GPLv2 evolving into GPLv3 ( hopefully evolving ).

Adding specific dates will only lead to more dates in v4 and so on until it is boxed itself in.

All because of FEAR of Microsoft and their petty threats about a few hundred patents. Ridiculous when you think about the 1000's if not more patents Microsoft has stolen from the Macintosh and Unix.

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2564: US-centric


Regarding the text: Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-29 at 16:08 EST
8 agree: illy, n0dalus, flaschen, vincentc, hawk, rodom, stikonas, thomasd
noted by samj on 2007-03-29 at 16:08 EST:

This reference to specific US case(s) is perhaps not relevant elsewhere (eg Europe) where there is also much activity in the Open Source world.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2565: Soley necessary?


Regarding the text: solely because
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-29 at 16:13 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-29 at 16:13 EST:

Possibly too specific. Suggest 'The information must suffice to ensure that the continued functioning of the modified object code is in no case prevented or interfered with *even if* modification has been made.'
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:29 EST:

No, that's way too broad. The point of the "solely because" is that the act of modifying the software is not allowed to keep it from working, but the nature of the modification may. If the modification breaks the program, so that it no longer interacts correctly with another component, the device may stop working without violating the license.

Perhaps: "is in no case prevented or interfered with simply because a modified version has been installed."

It's hard to express the consideration clearly...


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2566: Must the license be copyrighted


Regarding the text: Copyright (C)
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:37 EST
5 agree: illy, mkorman, jamesgnz, johnston, f234k
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:37 EST:

Why is the license text copyrighted? I know license proliferation is not helping the Free Software Community, but if someone wants to create his own license (for software or for something else), and he wants to use clauses similar to those of the GPL, why would we want to prevent him using the same (copied) wording? Using copyright on legal texts and licenses seems to me to be even worse a misuse of copyright law as software patents are a misuse of the patents system. If the license must be copyrighted, the meta-license (currently only verbatim copies allowed) should be more loose/liberal/free. [On the other hand, I might understand it if the FSF wanted to avoid other people calling their licenses something akin to the term General Public License or GPL. Maybe we need a trade mark or something similar on that name.]
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 18:11 EDT:

I agree.

This clause didn't stop Netscape from making a new license (although they've adopted the GPL too). It didn't stop Microsoft from making 10 new licenses (now reduced to 6). What use is it?

The GPL itself is the last remaining non-free component in an otherwise free OS. In order to distribute a free OS licensed under the GPL you have to also distribute the non-free GPL. Make it free. License the license under itself (or any later version).

noted by msikma on 2007-04-10 at 14:29 EDT:

I disagree.

First of all: code licensed under the GPL is copyrighted; it's simply code that's more free than most copyrighted code. If I were to release my code under the GPL, that code would still be "copyrighted" to me, although now lots of other people may also copy it (if they comply with the license).

Second of all: it should not be possible to change the license, as this could be abused to make subtle changes that would make it less free. A company could take the text of this license and do just that to make it appear as though they are releasing it under GPL (or GPL-compatible) terms. It seems like a very fair trade-off to not allow mutation of this license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2567: Changing the license is not allowed


Regarding the text: but changing it is not allowed
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:40 EST
6 agree: samj, jamesgnz, dakdevel, ccherlin, goldie, johnston
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:40 EST:

Is Lawrence Lessig not constantly preaching that Law is Code (or something very similar) (with its own syntax, and logic, and side effects, etc)? By that logic, should the GPL not be under a free license? Maybe even the GPL itself, or something similar.
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 15:02 EST:

Lessig is speaking metaphorically, not literally. Even his own organization Creative Commons doesn't allow people to change to bodies of the license texts. Having forked license texts floating around doesn't help the community grow stronger, it simply confuses everyone and builds a giant patchwork of incompatible licenses. The meta-license for GPLv3 is just right.
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-30 at 17:01 EST:

(i) bkuhn said: "Even his own organization Creative Commons doesn't allow people to change to bodies of the license texts." I see no such restriction in the legal text of (for example) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode (nor other licenses). In fact, since it's not exactly "otherwise noted", the statement on the main page may apply "Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License" (ii) I agree that license proliferation is a bad idea. Forking every existing Free Software project is a bad idea as well, yet *legally* denying your right to do so goes completely against the spirit of free software. I feel the same about licenses. Specifically, I see no point in denying anybody to make a completely different license (maybe even for something completely different as software), but copy a number of paragraphs or sections verbatim. (iii) "Lessig is speaking metaphorically." I thought so too in the beginning, but the more I think about it, the clearer I see the analogy (which is, like all analogies, not perfect).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2568: Perpetuity or fixed term - is this complete


Regarding the text: perpetuity or for a fixed term
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:42 EST
1 agree: sanjoy
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:42 EST:

Perpetuity and fixed terms, is that a complete partition of timeframes? What about not-(completely)-fixed (potentially-)finite terms?
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:19 EST:

For example, my cable modem is rented to me for as long as I keep paying for the monthly fee, but does not have a fixed term. And I'd like the GPL to apply to it if they incorporate GPLv3 software.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-31 at 13:30 EST:

If you want a cable modem that uses GPL software, and you want to be able to modify it, then BUY one.

Obviously, the rental one will not meet your needs (if the GPL doesn't require disclosure to renters).

However, there'll be a market for both. Prices may differ, but then that's the market for you.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2569: Affero: single specific version of single specific license


Regarding the text: 13. Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:46 EST
6 agree: flaschen, vincentc, wijnen, hozelda, schabi, thomasd
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:46 EST:

One major difference between Draft2.§7.b.4 and Draft3.§13 is that Draft2.§7.b.4 applied to all versions of all licenses with this Affero-like clause that are compatible with the GPL, both existing and future; while Draft3.§13 only applies to one single specific version (the as yet unpublished! version 2) of one single specific license (the Affero General Public License). This does not strike me as a good idea. [In software analogy, one would say this solution lacks robustness, is not extensible or upward-compatible by design, targets a specific implementation rather than an interface or open specification]
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:21 EST:

I agree. It should be moved back to a section 7 restriction. Also, this would necessitate a modification of Affero. Having a whole section for one license just shows how wordy and over-specific this draft is.
noted by schabi on 2007-04-20 at 11:49 EDT:

I agree here. Mentioning a third-party license by name is not good. I'd strongly prefer a clause that allows linking against code whose license obligates providing access to the source via the network session / user interface, but is compatible with the GPL otherwise.

@flaschen: I would not like to have it as a section 7 restriction. While I aggree with the intent of section 7 - compatibility between free licenses is a good thing - I don't like the concept of cluttering the meaning of GPL with dozens of extra options. The Creative Commons and GNU FDL already suffer from that, don't make it worse.

Linking Exceptions (and possibly other ways of combining) is the way to go here, so GPL keeps GPL, and I know what I get when it is labeled GPL.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2570: What do the square brackets mean?


Regarding the text: [
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:52 EST
0 agree:
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 16:52 EST:

What do the square brackets mean?
noted by doclist on 2007-03-29 at 17:37 EST:

Please read the rationale document.
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-04 at 16:50 EDT:

My question is better answered in the new FAQ than in the Rationale document: "That means that we're considering including the proposed text, but there are still open questions about it that we would like to resolve before making a final decision. We look forward to receiving community input on these points to help us address those concerns."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2571: Sections 10 and 11 for unmodified vs modified distribution


Regarding the text: 11. Patents.
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.0.0
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:01 EST
0 agree:
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:01 EST:

The change in this draft about the difference in applicance of sections 10 and 11 for unmodified vs modified distribution, as explained in the Rationale, is a very good idea. I like it.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2572: To protect your freedoms


Regarding the text: rights
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s1
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:05 EST
0 agree:
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:05 EST:

I would replace "rights" with "freedoms" and maybe even repeat the 4 basic freedoms with respect to software as explained by the FSF (even if this means the risk of making the introduction+license still longer).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2573: Organizations


Regarding the text: organizations
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s4
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:09 EST
1 agree: flaschen
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-29 at 17:09 EST:

If organizations can be considered a *single* licensee or recipient party with respect to the GPL, thus this mean that intra-organization copying (even of modified code) is not subject to this license?
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-29 at 17:40 EST:

That's the conclusion I'd draw.

You need to become the legitimate owner of copy to become a licensee.

Simply having access to a copy as a member of a licensed organisation doesn't by itself confer legitimate ownership. The organisation has to explicitly give or sell you a copy.

However, elsewhere in the GPL it seems that obtaining a copy (legally or otherwise) is sufficient to make you a licensee - though I'm not sure that absolves you of theft.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 04:44 EDT:

/ However, elsewhere in the GPL it seems that obtaining a copy (legally or otherwise) is sufficient to make you a licensee - though I'm not sure that absolves you of theft. /

The clause you are referring to is 5c:

/ c) You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy. ... / Section 5 deals with conveying modified versions. That means that 5c is in effect only if the work has been conveyed. So you automatically become a licensee if you receive a copy of a GPL work that has been conveyed (although it needn't have been conveyed to you).

So you can only steal the work if it's already been made free, in which case it hardly counts as stealing.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-24 at 16:43 EDT:

Just because something is licensed under the GPL doesn't mean it is open season for all who can contrive access to obtain the copies they desire without paying for them.

If Google conveyed some of its internally developed (GPL derivative) software to Yahoo at a price of $500,000, do you feel that it is right for all Yahoo staff (who can contrive access) to be able to make copies for themselves? Would it also be right for those staff to publish these copies? Do you feel the GPL should sanction such an ability for staff to unilaterally release the 'free software' their employer purchases?

Free software is 'free' in that you are free to do what you will with the software you PURCHASE (or are given). This doesn't mean you no longer have to purchase it or be given it (from someone who has purchased a copy). The GPL should not sanction theft (irrespective of whether much GPL software is available free of charge).


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2574: Reverting reasoning, the licensee should show reason why he thinks the patent would be invalid


Regarding the text: have reason to believe are valid
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2.s2
Submitted by: horsten on 2007-03-29 at 17:43 EST
1 agree: horsten
noted by horsten on 2007-03-29 at 17:43 EST:

IANAL but shouldn't the burden of proof be put on the licensee by changing this to "do not have reason to believe are invalid"? Otherwise he could possibly claim that a patent was "probably invalid" without having to explain why or proving it.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2575: I shouldn't have to crack DRM to be able make copies


Regarding the text: When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work, and you disclaim any intention t
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: inca on 2007-03-29 at 18:06 EST
0 agree:
noted by inca on 2007-03-29 at 18:06 EST:

Author releases with no DRM. Licensee tier #1 copies with no DRM. Licensee tier #2 slaps on some DRM. Licensee tier #3 has to crack the DRM to make further copies, but at least it is legal.

But, a GPL program should be able to process copy-limiting DRM-ed data although the open-source requirement means it will likely be cracked. A GPL OS should be able to run closed-source programs that process copy-limiting DRM-ed data (DRM-ed AAC tunes through Itunes on Linux) also.

A closed-source driver running under a GPL OS should be able to process DRM data, also, as long as it doesn't have to be compiled into the kernal (which is how linux works, but Windoze doesn't do drivers this way).

A GPL program should NEVER have copy-limiting DRM directly on itself though.

noted by inca on 2007-03-29 at 18:13 EST:

I shouldn't have to have the burden of having to crack DRM in order to make further copies of directly GPL-licensed work. Making it legal to crack the DRM isn't enough.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 05:46 EDT:

/ A GPL program should NEVER have copy-limiting DRM directly on itself though. /

/ I shouldn't have to have the burden of having to crack DRM /

I don't think there's a problem with having copy-limiting DRM on a GPL program if it can be removed, and I think this is dealt with in the clause about Installation on a User Product in Section 6[3].


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2576: Too specific and unnecessary


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 19:44 EST
8 agree: illy, flaschen, vadim, polymath, ismaell, pboddie, Soong, masood
noted by rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 19:44 EST:

This seems to be pointless, and makes this into a clause to catch exactly AND ONLY the thing done by MS and Novel. What if a hardware manufacturer offers a patent licence to force usage on their hardware? You cannot predict such things and the licence should be as general as possible.
noted by rdavies on 2007-03-30 at 07:56 EST:

The clause seems ineffective on a number of levels. Each of the qualifiers provides an means to escape the intent of the clause. "Business of distributing software": create a holding company that is not in the business of distributing software. "based on the extent of your activity": license on a flat-fee basis, or by exchange of patent rights (neither of which are based on the extent of infringement. And the exclusion of agreements prior to March 28: why go to all this trouble if you are going to permit Novell to operate at an advantage? Novell can continue to operate using the "rights granted under prior versions of the license" clause; but absolutely must not be given permission to extend use of Microsoft licenses to GPL3 works going forward.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2577: Suicidally generous


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007]
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 19:59 EST
7 agree: pjm, skquinn, mgiuca, pboddie, ismaell, stikonas, edscho
noted by rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 19:59 EST:

Let's face it, the only such agreement in force is the MS Novell one; it was not a naive mistake, but a deliberate end run around abundantly clear language in GPL2, and constitutes deliberate misuse (whether legally recognised or not) of others' generously donated IP. It was done eyes wide open and now the penalty should be paid: newly licenced or new software under GPL3 should NOT be available for their commercial purposes. Let Novell struggle on with legacy software or find their own way out of the mess of their deliberate and unethical creation. Please DELETE THIS sunset clause- this is the most important change you should make.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2578: What is the purpose of this clause?


Regarding the text: Network access may be denied when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network or violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 20:17 EST
3 agree: sanjoy, wijnen, ArneBab
noted by rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 20:17 EST:

It is entirely unclear what network access is being discussed here. If you mean that a modified product may be denied interoperability with unmodified products, say so - although it is unclear whether that is good or bad. It might be bad if done spitefully to discourage mods, or good if a modified version might cause wide malfunctions.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2579: Pointless clause


Regarding the text: f the Program as you received it, or any part of it, purports to be governed by this License, supplemented by a term that is a further restriction, you may remove that term
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p7.s2
Submitted by: rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 20:27 EST
2 agree: illy, vadim
noted by rhouse on 2007-03-29 at 20:27 EST:

You seem to be banning someone saying things like "I release this under GPL3, but I insist you give me credit." If such an addition may be removed, it is purposeless; you would be better to say that licences with added restrictions are incompatible with GPL3, or listing restrictions you will accept and not permit people to cancel. The way you have done it, you have effectively prevented people from easily deriving licences that maintain most of the good work you have done whilst deviating on some minor point. The hypothetical licence above cannot be issued (and enforced), and so someone wanting such an added clause would have to write out their entire licence from scratch. They might overlook something you have catered for, their software might become extremely popular, and then a Novel or a Microsoft might use the author's oversight to cause havoc. I pointed out to you in the previous draft that removable restrictions are worthless. Please take more care to rethink this matter this time.
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:27 EST:

"You seem to be banning someone saying things like "I release this under GPL3, but I insist you give me credit.""

That's explicitly allowed by 7b surely?

noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 18:49 EST:

7b. requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions in source or object code forms of material added by you to a covered work...

It certainly does.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:37 EST:

If arbitrary restrictions could be added and remain valid, there would be thousands of unfree versions of the GPL floating around. That would create mass confusion. As people have said, 7b allows what you want.
noted by pboddie on 2007-04-02 at 11:09 EDT:

One of the presumed aims of this part is to stop people misusing the name of the licence by saying things like "this software is GPLv3 for non-commercial use" which is what you get some ill-informed people saying now (with GPLv2). By actually applying this licence authors permit recipients to strip away such contradictory restrictions (whether they have bothered to read and understand this or not). In contrast, "GPLv2 for non-commercial use" is a misuse of the licence name which at best leads to discretionary redistribution for those not scared off by such ambiguity.

If people want to have a licence like this but with additional incompatible restrictions, this clause presumably forces them to call it something else, possibly remove other misleading similarities, and not pass it off as any version of the GPL or related licences.

noted by fraggle on 2007-04-04 at 21:04 EDT:

This clause is good because it enforces uniformity. The GPL is useful because it grants explicit freedoms and rights to its users. If you allow people to add in exceptions, the usefulness decreases, because you can no longer rely on "GPLed" code to always be free. Clauses that insist on giving credit or make any similar demands mean that the software is non-free. Another point is that if you allow people to start adding these in, it becomes a licensing nightmare, as you can't link "real GPL" code with "GPL+extra clause" code. What this really says is: "always grant full freedom or don't use the GPL". This is a good thing.
noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 12:33 EDT:

"The way you have done it, you have effectively prevented people from easily deriving licences that maintain most of the good work you have done whilst deviating on some minor point."

Yep. That's a feature.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2580: missing full stop


Regarding the text: USA Everyone
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:33 EST
9 agree: samj, illy, kohlera, Adhemar, ccherlin, stikonas, mjuarez, f234k, johnston
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:33 EST:

Needs a full stop between USA and Everyone: "...USA. Everyone..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2581: irrelevant


Regarding the text: We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other program whose authors commit to using it
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:38 EST
1 agree: mkorman
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:38 EST:

The fraction of software for which FSF uses it is not relevant or that interesting. Delete the whole sentence.
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 06:39 EST:

It does seem to be counter-productive too.

"Oh, you only use it for 'most' of your own software? So, it isn't _that_ good then? What licenses do you use for the rest of your own software?"

There may be good reasons why other licenses are used, but the FSF either has to present itself as a respected authority on free software licensing, or a paragon developer of free software - or both...


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2582: can delete


Regarding the text: , too
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s4
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:38 EST:

If you delete the preceding sentence, then delete this bit too.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2583: "In" sounds better


Regarding the text: By
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:39 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:39 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2584: use "may"


Regarding the text: have the freedom to
In section: gpl3.preamble.p2.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:40 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:40 EST:

Can shorten to "may"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2585: -> "help ensure"


Regarding the text: are designed to make sure
In section: gpl3.preamble.p2.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:41 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:41 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2586: -> "Likewise"


Regarding the text: Therefore
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:43 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:43 EST:

"Therefore" sounds a bit funny because it implies too direct a connection. The previous sentence describes the need to make requirements to help "you". But this sentence then switches to talking about your obligations. Using "Likewise" instead of "Therefore" gives a smoother and more accurate connection.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2587: unneeded comma


Regarding the text: ,
In section: gpl3.preamble.p3.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:46 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:46 EST:

The following "or if" makes the parallel with "if you distribute", so the comma is unneeded.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2588: => "ensure"


Regarding the text: make sure
In section: gpl3.preamble.p4.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:47 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:47 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2589: => "so that they know"


Regarding the text: so they know
In section: gpl3.preamble.p4.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:47 EST
2 agree: mkorman, fej
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:47 EST:

the "so that" indicating "with the intention that" (vs a mere "so" meaning "with the consequence that")

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2590: matter of opinion


Regarding the text: clearly
In section: gpl3.preamble.p6.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:48 EST
2 agree: mkorman, mayeco
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:48 EST:

How clear it is is a matter of opinion that the reader should decide without editorial comment from the license author. So delete this adverb.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2591: "this" is an adjective


Regarding the text: This is
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:50 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:50 EST:

"This" needs a noun following it, which also helps the reader track the meaning. e.g. "This denial is..." or "This restriction is...".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2592: => "give"


Regarding the text: pass on to the
In section: gpl3.preamble.p4.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:51 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:51 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2593: => "in"


Regarding the text: in the area of
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:54 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:54 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2594: Reorder


Regarding the text: The systematic pattern of such abuse
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:55 EST
1 agree: skquinn
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:55 EST:

=> "Such abuse occurs systematically..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2595: delete useless adverb


Regarding the text: precisely
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:55 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 20:55 EST:

Nothing in life, esp. in legal matters, is ever pricise.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2596: ambiguous


Regarding the text: States
In section: gpl3.preamble.p8.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:03 EST
3 agree: skquinn, bicchi, Adhemar
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:03 EST:

"States" often means a US state, so use "Jurisdictions" for clarity.
noted by chandon on 2007-03-30 at 13:05 EST:

"State" means an autonomous government entity - usually a country. Actually, it could be argued that "state" isn't a valid description of a USA state because their autonomy has been lost to the federal government, but...

"State" is a much clearer term here than "Jurisdiction" would be, except to those USAians who don't know what the definition of the word is.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2597: redundant


Regarding the text: places where
In section: gpl3.preamble.p8.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:04 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:04 EST:

just "where" is enough

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2598: whoops


Regarding the text: in places where
In section: gpl3.preamble.p8.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:04 EST
4 agree: mkorman, kohlera, ralphm, mayeco
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:04 EST:

I meant "in places where" => "where"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2599: needs a noun


Regarding the text: this
In section: gpl3.preamble.p8.s3
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:05 EST
3 agree: bicchi, kohlera, mjuarez
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:05 EST:

"this" needs a noun after it, e.g. "this outcome"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2600: typographical designs?


Regarding the text: copyright-like laws that apply to other kinds of works
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:08 EST
2 agree: skquinn, jamesgnz
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-29 at 21:08 EST:

As I started reading this phrase, I hoped it would include the UK's so-called "copyright in typographical designs" and maybe compilation copyright or (in the EU) database rights. But the "that apply to OTHER kinds of works" dashed my hopes, since those rights also apply to the usual works that copyright applies to. Perhaps instead "...copyright-like laws, such as those covering semiconductor masks". Or is that too broad (perhaps catching patents by mistake)?
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-29 at 23:46 EST:

Patents could always be excluded by saying "except for patent-like laws". I kind of like the wording "except for patently patent-like laws" myself...
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:15 EST:

Typographic copyright is copyright and so covered already.

The Database Right (sigh) is a copyright-like right and so arguably would be covered by this law.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:21 EST:

Copyright-like laws needs to be defined better, so people don't claim it means trademark or patents.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2602: change


Regarding the text: must require no special password or key for unpacking, reading or copying.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p11.s1
Submitted by: skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:27 EST
1 agree: rodom
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:27 EST:

-> "must be unpackable, readable, and copyable by normal means, specifically, a form requiring no special password, key, code, or other similar access control data to perform these tasks."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2603: specificity, please.


Regarding the text: this requirement
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:34 EST
1 agree: flaschen
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:34 EST:

-> "this requirement (to accompany the Corresponding Source with the Installation Information)"
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 09:03 EST:

"this requirement (to provide the Installation Information)" otherwise you could take it to mean you don't need to provide the source as well

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2604: +www


Regarding the text: http://fsf.org
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:36 EST
2 agree: mayeco, johnston
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-30 at 00:36 EST:

-> "http://www.fsf.org/"
noted by blinken on 2007-03-31 at 00:16 EST:

Why? "http://fsf.org" is a perfectly valid (and working) URL.
noted by msikma on 2007-04-10 at 14:49 EDT:

@blinken: it works, but when visiting that site, you are requesting the root document that the URL points to. Since you don't know what the name of that document is, you should add a trailing slash at the end to indicate that you want to visit the root directory -- which will then redirect you to the root document (the index page). This is a good practice.
noted by blinken on 2007-04-10 at 22:57 EDT:

msikma: What's your source? I don't see anything like that in the relevant standards. That fact that "http://fsf.org" might end up looking in some directory is purely a server-side implementation issue which is none of anyone's business. RFC 2616 (HTTP) and RFC 2396 (URI) don't even mention the word "directory" or "slash" in any relevant context.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2606: Hello World


Regarding the text: Gnomovision
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p11.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:39 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:39 EST:

Suggest 'Hello World!' as a well known alternative.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:23 EST:

I disagree. This has, by now, become a canonical example, as much as some may try to smear it "puerile humor".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2607: Jokes unnecessary


Regarding the text: (which makes passes at compilers)
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p11.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:42 EST
2 agree: jamesgnz, mayeco
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:42 EST:

This is a serious, widely deployed license. Jokes are certainly unnecessary and potentially damaging. The GPL is 'growing up' and should behave like it.
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 05:36 EST:

It's not impossible to be serious and laugh at the same time. This is an example, anything other than making it boilerplate with [company name], etc would be just as good. (And acme is a condition where you get lot's of spots isn't it? and who wants a spotty example?) I think you're over-reacting a bit.
noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:27 EDT:

A silly example has some advantages in clarity and ease of use. If we used [company name], it's not as clear as an actual example of a company name would be. But... the company name has to obviously be an example, and the best way to do that, aside from a typesetting trick like square brackets, is to use something absurd.

As for the "(which makes passes at compilers)" text, there's supposed to be an example there of a short description of program functionality. It might be possible to do better than that, but that's definitely clearer than [short descriptive text goes here] would be.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2608: This is mandatory


Regarding the text: You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if necessary.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p10.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:44 EST
2 agree: kohlera, wijnen
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:44 EST:

Users must be authorised to assign copyright so if their work is assigned to others by contract or law (eg work for hire) then they MUST obtain this permission.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2609: Superfluous www.


Regarding the text: http://www.gnu.org/licenses.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p13.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:46 EST
1 agree: joe
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:46 EST:

Please drop the superfluous 'www.' which only really makes sense when 'http://' is missing and you're dealing with clueless users (which may indeed be the case with licenses).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2610: Acme, Inc.


Regarding the text: Yoyodyne, Inc.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p11.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:47 EST
2 agree: pboddie, mayeco
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:47 EST:

Either use a boilerplace (eg 'Company') or 'Acme, Inc.'

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2611: Show 'w'?


Regarding the text: for details type `show w'
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:48 EST
1 agree: wijnen
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:48 EST:

Suggest 'for warranty details type 'show w''

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2612: Show c?


Regarding the text: type `show c' for details
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:49 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:49 EST:

Suggest 'for copyright details type 'show c''. This follows the previous format and makes it more clear why 'c' and 'w' were chosen.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2613: Warranty separate from copyright?


Regarding the text: Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:51 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:51 EST:

Could warranty and copyright not be combined? The shorter this document the better.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2614: Obvious


Regarding the text: alter the names
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p10.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:54 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:54 EST:

Every word in this document (which will be endlessly examined by expensive lawyers) should earn its keep. These do not.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2615: Serious date please


Regarding the text: 1 April
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p12.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:59 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 00:59 EST:

A serious document should have a serious date. Suggest '1 January'.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2616: Recent date?


Regarding the text: 1989
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p12.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:01 EST
2 agree: skquinn, mkorman
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:01 EST:

While the GPL was originally released in 1989 this version will be released in 2007/2008. Suggest using the year of release.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2617: Superfluous 'www.'


Regarding the text: http://www.gnu.org/licenses
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p5.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:03 EST
1 agree: kohlera
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:03 EST:

Please drop the superfluous 'www.'
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:29 EST:

The "www." is *not* superfluous. It indicates the Web server under the gnu.org domain. See http://www.yes-www.org/

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2618: Boilerplate


Regarding the text: year name of author
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:04 EST
2 agree: mkorman, wijnen
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:04 EST:

Use <> to designate boilerplate text. eg Copyright (c)
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-10 at 06:12 EDT:

I think square brackets would be better. Save angled brackets for URLs.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2619: 'name of' unnecessary


Regarding the text: name of
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:05 EST
1 agree: wijnen
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:05 EST:

Every word should earn its keep. 'name of' does not necessarily make sense in the context of a company and should be dropped.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2620: Hello World!


Regarding the text: Gnomovision
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p8.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:06 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:06 EST:

Use 'Hello World'
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-10 at 06:37 EDT:

I suggest Gcalctool, assuming it's going to be relicensed under the GPLv3, or a hypothetical calculator tool (make the GUI example the primary one, since this is probably more relevant, but a calculator would also work as a console mode example, e.g. bc or dc, or a hypothetical one). The hello world program (as I'm familiar with it) doesn't really work as an example, since it usually prints one line and exits (yes?).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2621: Too wordy


Regarding the text: Of course, the commands you use may be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; for a GUI interface, you would use an "About box" instead.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p9.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:08 EST
1 agree: kohlera
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:08 EST:

Every word should earn its keep. Suggest a list of examples, eg command, about box, usage instructions, installation procedure, documentation.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2622: Summarise


Regarding the text:
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p2.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:10 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:10 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2623: (c)


Regarding the text: (C)
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p2.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:10 EST
1 agree: mayeco
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:10 EST:

Lower case (c)?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2624: unnecessary


Regarding the text: (at your option)
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p3.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:11 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:11 EST:

Remove '(at your option)'?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2625: 'for a fee' unnecessary.


Regarding the text: for a fee
In section: gpl3.verbatimcopying.p1.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:19 EST
4 agree: ericfish, Adhemar, gerv, mux2005
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:19 EST:

The license should not dictate whether or not I do this 'for a fee', though perhaps 'for consideration' is relevant/necessary.
noted by chandon on 2007-03-30 at 13:08 EST:

This is probably just clarification for non-lawyers anyway. I doubt that anyone will ever get a complaint for offering a warrantee for no fee.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-10 at 11:34 EDT:

I've wondered, too, why this in the license. I don't think it clarifies things for non-lawyers. It certainly doesn't clarify things for me. How about replacing "for a fee" with "as an additional service to your customers". I think that is as clear as it can be and it avoids the unnecessary "for a fee" restriction.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2626: Restrict to 'legitimate acquisition'


Regarding the text: to anyone who comes into possession of a copy.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:23 EST
8 agree: rjenkins, mbreuer, horsten, flaschen, asffld, bsost, ccady, mux2005
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:23 EST:

If the owner of the modification does not authorise the distribution they should be protected from unintended distribution (eg theft by an employee).
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-30 at 04:52 EST:

This is not a problem, since this provision only applies upon conveying, i.e. it only applies to work that had already been conveyed.

(This comment is like Comment 2541.)

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:05 EST:

Then rephrase it "anyone to whom a copied is conveyed" to clarify that only legal conveying creates the requirement.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 06:26 EDT:

IANAL, but AFAIK companies can be held liable even for unauthorized acts of their employees. Of course the laws covering liability do not necessarily translate to licensing/copyright law, but it's better to make this explicit in the license. But it may be better to do this in the definition of "convey". There could be an additional statement to the effect of "Propagation by an employee, member or part of an organization or company is not conveyance if the propagation has not been authorized."

The danger of a rogue employee anonymously conveying private modifications and thereby creating a situation of infringement (and the threat of termination) for his employer is IMHO very real and is sure to put off many companies who would like to use free software but are afraid of the risks. Just look at all the FUD that's spread about the GPL. Much of it goes along the lines of "Don't use GPL software. It'll infect you with lots of obligations."


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2627: necessary?


Regarding the text: in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p5.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:27 EST
2 agree: flaschen, kdean06
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:27 EST:

Suggest removal as it is software specific and does not appear to add value (does an ISO on an FTP site qualify for example).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2628: Object Code definition


Regarding the text: "Object code" means any non-source form of a work.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p0.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:30 EST
1 agree: bicchi
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:30 EST:

Move to Definitions section and use mixed case (eg 'Object Code')

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2629: 'Source Code' Definition


Regarding the text: The "source code" for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p0.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:31 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:31 EST:

Move to Definition section and use mixed case (eg 'Source Code')

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2630: 'Corresponding Source' definition


Regarding the text: The "Corresponding Source" for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:31 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:31 EST:

Move to Definitions section.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2631: 'System Libraries' definition


Regarding the text: The "System Libraries" of an executable work include anything, other than the work as a whole, that (a) is normally included in the distribution of a Major Component, but which is not part of that Major Component, and (b) serves only to enable use of the
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:32 EST
1 agree: kohlera
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:32 EST:

Move to Definitions section.
noted by gerv on 2007-04-25 at 09:54 EDT:

It seems that the Definitions section is for definitions which are used in multiple sections of the license. (There's one exception to that, but I think that's a bug.) These definitions are only used here, so they should stay.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2632: 'Major Component' definition


Regarding the text: A "Major Component", in this context, means a major essential component (kernel, window system, and so on) of the specific operating system (if any) on which the executable work runs, or a compiler used to produce the work, or an object code interpreter u
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s2
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:32 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:32 EST:

Move to Definitions section.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2633: mixed case for defined terms


Regarding the text: source code
In section: gpl3.verbatimcopying.p0.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:36 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:36 EST:

Use mixed case for defined term 'Source Code'

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2634: mixed case for defined term


Regarding the text: source code
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p0.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:36 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:37 EST:

Use mixed case for defined term 'Source Code'

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2635: define term


Regarding the text: prominent notices
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p1.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:37 EST
2 agree: bsost, mux2005
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:37 EST:

'Prominent Notices' should be a defined term and as such should be mixed case.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 04:16 EDT:

Yes, please clarify this. And please relax the "Prominent Notices" requirements for modifications distributed as diffs if these are at all allowed (see my other comment). Putting lengthy introductions at the beginning of a diff file such as "This is a modification to ... blabla. The work resulting from applying this diff to ... version ... is licensed unter the GPL... blabla" is something that's just not gonna happen in real life, so you might as well codify current practice.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2636: define term


Regarding the text: prominent notices
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p2.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:38 EST
1 agree: bsost
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:38 EST:

'Prominent Notices' should be a defined term and as such should be mixed case.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2637: advertising clause


Regarding the text: d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must include a convenient feature that displays an appropriate copyright notice, and tells the user that there is no warranty for the work (unless you provide a warranty), that licensees may convey the
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:40 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:40 EST:

This smells like an advertising clause (albeit for the license rather than the authors). I would prefer that users simply be forbidden from removing any such notice.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2638: mixed case for defined term


Regarding the text: object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p1.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:41 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:41 EST:

Use mixed case for defined term 'Object Code'.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2639: define term 'physical product'


Regarding the text: physical product (including a physical distribution medium)
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p1.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:42 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:42 EST:

Define the term 'Physical Product' and use mixed case throughout.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2640: mixed case for defined term


Regarding the text: object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:42 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:42 EST:

Use mixed case for defined term 'Object Code'

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2641: Address unnecessary?


Regarding the text: 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor Boston MA 02110-1301 USA
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:48 EST
5 agree: bicchi, mkorman, kohlera, ccherlin, fej
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:48 EST:

The address has changed once before and will likely change again during the life of the license. Suggest instead something like 'Free Software Foundation, Inc., an association incorporated in the USA'. The purpose is to specifically define the legal entity, not provide a mailing address (and in this context would an email address not be more appropriate in the vast majority of cases?).
noted by chandon on 2007-03-30 at 13:03 EST:

Addresses sometimes change, but a physical mailing address can be useful anyway. I'm sure that the FSF submitted a "change of address" form to the USPS and their mail got forwarded last time anway.
noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 15:04 EST:

When I was at FSF, I had planned upon moving from Temple Place to Franklin Street that we'd actually change the GPLv3 address to a PO Box purchased at the main Boston Post Office which will likely live for at least a generation. I think in the hectic details of the move no one remembered to do this, but I think it should be done for GPLv3.

As for USPS forwards, they only work a short period of time.

noted by chandon on 2007-04-02 at 00:07 EDT:

bkuhn - You're right. A P.O. Box is probably the correct solution.
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-04 at 16:42 EDT:

Agree with bkuhn: P.O.Box is a good solution.
noted by abhay on 2007-04-13 at 15:22 EDT:

A post box at the central post office (one that has no risk of closing like the main one in Boston) seems to make more sense in the long term. USPS forwards work for six months (if I remember correctly) and after that all of the mail gets returned to the sender. The only thing is that someone would have to be responsible to check that post box regularly. (weekly, at least)

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2642: GFDL?


Regarding the text: but changing it is not allowed.
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:50 EST
2 agree: ccherlin, johnston
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:50 EST:

Shouldn't others be permitted to change the content but be restricted from doing so under the name 'GNU General Public License'? Is the GFDL appropriate here?
noted by dakdevel on 2007-03-31 at 14:03 EST:

It is clear that modified versions would have to bear a notice saying "This license is not the GPL, but is based on it", or someone would release a non-free GPL. Also, to keep the GPL as the main license for free software, it would be best to require modified vesions to keep a line stating that modifications to that license are no allowed. Could there be a GPL just for modifications, to allow modifications while not letting them become chaotic?
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 17:55 EST:

I doubt the GFDL is appropriate here. What license would the GFDL be release under, then?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2643: restrict?


Regarding the text: take away
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:51 EST
0 agree:
noted by samj on 2007-03-30 at 01:51 EST:

Do you 'take away' freedom or 'restrict' it?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2644: Agree with original wording not with crosbie


Regarding the text: the right of possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized),
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: chresto on 2007-03-30 at 04:27 EST
1 agree: flaschen
noted by chresto on 2007-03-30 at 04:27 EST:

I have to agree with the original wording and disagree with crosbie. If we distinguish between sale and rental, then we create a loophole that would allow Tivo etc to rent you a box for $500 for the first 100 years. To the average consumer it will look exactly like a sale, but legally it will be different.

I realize that applying GPL to rentals will be a pain for those offering short term rental of cellphones, PCs or the like, but with internet software distribution it will not be that hard to offer the source, and flashing tools.

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 07:27 EST:

But, Chresto, the authors of the 3rd draft have already recognised a need to permit the use of GPL code in devices where those using and paying for them remain unable to access or modify the software thereon.

Their proposed distinction is consumer vs non-consumer.

I propose that there is a completely unambiguous distinction with a vastly longer pedigree, and that is owner vs non-owner.

Even the draft authors demonstrate they are willing to make this kind of concession: "We think it's unfortunate that people would be willing to give up their freedom like this. But they should be able to fend for themselves, and the market provides plenty of alternatives to these services that would not lock them down."

That can just as easily be applied to people giving up the freedom they'd obtain if they purchased devices instead of renting/leasing/hiring them.

My motivation isn't that I want to enable closed devices via a 'rental loophole', but that I want a far more coherent license with clear boundaries of jurisdiction. I actually preferred the 2nd draft as far as DRM was concerned, but the introduction of a 'Consumer Product' distinction into the 3rd draft is a farce.

Property ownership is a far clearer boundary to distinguish between devices that one should expect a right to control vs those one shouldn't.

Otherwise we'll probably see products with signs saying "This device is an industrial grade unit, not for sale to consumers. Corporate sales only."

noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 11:46 EST:

I should add that I think it far more likely there would be consumer pressure if there was a clear understanding by consumers that they should have a RIGHT to modify the software in devices they owned, whereas they'd understand they didn't have such a right in devices they rented.

So, rent a Tivo and get an inpenetrable black-box, buy a Tivo and get the software and the ability to customise or enhance it anyway you damn well please.

Naturally, it's up to Tivo as to the sale price they set vs the rental fee.

Otherwise, if all consumer devices must be open, companies like Tivo will resort to exotic DRM workarounds as per usual and consumers can only winge to the FSF that the GPL isn't working.

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:42 EST:

I strongly agree with crosbie. I agree that the scenario chresto describes would be ab abuse, but I also think that a court would recognize it as such. There are many completely legitimate rental situations and the GPL should recognize that in a normal rental situation the renter has no right to modify the device or the software on it.

IANAL, but I suspect you can find existing case law or legislation that already recognizes that a sale disguised as a rental is still a rental.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 08:20 EDT:

flaschen, can I just query how you can agree with my comment (2490) and at the same time agree with this comment (2644) that disagrees with my comment?

Perhaps you should UNagree with one of the comments?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2645: *intentionally* cause


Regarding the text: (or cause others to do)
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s1
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-03-30 at 04:36 EST
0 agree:
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-30 at 04:36 EST:

If "or cause others to do" is to be included, it should at least be "or *intentionally* cause others to do", in order to avoid punishing people for unintended consequences, or "the butterfly effect".

Wikipedia's article on Unintended consequence includes this example: "it is often conjectured that if the Treaty of Versailles had not imposed such harsh conditions on Germany, World War II would not have occurred." Statements of this sort may well be true, but this is not the type of cause that ought to be covered by the license.

But even holding people responsible for intentionally causing others to propogate a GPL covered work may be too broad. Say I order a copy of a program which infringes on a GPL license, e.g. I order a copy of StarOffice, and Sun has infringed on the GPL license for some code included in OpenOffice. In ordering the program, I would be intentionally causing Sun to propogate the work. Should I be held responsible for this propogation?

Perhaps it would be better to only hold people responsible for intentionally causing propogation if they know in advance that the propogation is infringing?

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:27 EST:

What does it mean to cause someone to propogate? Does simply distributing software to someone, who you know will redistribute it, count?
noted by ralphm on 2007-04-04 at 10:36 EDT:

I agree with flaschen's comment above. The meaning of "causing someone to propogate" requires clarification.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2646: four freedoms instead of verbose?


Regarding the text: Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or
In section: gpl3.preamble.p2.s2
Submitted by: illy on 2007-03-30 at 04:51 EST
1 agree: mkorman
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 04:51 EST:

Would it be better to quote the four freedoms (from GNU's definition of free software) here? * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2). * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-05 at 12:39 EDT:

You are free to improve the program, or create a derivative work, and release it to others provided that it is made available for free and not for any financial reward. making any sort of profit from someone else's GPL'd work is against the spirit of the GPL.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2647: Lose the cutoff


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:31 EST
3 agree: hawk, pboddie, easuter
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:31 EST:

The license should protect software, it is failing to protect users freedoms if you leave this in. Worse still an added clause protecting such freedoms would be "an additional restriction"

Instead let users add such a prior to ... as an optional extra if they wish, then they will be giving extra permissions and the balance is correct

noted by bkuhn on 2007-03-30 at 12:56 EST:

I think a reasonable argument regarding this date is to consider that such arrangements might have been believed to be permitted before the GPLv3 was released. Protecting freedom is certainly important, but we want to be sure that innocent actors who made arrangements that complied with GPLv2 aren't surprised to be in violation of GPLv3.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2648: Terms (Further)


Regarding the text: END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.p3.s1
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:33 EST
3 agree: flaschen, Chandon, lcchueri
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:33 EST:

In some countries you cannot disclaim liability for death, it is therefore normal to add something about safety critical software. The GPL could sanely and sensibly add this with

"Unless specifically stated the recipient should not assume the work has been tested and proved suitable for use in a safety critical environment"

noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:26 EST:

I could be wrong, but I think a previous GPLv3 discussion draft had this and it was taken out for some reason.

Failing that, one would have to be a fool to use this in a safety critical system. What part of "NO WARRANTY" is so difficult to understand?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2649: ROM


Regarding the text: neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install modified object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:36 EST
3 agree: michals, mux2005, bernds
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:36 EST:

If the software is on ROM I can unsolder the ROM and replace it. The ROM. Thus a third party often does have the power always even in cases the license seeks to specify
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 09:19 EDT:

What if the ROM is in a socket so that it can be replaced without a soldering iron? This really needs to be clarified.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2650: Peer to Peer


Regarding the text: e) Convey the object code using peer-to-peer transmission, provided you inform other peers where the object code and Corresponding Source of the work are being offered to the general public at no charge under subsection 6d.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p5.s1
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:38 EST:

This needs a clause to match designated place. Peer to peer is not implicitly free. I can make it available for $1M on a private patent protected peer to peer network otherwise
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 08:55 EST:

Firstly, don't forget the GPL doesn't care how much you charge for copies of the software, even $1M.

All this is saying is that you're welcome to distribute the binary via eDonkey or BitTorrent (even a proprietary, patent protected service) - as long as the software (binary&source) can also be obtained elsewhere, by any of the respective users, free of charge.

noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:24 EST:

Right. I'm not even sure why it requires the binary be available at no charge. It definitely isn't limiting access, though.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2651: Access


Regarding the text: Convey the object code by offering access from a designated
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p4.s1
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:39 EST
0 agree:
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:39 EST:

What is access - does this need to use the "via a method normally used for the delivery of ..' type text like the physical media

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2652: Automatically


Regarding the text: The Corresponding Source need not include anything that users can regenerate automatically from other parts of the Corresponding Source.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p4.s1
Submitted by: AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:42 EST
2 agree: ccady, raphael
noted by AlanCox on 2007-03-30 at 06:42 EST:

What if the re-generation requires a proprietary tool that is $100,000 a copy ?

"automatically from parts of the Corresponding Source using....'

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-03 at 12:39 EDT:

That is a good question. But I think it must be allowed. I don't think we can draw a line with respect to price. I think it is legitimate to distribute Corresponding Source with just a rules.flex file that has to be preprocessed by GNU flex. This is, after all, the preferred form for making modifications to the program. Now assume that I don't use GNU Flex but instead use Super-Flex, a $100 commercial tool that has some additional features. I don't this changes the situation. The preferred form is still the rules.flex file and I should not be required to provide more than that. Now if the tool I'm using costs $100000 that still doesn't make a difference. Free software is about freedom, not price. Preventing contributors from using expensive development tools to work on free software can not be a legitimate goal of the GPL. Even if it were, where would be draw the line? And what about if it is technically impossible to provide pre-processed files, because the pre-processing step needs to incorporate parts of the target system?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2653: Maybe the term "symbiosis" can be used


Regarding the text: intimate
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s3
Submitted by: hkbst on 2007-03-30 at 06:48 EST
1 agree: skquinn
noted by hkbst on 2007-03-30 at 06:48 EST:

Maybe the term "symbiosis" can be used to make this more precise. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiosis .

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2654: Propetation <-> convey connection unclear


Regarding the text: Propagation includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making available to the public, and in some countries other activities as well.
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s2
Submitted by: knassar on 2007-03-30 at 06:51 EST
0 agree:
noted by knassar on 2007-03-30 at 06:51 EST:

May I suggest this sentence to clarify that (IIRC) "convey" is a subset of "propagation":

Propagation includes copying, to "convey" (distribution with or without modification), making available to the public, and in some countries other activities as well.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 12:14 EDT:

Something can be propagated without being conveyed. To convey means to move from one physical location to another, but something non-physical, such as an idea, can be propagated merely by being transmitted. It still exists in its original location, but by propagation it also exists in other locations.

A piece of software can be propagated simply by allowing other people to execute it, and this is regardless of any distance between their location and the location of the device on which the software resides. It is not necessary to physically convey a copy of the software to a third party in order to allow that third party to run the software - a single copy can be shared by millions thanks to the internet.

The terms "propagating" and "conveyed" are too loose - software is either private or shared, and "shared" should be determined by the number of people who can run that software. A piece of software which exists in a single place, but which is accessible by millions, cannot be classed as "private" just because it only exists at a single location. If it is accessible to more than one person it is shared and therefore not private. It may not have been "conveyed" to those millions, but it has been "propagated" to those millions.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2655: Why was this sentence added?


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software,
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: marechal on 2007-03-30 at 06:52 EST
4 agree: flaschen, Soong, jamesj, masood
noted by marechal on 2007-03-30 at 06:52 EST:

This eliminates protection from patent trolls. Why was this sentence added? The rationale doesn't say. I cannot think of any kind of acceptable (to FSF) patent agreement that would be impossible if this sentence was removed.

The only reason I can imagine is that removing this bit would make it easier for a patent troll to put a Free Software project out of business. The project would fold when it settles and makes a patent agreement or it looses the suit. Many projects do not have the money to successfully fight a troll's patent suit.

Then again, with this clause MS could do exactly the same to a free software project.

noted by nulled on 2007-05-30 at 00:03 EDT:

That is the whole point.

/ Then again, with this clause MS could do exactly the same to a free software project. /

This is becoming a WAR not a collaberation for better software. Do not play into Microsoft's games. Do not fear them and make similar 'boxed' specification to a wonderful License which is applied to Linux and the majority of free software.

Do not play into the same game as Microsoft. It is like yelling at your Girl Friend/ Wife just because she is yelling at you. Just keep to your guns and shut up and the THUTH will prevail. Do not enter the fray. Remember, it takes TWO to tango. Simply do not Tango and you win!

Winning as in software as a service not at a price so that it can expand and better itself.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2656: Leave corporate DRM enforcement to support contracts


Regarding the text: A "User Product" is either (1) a "consumer product", which means any tangible personal property which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes, or (2) anything designed or sold for incorporation into a dwelling.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s1
Submitted by: alexbk on 2007-03-30 at 06:53 EST
5 agree: alexbk, sepreece, bsost, PzyCrow, mux2005
noted by alexbk on 2007-03-30 at 06:53 EST:

The purpose of this distinction is to allow DRM in corporate/government setting where support functions and responsiblity are outsourced. The condition that the customer can't get the keys to fiddle/tinker can be specified in the support contract; if the customer really wants, he can obtain the keys via the GPL provisions but then he loses all support. Why complicate the software license instead of laying it out in support contracts where it belongs?
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 09:04 EST:

Maybe for a certain class of device the asinine law requires a manufacturer to disable/prevent owner-modification of the devices it sells?

It may not be possible to leave it to a separate, optional warranty or support contract.

Incidentally, it is not necessary to agree with your own comments. ;-)

noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 18:46 EST:

Often software contracts in the corporate world are offered on a take it or leave it basis. If it is left up to corporations to either include or not include something in a support contract one may be sure they will generally give less to the corporate consumer.
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 18:46 EST:

Often software contracts in the corporate world are offered on a take it or leave it basis. If it is left up to corporations to either include or not include something in a support contract one may be sure they will generally give less to the corporate consumer.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-16 at 08:00 EDT:

I also find the argument made in the rationale unconvincing. It starts out with "In our discussions with companies and governments..." I'm sorry, but IMHO this alone disqualifies the arguments. Governments and companies are the entities that understand and value freedom the least of all. They're also chronically inflexible in their thinking and unwilling to adapt to changes unless forced to. The FSF should not let itself be guided by those who are afraid of their own freedom. I say, give them their 4 freedoms even if they're afraid of them. I promise you they will find a way to adapt. And in the case of Installation Information it's really easy. They can demand that Installation Information be shipped on a separate CD and then destroy that CD right upon delivery. Really, is this so hard? Does the whole free software community need to suffer having their freedoms limited to user products, just because some big organizations don't know how to securely dispose of a CD?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2657: Magnuson-Moss


Regarding the text: Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.,
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: fontana (SFLC Attorney) on 2007-03-30 at 07:52 EST
1 agree: vincentc
noted by fontana (SFLC Attorney) on 2007-03-30 at 07:52 EST:

Just a test.
noted by vincentc on 2007-04-01 at 06:59 EDT:

I agreed merely as a matter of sarcasm. "Just a test" should actually be "just spam". And should be moderated out, I think.
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 08:36 EDT:

Please be kind to Richard Fontana.

See The GPLv3 process: Public consultation and private drafting.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 08:36 EDT:

See: http://www.linux.com/print.pl?sid=06/08/18/1539226

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2658: Thought this was coing


Regarding the text: use the GNU Lesser General Public License instead of this License
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p14.s3
Submitted by: illy on 2007-03-30 at 09:26 EST
2 agree: kohlera, mux2005
noted by illy on 2007-03-30 at 09:26 EST:

I thought this line would be removed as the LGPL is turning into a set of additional permissions for the GPL? or has this been changed?
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:31 EST:

No, you're right; LGPL will be GPL+permissions. However, it's easier to just say LGPL then try to specify the right permissions on your own.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 22:37 EST:

No, the LGPL still exists separate from the GPL, so this line will stay, even though the LGPL now includes the GPL by reference.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-29 at 23:34 EDT:

/ I thought this line would be removed as the LGPL is turning into a set of additional permissions for the GPL? or has this been changed? /

I think this is actually a good reason /for/ including reference to the LGPL. If the base GPL does not suit someone's purpose, and they are not aware of existing additional permissions like the LGPL, then they might look elsewhere. I would like to see other useful additional permissions mentioned as well, e.g. the fonts exception (Comment 2916: mention the fonts exception too.)


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2659: What About Where Such Rights Do Not Apply


Regarding the text: copyright-like laws that apply to other kinds of works, such as semiconductor masks
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s1
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:18 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:18 EST:

If I get a GPL-ed work that has US boat hull or mask rights what happens when I export that work to the EU? What happens when I export EU Database right GPL work to the US?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2660: How


Regarding the text: the GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed
In section: gpl3.preamble.p6.s2
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:20 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:20 EST:

How must these changes be marked?
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:30 EST:

"Prominently" - see section 5a.

Remember, this is just the Preamble, so it doesn't need to be precise.

I think the intent of the marking is just to make sure that a given version is not pretending to be some different version, so the specific form of hte marking isn't critical, but the fact that it be noticeable is.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2661: Much Better


Regarding the text: No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention
In section: gpl3.drm.p0.s1
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:22 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:22 EST:

This is much better than the previous US/EU language. Thanks!

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2662: Images And Other Sourceless Media


Regarding the text: The Corresponding Source for a work in source code form is that same work.
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p5.s1
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:26 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:26 EST:

What about works with no "source" such as photographic images or sound samples? As distinct from a bitmap of a structured vector image (where the latter is clearly the source) or an OGG file of a structured sound sequencer composition (where the latter is clearly the source).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2663: What Does This Mean?


Regarding the text: Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you may supplement the terms of this License with terms effective under, or drafted for compatibility with, local law
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p2.s1
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:35 EST
1 agree: mux2005
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:35 EST:

I don't understand how this statement relates to the following clauses a-d.

Can you add terms of kind a-d that have been drafted to be international (as the GPL is an international license)? If so, why does this statement appear to say that they must be localized?

Can you add terms different from a-d if they are for local law only? If so, why do clauses a-d follow?

I think the colon at the end of this statement is the problem. :-)


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2664: LGPL


Regarding the text: "Additional permissions" are terms that supplement the terms of this License by making exceptions from one or more of its conditions.
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p0.s1
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:38 EST:

Can the LGPL still just be an additional permission? If so, under which part of this section? It doesn't seem to fit a-d or be a fix for local law.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:34 EST:

It's an exception from providing source code for modified versions.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2665: Please Clarify


Regarding the text: Additional Terms.
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.0.0
Submitted by: robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:38 EST
0 agree:
noted by robmyers on 2007-03-30 at 10:38 EST:

Depending on how you read it this section seems to allow either any kind of exception or to restrict you to only restrictions of kind a-d under local law. Please can you clarify this section.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2666: redundant


Regarding the text: developers' and authors'
In section: gpl3.preamble.p6.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:14 EST
3 agree: sepreece, mkorman, mole
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:14 EST:

Isn't just "authors'" sufficient?
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 14:25 EDT:

No, it is not. At least in the US, there is a distinction in copyright law between an author and one who does "fair use" modifications.

If you make a modification the "author" of that program remains the same, you (having not been the originator of the code) become a "developer" under the sake of this license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2667: series comma


Regarding the text: distribution
In section: gpl3.preamble.p9.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:16 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:16 EST:

Needs a comma after "distribution"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2668: confusing and maybe incorrect


Regarding the text: A "contributor" is a party who licenses under this License a work on which the Program is based
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:37 EST
2 agree: flaschen, ralphm
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:37 EST:

I've read this sentence five times and still don't understand it. The idea is that you contribute by taking a program and modifying it (using the GPL as a license) and then licensing your modification.

Okay, but the "on which the Program is based" gets the sequence backwards. Shouldn't it be "based on the Program"?

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:12 EST:

You have to read it as "A contributor *to a covered work* is a party who ... licenses ... a work on which the Program is based." That is, if you modify a program, the original author of the program you started from is a Contributor to the work you create.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:26 EST:

I agree. I don't understand the idea of this clause. Isn't every "work based on the Program" just a different Program that can be dealt with separately?
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 10:00 EST:

A work based on the Program is a work of ollective authorship. Both the original author and any subsequent authors hold the copyrights, either for their individual contributions or in common, if it isn't possible to separate them.

A "contributor" is anybody who holds authorship rights in the covered work.

noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 11:53 EDT:

One problem with this sentence is the dual meaning of "license". If you license something, that can in some contexts mean that you receive a license ("The store licensed the NFL logo for their t-shirts") or it can mean you offer a license, as in this case ("The contributors license the software under the GPL"). I certainly read the sentence as the former the first couple of times, and was very confused. How about moving it below the next definition, and saying:

"A "contributor" is a party who conveys, under this License, a work based on the Program. Such a work is called the party's "contribution."

Does that work?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2669: simplify


Regarding the text: Such a work is called
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:37 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:37 EST:

=&gt; "This work is..."

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2670: comes too late


Regarding the text: A "Major Component", in this context, means
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:42 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:42 EST:

"Major Component" is referenced before this definition, so move the definition to the beginning of the paragraph (and delete "in this context"). Then define "System Libraries", perhaps in a separate paragraph.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2671: what sense of free?


Regarding the text: free programs
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:46 EST
2 agree: msikma, tony32
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:46 EST:

Does "free programs" mean "free software" in the sense of the FSF? Or (less likely!) free as in beer? Does the distinction need to be made clear here?
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-23 at 11:32 EDT:

If "free" really means "free of any restrictions" and not "free of any price" then the license should clearly use wording which is unambiguous and precise. Anything else is just confusing.
noted by johnston on 2007-05-29 at 16:42 EDT:

I don't think this is a big issue, as I don't think many people would mistake that to mean free as in price, as this is a free software licence in the sense of freedom, written by the Free Software Foundation.
noted by johnston on 2007-05-29 at 16:43 EDT:

I don't think this is a big issue, as I don't think many people would mistake that to mean free as in price, as this is a free software licence in the sense of freedom, written by the Free Software Foundation.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2672: what about permissions?


Regarding the text: conditions
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p2.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:56 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:56 EST:

=&gt; "conditions and permissions"?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2673: reundant


Regarding the text: of the
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:57 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 11:57 EST:

Just get rid of "of the"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2674: great!


Regarding the text: to provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:02 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:02 EST:

I'm very happy that this convenient distribution option has remained in the draft.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2675: hard to understand


Regarding the text: The "System Libraries" of an executable work include anything, other than the work as a whole, that (a) is normally included in the distribution of a Major Component, but which is not part of that Major Component, and (b) serves only to enable use of the
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:12 EST
1 agree: flaschen
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:12 EST:

I've read this sentence many times and still don't understand it and cannot come up with an exmaple of a system library. In part (a), the "but which is not part of that Major component" phrase trips me up. And I cannot see why there's an "and (b) serves only...".
noted by sklein on 2007-04-03 at 15:05 EDT:

The reason this section is difficult to understand is that part of the issue of defining the scope of a covered work migrated here, and this language is intended as part of that definition. The "intimate" communication was part of the guidance (for GPL v2, but stated as an interpretation of that license) of what could be considered or not considered an independent work, as was the matter of calls to "system libraries." The scope of a covered work remains vague and needs to be clarified.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2676: housing?


Regarding the text: dwelling
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:15 EST
1 agree: illy
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:15 EST:

What does housing have to do with a copyright license? Maybe it does, but it seems like a hack.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2677: redundant


Regarding the text: may at your option
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p1.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:31 EST
1 agree: ccady
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:31 EST:

=&gt; "may"
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:23 EST:

Well, strictly speaking, "may" can mean either "you have the option to" or "there's a chance you might" [among other things], and it's not a bad thing to clarify the sense the word is used in. The latter usage might suggest that someone else could be making the decision.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2679: too broad?


Regarding the text: or the contribution of any contributor
In section: gpl3.autolicense.p2.s2
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:41 EST
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-03-30 at 12:41 EST:

Suppose I improve a GPLv3'ed compression program by adding one of my patented algorithms to it. I distribute it, and cannot sue my licensees. Fine!

But now a licensee makes a contribution by adding one of my other patented algorithms to the program. It seems like I lose my GPLv3 license if I sue them. This case isn't so clearly okay.

I can see an argument for it, but is it the intended consequence of this term?

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 16:19 EST:

No, you're misreading it. The grant applies only to the Program that you license. That grant continues downstream as others modify your work, but its scope is limited to the work you licensed, not to those subsequent additions. "Contributor" here means the authors, other than yourself, of the work you license ("the Program").
noted by oliva on 2007-04-09 at 21:56 EDT:

No, sepreece, you're misreading. He's not talking about the patent license grant, he's talking about the prohibition of suing for patent infringement. This situation appears to be a special case of http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/rt/readsay.html?filename=gplv3-draft-3&id=2743
noted by yusuke on 2007-04-13 at 20:19 EDT:

I think, all examples in this paragraph are not needed and should be deleted.
noted by yusuke on 2007-04-13 at 20:25 EDT:

I think, all examples in this paragraph are not needed and should be deleted.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2680: Overhaul due


Regarding the text: Preamble
In section: gpl3.preamble.0.0
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 13:10 EST
1 agree: mkorman
noted by crosbie on 2007-03-30 at 13:10 EST:

This preamble needs a complete overhaul.

1) Introduce the license

2) Introduce the license authors (FSF et al)

3) Introduce the reader

It is talking to the LICENSEE and all members of the public who are potential licensees - not the user of the software. 'You' and 'Your' refer to the licensee.

Don't use terms that confuse, or distract attention from, the licensee: developer, author, individual, user, manufacturer, recipient, anyone, etc.

For example, instead of 'developer' say "If you develop". Instead of 'manufacturer' say "If you manufacture".

No-one else is important. We are only talking to 'you' and what 'licensees' such as 'you' need to do in order that 'your' liberty is restored. So if 'you' use, write, develop, manufacture, copy, modify, receive, give, sell, etc.

Rights: Life, privacy, truth, liberty. Privileges: copyright, patent. Permissions: what this license lets you do. Conditions: what this license requires you to do if you wish to enjoy its permissions. Freedom: What you had prior to its suspension by copyright and patent law, and what is restored back to you by this license. 4) Objectives

It needs to state the ACHIEVABLE objectives of the GPL - not aspirations that the GPL only partially achieves.

5) Comparison with other licenses - and no license

6) What it is doing and how

It is RESTORING liberty to all members of the public who become licensees, because it is only by becoming a licensee that the GPL can restore liberty (otherwise suspended by copyright and patent law).

The vector by which the restorating of liberty is transmitted is via conveyance of copies - either sale/gift of authorised copies (transfer of ownership), or creation and sale/gift of authorised copies by licensees.

Transfer of a copy's ownership also occurs when it is intentionally combined with a computing device and the device is sold or given.

7) Caveats

The FSF must make it clear that it is only concerned with restoring liberty.

It does not stand in the way of commercial exploitation, or the ability of software developers to sell their software, or copies thereof.

Moreover, it does not compel the publication of software modifications by way of obligatory reciprocation.

Free software may be copied, modified, and exploited privately or publicly, and copies may be resold to any extent without royalty or cap on profit.

8) Precisely why the GPL is unique

We have the usual description of how this copyleft license works to restore liberty to all downstream licensees, how it liberates and only constrains each licensee to preserve the same liberty for licensees to their derivatives and so on.

9) Brief discussion of nefarious circumventions of the GPL and the exotic counter-measures required

noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 17:57 EST:

I agree with this sentiment. The GPL is so often misunderstood, and the Preamble should try its best to clarify the basic idea behind what the GPL does, and what it tries to accomplish.
noted by kohlera on 2007-04-01 at 09:31 EDT:

Perhaps, in addition to the Preamble, a "human readable" summary should be given, such as the Creative Commons licenses do? I think this would help a lot.
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 09:10 EDT:

Yes, to some extent the GPL can now decide whether it's in its interests for myths and misunderstandings concerning the GPL to continue to be held, or whether they should be directly addressed and debunked in the preamble.

0) Free as in liberty, not as in free of charge 1) You CAN charge for free software 2) You are NOT forced to publish your modifications 3) You can buy, sell and use free software without having to accept the GPL 4) The GPL IS freer than any other license, because it not only restores your liberty to the licensed work, it also restores your liberty to published modifications of your work by everyone else.

And no doubt many more...

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-09 at 17:03 EDT:

The preamble is too vague in some of its statements, some of which may appear to be contradicted depending on how you read some of the later sections. For example, the sentence "the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users" implies he following:

- That if you receive free GPL software, by any means, you can do anything you want with it, but if you share it with others then it must also be passed on for free and under the GPL. The only time that you may keep any modifications private is if you do not share the software with anyone else. There is a paragraph which says that you *may* charge a fee for distribution (which is supplying a copy of the software on physical media) but only to recover the costs of supplying such media. If it is permitted under certain circumstances to charge a fee for this "free" software then it should be made abundantly clear what those circumstances are and what scale of charge can be levied. If it is only permitted to charge a fee to cover legitimate costs and not to make a profit then the GPL should state quite categorically that you can do anything with someone else's free software EXCEPT make a profit. The GPL also states that it is possible to levy a fee for support or warranty protection, but it should be made clear that such a fee should be *optional* and not an excuse to make a profit from someone else's free software.

- The "user" of a piece of software is someone who interacts with that software, and this interaction may occur without any regard for the distance which may exist between the user and the device on which the software resides. It does not matter if you are running a copy of the software from your own local hard drive or from a remote server across a network - you are "running" the software, therefore you are "using" that software. Yet there are some parts of the GPL which infer that some of the conditions and restrictions only exist if the "user" of the software is also in possession of a copy of that software (i.e. a copy of that software has been "conveyed" or "distributed" to that user). Some people may imply that if they keep a copy of some modified software on their own server, but allow others to access (i.e. become "users" of) that software over a network then, by virtue of the fact that they have not distributed the software using any physical media they are free from any restrictions regarding what they may charge for granting access to that software. It should be made much clearer what differences, if any, exist between being a "user" of a piece of software and being in possession of an actual copy of the software. If it is permitted to charge a fee ONLY to recover the costs of distribution then it should be made clear that if the software is not conveyed or distributed, but simply made accessible to users over a network, then it is not possible to charge a distribution fee (or an other sort of fee) on those users.

I have added further notes concerning these points at http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/rt/readsay.html?filename=gplv3-draft-3&id=2822


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2681: Disclaimer of Warranty (only) the default?


Regarding the text: Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability.
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.0.0
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-03-30 at 13:32 EST
1 agree: wijnen
noted by adhemar on 2007-03-30 at 13:32 EST:

Since another warranty (disclaimer) statement can accompany the works (and potentially all derivative works under supplemental terms allowed by section 7a), why not explicitely state: "Unless another warranty (disclaimer) statement accompanies the work, and unless you have a warranty agreement, this default Disclaimer of Warranty applies:". Idem for the liability (limitation) statement.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2682: Of course this should be a "modified work"


Regarding the text: work on which the Program is based
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:46 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:46 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2683: This should be a modified work


Regarding the text: work on which the Program is based
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:47 EST
0 agree:
noted by merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:47 EST:

A contributor contributes by adding things to the work. The converse doesn't make sense.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2684: I agree. Needs to be an objective term.


Regarding the text: free programs
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s2
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:49 EST
11 agree: ericfish, skquinn, flaschen, kohlera, easuter, gerv, msikma, stikonas, mjuarez, tony32, mayeco
noted by merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:49 EST:

If the intention is really to restrict this coverage to "free as in freedom", then this should be more explicit.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2685: legitimately is needed


Regarding the text: to anyone who comes into possession of a copy
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s1
Submitted by: merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:53 EST
2 agree: ccady, mux2005
noted by merijn on 2007-03-30 at 13:53 EST:

samj: without "legitimately" people will argue the GPL legalizes such theft. it's better to be 100% explicit in licenses and not to rely on implicit invocation of other laws.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 07:01 EDT:

While "legalizes theft" is too strong a phrase, it's likely that people will believe that the FSF would actually like to see private modifications "freed" by rogue employees who post them on the Internet and that the FSF would encourage a ruling from a court that this act of conveyance should bind the company even though it didn't authorize it. Actually I'm not so sure if this is not in fact the FSF's position.

I think the GPL should take a clear stance on this. If an employee of a company conveys a private modification of a GPL'ed work without authorization, does the GPL *want* that company to have obligations to receivers of the unauthorized copy or not? Note, that "This result is legally implausible, so we don't need to address it in the GPL" is not an adequate answer to this question. A lot of lawsuits are fought for implausible reasons and unfortunately some of those are even won. So, in case a GPL licensor ever sues a licensee that's a company for infringement, because an employee of that company has conveyed the software and the company doesn't fulfill its obligations under the GPL (because the conveyance was unauthorized), does the GPL want this lawsuit to succeed or fail?

It's okay if the FSF would want such a lawsuit to succeed. It's a valid moral position. After all, we also want companies to be liable for damage caused by unauthorized acts of their employees. But if this is the moral position of the GPL that companies should be treated as conveyors even if the conveyance was unauthorized, this has to be clearly stated so that companies can make an informed decision on whether they want to take the risk of private modifications to GPLed software or not.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2687: Define copyleft


Regarding the text: copyleft
In section: gpl3.preamble.p0.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:01 EST
9 agree: bicchi, mkorman, pboddie, goldie, stikonas, mjuarez, ccady, mux2005, mayeco
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:01 EST:

Even though it's in the preamble, you shouldn't use an uncommon word like copyleft without a definition or explanation.
noted by msikma on 2007-04-10 at 14:53 EDT:

I don't think that "copyleft" is a sufficiently known term to be used without quotation marks yet. I'm not sure about it. It would be good practice to include quotation marks (and later define the word briefly) if it isn't (in the field of legal issues).
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-03 at 07:50 EDT:

I don't think it's a good idea to have as one of the first things a judge will read when evaluating this license a term that sounds like a strange pun at best and a denouncement of copyright law at worst. I don't think the word "copyleft" should be used anywhere in the license. It has no legal meaning and serves only to alienate non-geeks and give them wrong impressions about what free software is about. Think about the "free software is communism" FUD some people spread. You're only supporting it by using a word such as copyLEFT.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2688: Move to specific sections?


Regarding the text: Definitions
In section: gpl3.definitions.0.0
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:02 EST
3 agree: bicchi, mkorman, ralphm
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:02 EST:

In this draft it appears there was a conscious move towards doing definitions at the beginning of the individual sections. Perhaps these definitions should similarly be moved to where they are first used.
noted by mole on 2007-05-02 at 09:59 EDT:

This section seems to define a few, but not all, widely used terms, while others are scattered throughout the document. Calling the section "Definitions" implies that all definitions are present here. I agree that these definitions should move to the sections where they are first used, or this section should be renamed to something like "General Definitions", which implies that these are terms that apply throughout the document.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2689: Simplify this section!


Regarding the text: Major Component
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:16 EST
0 agree:
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:16 EST:

This section has gotten more convoluted, to no good end. How do you distinguish a major component from a minor component? Why should the definition of a system library be dependent on use by "major components" to beging with? How do you define "essential"?

I suggest replacing the whole paragraph with something along the lines of An "enabler" of an executable work is any library or other component needed to use the work in confunction with another work, and that either is normally included with that other work or is a standard interface for which a source-code implementation is available to the public.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2690: This is a contradiction


Regarding the text: irrevocable provided
In section: gpl3.basicperms.p0.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:18 EST
7 agree: skquinn, jamesgnz, flaschen, asffld, gerv, ccady, mux2005
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:18 EST:

Either your irrevocable or you're not. These terms aren't, since you define in several places conditions under which they may be revoked. Make it:

All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, so long as the stated conditions are met.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2691: How long is that?


Regarding the text: for as long as needed to satisfy
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p4.s4
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:23 EST
0 agree:
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:23 EST:

The required duration does not seem to be stated in this paragraph. The specific phrase ("for as long as needed to satisfy these requirements") does not indicate which requirements it refers to or what is needed to satisfy them. It appears to me that you could satisfy this with a one-time offer at the time of downloading the object version. It's not clear to me whether that's what you intended.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2692: What is the point of this ?


Regarding the text: in the business of distributing software
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:26 EST
5 agree: flaschen, polymath, pboddie, goldie, Soong
noted by salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:26 EST:

"a third party that is in the business of distributing software" ? What is to stop Microsoft or another company selling patents to a patent troll, and then using that company to do their dirty work for them ? It seems a little short-sighted to me.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2693: Just wondering


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:41 EST
3 agree: ericfish, flaschen, pboddie
noted by salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:41 EST:

Did Novell's lawyers suggest this wording ?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2694: Loophole warning


Regarding the text: updates
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:45 EST
2 agree: flaschen, blinken
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:45 EST:

This language seems to allow a vendor to lock down a device by having a continuing update process (giving the new software a new key at frequent intervals). This language says that updates can be stopped if the software is modified, which means that the keys would stop being updated, and corresponding service could stop accepting the client on that basis.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:10 EST:

I think perhaps that could be resolved by having Installation Information include any later authorization keys given out.
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 10:04 EST:

Let me restate my concern.

If the updates are an essential element in having continued use of the software (say TiVo sends your box, every day, a software update containing the key it needs to connect to TiVo's guide service), then giving permission to terminate updates on recognizing that the software has been modified means that its ability to perform some of its functions would also go away.

noted by blinken on 2007-04-10 at 15:55 EDT:

Closing this loophole looks hard. Currently vendors often check the currently installed version for legitimate reasons, such as finding the correct (prepackaged) upgrade taking it to the latest version. It seems that any attempt to close this loophole will force vendors to implement a much more complicated upgrade mechanism just to support modified works; this doesn't seem fair.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2695: too restrictive?


Regarding the text: require no special password or key
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p11.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:47 EST
1 agree: mkorman
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 14:47 EST:

It seems like it would be OK to require a key or password, so long as the needed key or password is provided or available on request.
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:42 EST:

Not just by request. It should be publicly available, period. But, I do think that should be sufficient. Not allowing any keys or passwords seems extreme.
noted by horsten on 2007-03-31 at 19:27 EST:

Extreme, why?? It seems pointless to allow any locking down, other than creating confusion and scope for people who want to get "cute" with the license.
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 21:13 EST:

Since not all of the methods require release of the software to any third party, is there any reason not to allow the distribution to use password or decryption keys?

And, in any case, what does "special" mean in this sentence?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2696: What about sever-based webapps?


Regarding the text: does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p14.s1
Submitted by: michals on 2007-03-30 at 14:48 EST
0 agree:
noted by michals on 2007-03-30 at 14:48 EST:

I'm not sure where to put my comment, so I'll put it here... what about Web-based applications? A lot of free software software is available for use on many servers, but without a source code, and modifications to this code are not given back - this is really anti-community behavior and maybe it should be disallowed in this license?

This is really an important issue, because the FUTURE is in web-based solutions, yet I haven't heard of any license, similar to GPL that will force the authors of server-based software to give back the changes.

noted by michals on 2007-03-30 at 14:58 EST:

what I meant was that many developers would like to force the users of their webapps to give back any important changes to the code for further re-use, but they don't have appropriate license for that, and as non-lawyers they are unable to create their own licenses...

I'm not really sure, maybe something separate will be a solution, like "Web-GPL" or something, because such a software should be treated in a rather different way... "local code" is yours forever, while the server code could disappear in an hour, because of the security flaw discovered, etc... also, some of the code may be of a very private, security-related nature, (like admin passwords embedded into the code - this particular thing is kind of stupid, but it is just an example - these thing shouldn't be forbidden).

noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:33 EDT:

Check out Section 13 and read the Affero GPL. That's one proposed solution to the problem you describe.
noted by tinjon on 2007-05-02 at 01:42 EDT:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a copyright license only has a sway when it comes to *copying*. If I acquire software for my own (or my company's own) use, and no further distribution takes place then a copyright license is only applicable in the act of mq acquiring the software from the upstream provider..

A contract could be used to control my use of the software, but the GPL is not a contract.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2697: machine-readable


Regarding the text: machine-readable
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p0.s1
Submitted by: salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:55 EST
1 agree: ccady
noted by salsaman on 2007-03-30 at 14:55 EST:

"machine-readable" seems a bit vague. What if I claim I have built a special machine which can read my source code (and no other machine can read it). Or what if I claim it is "machine readable", but you need a special program (which only I have a copy of) in order to read it ?
noted by Lovasco on 2007-05-09 at 21:29 EDT:

I agree completely. This is a big loophole. Let's say that one acquires a GPL program that is written in C. Then they add some features, and then encrypt the source, or otherwise make it non-standard so that only their proprietary compiler will be able to make use of it. If they then distribute their modified version, even releasing the source will not protect freedom, because the source would be useless without their compiler (assuming you'd have a very hard time undoing their non-standard changes or encryption, anyway).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2698: Should be broader


Regarding the text: Network access
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:11 EST
1 agree: blinken
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:11 EST:

"network access" is too narrow; the exception should apply to any service the software interacts with, whether accessed over a network or within the same device.

That is, if the modified software misbehaves, there should be no expectation that other software in the device or that the device communicates with will ignore that misbehavior.

I agree that there is room for abuse by pretending that simple replacement is misbehavior, but I think the principle stated above is fundamental and that a court would recognize such abuse.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2699: Overcomplicated statement?


Regarding the text: neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install modified object code on the User Product (for example, the work has been installed in ROM)
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:18 EST
3 agree: blinken, mux2005, bernds
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:18 EST:

Would it not suffice to say "if it is physically impossible to install modified versions of the work in the Product."

The current language is ambiguous. What does "retains the ability to install" mean? The legal right? Having the right tools? The right technical knowledge and skill? Access to the device to make such replacement possible?

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 08:59 EDT:

I agree that "retains the ability" is ambiguous, but I don't think "physically impossible" works, either. Take a VCR for instance. If it's possible to exchange the firmware by breaking some circuits with a screwdriver and then soldering a mod chip piggy-back onto the CPU then it's certainly "physically possible" to do so. But calling it a GPL violation for the manufacturer not to deliver details on how to do this is a bit far-fetched.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2700: just say "ownership"


Regarding the text: the right of possession and use
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:33 EST
1 agree: crosbie
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-30 at 15:33 EST:

"right of possession and use" is too complicated - possession, in particular, has a very specific set of meanings in law. Say "ownership".
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:37 EST:

There's a reason the term "ownership" is not used here; it probably has something to do with the fact one of Richard Stallman's essays is entitled "Why Software Should Not Have Owners".
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 09:56 EST:

So, we're going to let Stallman's peculiar word preferences determine whether the license is clear?

If they say "possession", then they should distinguish whether they mean actual or constructive possession...

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-01 at 04:39 EDT:

I think the justified antipathy toward 'software having owners' unfortunately buys in to the idea that software and 'IP' exists independently of its copies or instances.

Software has one or more authors. Software is copied into one or more copies. Each copy has an owner.

In my book, if you own a copy, you own the software - there is no notion of owning the software as if you could own 'all copies' of the software. You may be the author of all copies, but if you sell 100 copies to 100 people, then there are then 101 owners of the software.

In this license we are talking about ownership of the copy.

It is entirely valid to talk about being the owner of a copy. It doesn't matter that there are umpteen other owners of identical copies.

If you OWN a copy, you are a licensee. If you buy a device that is sold with a copy, then you own that device and the copy.

If you don't own a copy, then you are not a licensee.

We may need to qualify this to say that if you are lent or leased a device or medium that enables the making of copies or derivatives of GPL software, then you own the copies you make.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2702: Time Fuse for Grandfathered Violations


Regarding the text: License[, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 19:10 EST
1 agree: thomasd
noted by aaronmf on 2007-03-30 at 19:10 EST:

Give this a time fuse, make it "...prior to 3/28/07, in which case breach shall be excused until 4/28/08." This will allow time for the business entities to make other arrangements, changes to contract etc. Don't perpetually excuse this as it allows ill gotten gain to remain with Novell for as long as it lasts and provides them no incentive to change their pact with Microsoft.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2703: Confusing example


Regarding the text: semiconductor masks
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s1
Submitted by: n0dalus on 2007-03-30 at 21:13 EST
0 agree:
noted by n0dalus on 2007-03-30 at 21:13 EST:

I think the example 'semiconductor masks' is fairly confusing to most people (myself included), who don't know what a semiconductor mask is.
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 04:26 EDT:

A Google search returns this:

Definition: A protective mask that is a thin template of metal or another material used to shield parts of a semiconductor during an etching or deposition process.

And the closest match on Wikipedia:

A mask set is a series of electronic data that define geometry for the photolithography steps of semiconductor fabrication. Each of the physical masks generated from this data are called a photomask.

So it looks like, essentially, it's the plans for a microchip. This is roughly what I guessed before looking it up (although I'll admit I wasn't sure).

I'm not too worried about an explanation not being given in the license, since it wasn't too difficult to find the information myself. (I would be concerned if the information was difficult to find.)


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2704: why?


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: rek2 on 2007-03-30 at 21:43 EST
0 agree:
noted by rek2 on 2007-03-30 at 21:43 EST:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2705: Should be worded as optional


Regarding the text: make it output
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p7.s1
Submitted by: n0dalus on 2007-03-30 at 21:44 EST
1 agree: wijnen
noted by n0dalus on 2007-03-30 at 21:44 EST:

Adding these notices to a program is optional, and the wording here should reflect that. As it is currently worded, it reads as though adding a notice like this is necessary for the program being under the GPL.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2706: why?


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: rek2 on 2007-03-30 at 21:44 EST
3 agree: vincentc, fsanches, thomasd
noted by rek2 on 2007-03-30 at 21:44 EST:

http://www.linux-mag.com/id/3017/ have we chicken out? I strongly believe we should add a affero alike part under the gplv3! protect us web programmers please...
noted by fsanches on 2007-04-16 at 23:34 EDT:

We all know that copyleft is not necessary in order to consider a software as free software. But it was adopted by FSF on GPL as a strategic mechanism intended to avoid the removal of any of the 4 fundamental freedoms.

The way that copyleft is implemented on GPLv2 does not make sense for web applications because the criterium for being obligated to provide the source code is the binaries distribution. As the web platform makes it possible to provide access to the application without transfering the binary, this configures as a mechanism of restricting the user's freedoms.

Free web applications (such as mediawiki, for example) may have modified versions for which the users are denied access to the source code. This mere possibility (that we all know that is exploited by lots of websites such as youtube, among others) shows to us a non-copyleft aspect of the license.

This exemplifies how bad it is to link copyleft requirements to the binaries distribution. This way of implementing copyleft is only effective for desktop applications which are a particular case of software where access to the binary is synonym of access to the application.

For the web application scenario, the most adequate solution would be to define some criteria such as, for example, access to the web application. That is: if a site is accessible from within a local network, then there would be the obligation of distributing its sources for all of the users of this local network (if they required access to it).

GPLv2 only manifests its copyleft aspect on non-web softwares. For web applications, GPLv2 behaves in a similar way as BSD tolerating the creation of proprietary derived web applications. That's why I believe that the inclusion of a strong "web copyleft" criterium would be important to fit GPLv3 to the FSF political attitude regarding preferencial methods of free software licensing, not being sufficient to solely create Affero compatibility clauses but, instead, making "web copyleft" an obligatory requirement explicit in GPLv3 itself (not on a attached Affero license).


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2707: BIG MISTAKE


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:18 EST
6 agree: flaschen, ismaell, pboddie, ccady, josh, stikonas
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 00:18 EST:

In summary: BIG MISTAKE, DON'T DO IT.

I really can't say in words just how bad of an idea this is. The right thing to do is hang Microsoft (and unfortunately, Novell with them... this is what happens when you make a deal with the devil) out to dry. Leave them in the GPLv2 world, we will move on to the GPLv3; they will eventually figure out this is our game, played by our rules. This exception makes as much sense as giving Tivo a free pass, that is, no sense at all. Microsoft does not respect the users' freedoms (we know this from experience). As an adversary, Microsoft is not worthy of any leniency at all. How much leniency have they given us? Have they even released MS-DOS 1.0 under the GPL, much less one of the later versions like 5.0 or 6.22, or even earlier versions of Windows? If they have, I have not heard of it and it certainly would be all over the free software-related Web sites and IRC channels I check.

If Microsoft chooses to join the free software community, they may choose to. This is not the way to go about encouraging them to do it; this is a gift to Microsoft, most undeserved, and Microsoft will do what Microsoft usually does: take the gift, say (either with words or actions) what amounts to "thanks, and by the way, #$%& you" and continue to attack us as before. I'd hate to see all the hard work of the free software movement thrown away because of something this silly.

noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 09:54 EST:

The other side is that Microsft has much deeper pockets that the FSF, if it chose to sue. Today the FSF (and copyright holders) are in the driver's seat w/r/t lawsuits - they can choose to sue where they want to. This clause, without the exception, would probably give Microsoft and Novell standing to challenge the license on their own terms.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2708: Get rid of this and make it an optional permission


Regarding the text: [, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: horsten on 2007-03-31 at 03:52 EST
2 agree: pboddie, skquinn
noted by horsten on 2007-03-31 at 03:52 EST:

It should be treated like other "special permissions" above and beyond the boilerplate GPL (that you can then subsequently remove on a specific copy). Incorporating a specific date into a license is going to look idiotic 15 years from now, and it should be up to the individual software team whether they want to reward Novell and similar GPL-molesters by granting this permission.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2709: unnecessary complexity?


Regarding the text: are permitted without conditions, so long as your license otherwise remains in force
In section: gpl3.basicperms.p1.s1
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:05 EST
1 agree: asffld
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:05 EST:

Personal use should not be entirely without conditions. There should at least be the section 15 disclaimer (and possibly additional section 7a disclaimers).

The clause "so long as your license otherwise remains in force" also looks suspiciously like a condition. (Is this stating that section 8 termination applies here? It's not clear to me.)

I suggest truncating this sentance, so it simply ends with "are permitted."


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2710: Unacceptable everywhere


Regarding the text: most unacceptable
In section: gpl3.preamble.p7.s3
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:17 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:17 EST:

Saying it's most unacceptable in one situation implies it's unacceptable everywhere. If that's the case, it should be banned everywhere. Having the ability to change software doesn't require it, so I don't agree with the rationale for limiting it to consumer products.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2711: ask Affero to skip version 2


Regarding the text: version 2
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:18 EST
4 agree: vincentc, hawk, sanjoy, thomasd
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:18 EST:

If there is going to be another license running in parallel with the GPL, please try to get the numbering in sync. (Skip AGPLv2, and make it AGPLv3) It's not going to make much difference right now, but after another couple of releases it will just save everyone headaches. (Take a look at Mozilla version numbering--it's not pretty.)
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 20:39 EDT:

To add an example, say the AGPLv2 is released, but a couple of months down the track, a problem is found in it that prevents it from working as intended. Then the AGPL needs a new point release, which means the GPL needs a new point release, which in turn means the LGPL needs a new point release. This is not a technical licensing problem for programs that include the "or later versions" clause, but it could be confusing if the version numbers aren't in sync. Get the version numbers in sync now, and keep them in sync.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2712: Oppose Patents


Regarding the text: should not allow patents to restrict development and use of software on general-purpose computers
In section: gpl3.preamble.p8.s2
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:18 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:18 EST:

If the FSF truly opposes software patents, why don't they use the license as a tool to weaken them as much as possible?
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:23 EST:

The license does weaken them. What else should be done?
noted by vdicarlo on 2007-05-15 at 14:09 EDT:

I think there's a practical limit to what can be done by means of the gpl. From the standpoint of a software developer, I would want to be able to create new software that will be protected from software patent claims. A license by contributors to users of existing foss of essential patents does not do the trick. On the other hand, if you try to make a more general waiver of patent rights a condition of contributing to or using foss, I think you would deter anyone with significant patents from doing either.

What may really be needed is a separate free patent agreement to which patent holders and applicants could subscribe for mutual patent licensing and defense. There have been some attempts at this, but so far they have 1. been limited to defending the use of particular operating systems, such as www.openinventionnetwork.com, or

2. limited to patents and conditions selected by the contributors, such as www.patentcommons.org, or

3. delayed, not yet ready for evaluation or subscription, and not responding to my email, such as http://www.openpatents.org.

Because it is established and well known, the fsf might be the ideal organization to take on such a project. If I just write a patent nonaggression agreement myself, post it on the internet, and issue a press release, I think my chances of success would be small, but I would be interested in joining with others who want to work on something like this, who are invited to contact me by email sent to vdicarlo at my domain at dicarlolaw.com.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2713: relocate


Regarding the text: 14.[9] Revised Versions of this License.
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.0.0
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:22 EST
0 agree:
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 05:22 EST:

Surely this section should be placed as a note after the end of terms and conditions?
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:50 EDT:

No, having it in the terms and conditions makes sure that the "or later" clause, when used, is indeed valid. I think it is good to make that explicit in this way.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2714: Executable work


Regarding the text: executable work
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p2.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:30 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:30 EST:

This should be replaced with object code, to avoid causing problems with interpreted code, or non-software works.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2715: Definitions


Regarding the text: Source Code
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.0.0
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:31 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:31 EST:

These definitions need to be drastically simplified, even if that means moving back to the GPLv2 defs. (which which didn't really seem that problematic).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2716: Compilation


Regarding the text: the compilation and its resulting copyright are not used to limit the access or legal rights of the compilation's users
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p5.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:39 EST
2 agree: sepreece, mux2005
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:39 EST:

This should be clarified a bit, I think. If GPL works and proprietary are aggregated, the compilation license can say that the compilation *as a whole* can't be redistributed; however, it can't restrict the GPL software from being redistributed/modified/etc. separately.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2717: Undesirable


Regarding the text: provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:42 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:42 EST:

People commented that this was undesirable during the previous draft. I think I agree; not everyone that buys a product with GPL code will have access to the internet.
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 09:48 EST:

I think this is written so that this option is only available if you distributed the object version the same way. Presumably, if they had network acces to get the object version, they also can get the source version...

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2718: why this limitation ?


Regarding the text: who possesses the object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: mnalis on 2007-03-31 at 05:43 EST
0 agree:
noted by mnalis on 2007-03-31 at 05:43 EST:

It is conceivable that I might want the source code exactly because I want to rebuild the object code that has become damaged or lost. With this limitation (which does not exist in GPLv2) one would lose all the rights he had in GPLv2.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2719: Risky


Regarding the text: the interpretation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq., shall provide the basis for interpretation
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:47 EST
3 agree: hawk, stikonas, mux2005
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:47 EST:

Doesn't that risk foreign governments invalidating the license? It seems to hurt internationalization, which many other parts of the license (e.g. definitions, referring to the DRM treaty instead of DMCA) are designed to help.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2720: Flawed distinction


Regarding the text: specifically for use in, a User Product
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:52 EST
1 agree: mux2005
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:52 EST:

I really disagree with the decision to apply this provision only to User Products; it should apply to everything. The distinction means some users will have more freedom than others. Distributors will also have a difficult time determining whether their product is a "User Product". Finally, this makes it likely that another GPL revision to extend the applicability will eventually be needed.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2721: Provide access


Regarding the text: provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:54 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 05:54 EST:

This was mentioned before, but not everyone will have access to a network server. This may be a mistake.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2722: Network Server


Regarding the text: network server
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:31 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:31 EST:

Not everyone has network access.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2723: Distributors too


Regarding the text: Each contributor
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:56 EST
3 agree: wijnen, gerv, tfelker
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:56 EST:

This should read distributor (or conveyor I guess). There's no reason distributors should be able to distribute without granting a patent licenses. Redistributors should not be able to use their patents against recipients, at all. It's irrelevant whether distributors know which patents the program infringes. Having distributors license patents clearly helps freedom. Termination upon a lawsuit is not enough. They shouldn't be able to sue at all.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2724: Broad patent license


Regarding the text: If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:59 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 06:59 EST:

Again, it should be "If you convey a covered work, you grant a patent license providing freedom to use, propogate, modify or convey the covered work to all parties receiving the covered work". Backing down on this weakens freedom.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2725: Useless clause


Regarding the text: that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:03 EST
2 agree: polymath, pboddie
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:03 EST:

This entire clause is at most useless, and at worst overly restrictive. It should be removed. GPLv3 should be as simple as possible, not as precise as possible.
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:18 EST:

It doesn't matter who the deal's with, or the details. Any such patent deal should block distribution.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2726: Hackish and undesirable


Regarding the text: prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:11 EST
4 agree: skquinn, kohlera, pboddie, robilad
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:11 EST:

I basically agree with all the previous criticisms. I want to specifically note:

a. Novell already has permanent GPLv2 rights, and they don't "deserve" anything special for GPLv3.

b. Any date makes the license even more over-specific and awkward than it already is.

c. It implies Novell was innocent and didn't know they were being unethical. In fact, they did, and even thought the legal case was uncertain enough to consult with SFLC.

d. It is unfair to others who want to abuse the GPL. Novell shouldn't get preference because they did it first.

noted by kohlera on 2007-04-01 at 10:21 EDT:

The way I read this, I don't think it applies to community supporting companies that have entered into standard cross agreements that are not harmful to the community. If the lawyers determine that it could, I'm sure there is another way to clarify the intent without a blanket grandfather cause. It's wrong, unfair, and makes the license weaker. Please take it out!

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2727: Bloat


Regarding the text: If the Program specifies that a proxy
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.p2.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:24 EST
2 agree: mole, jamesj
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:24 EST:

This kind of bloat should not be in the license. The copyright holder already knows they do this.
noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:14 EDT:

Actually, a lot of programmers might not think of this on their own. I've been watching a lot of internet arguments about the "Version 2 or later" verbiage, and I'd never seen anyone bring up this solution until I saw it in the draft here.

This is a really useful idea for projects like Linux without copyright assignment - without it the project is stuck with either the current version of the GPL (thus making the code a licensing nightmare once a new version is widely adopted) or is stuck with "Any later version" (thus leaving it open to the "FSF Turns Evil" attack).

noted by schabi on 2007-04-20 at 12:14 EDT:

I agree to chandon here. Explicit mentioning of this possibility is a good idea here.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2728: Expand


Regarding the text: terminal interaction
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p7.s1
Submitted by: flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:28 EST
0 agree:
noted by flaschen on 2007-03-31 at 07:28 EST:

This should be expanded so it isn't specific to one kind of interface.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2729: They don't deserve it


Regarding the text: unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-03-31 at 09:53 EST
3 agree: skquinn, pboddie, stikonas
noted by jring on 2007-03-31 at 09:53 EST:

They knew what they were doing was dodgy. They didn't consult the community. They kept it from the community. They did not care when the community complained. They didn't even tell their own developers as the negotiations were going on.

They made this mess, they can clean it up themselves.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2732: This is fine


Regarding the text: most
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s1
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:04 EST
0 agree:
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:04 EST:

Most people do not understand that free software exists. When they hear the term "software license", they assume that it is a document that takes away their rights. I believe the average user would think that "most" software licenses are proprietary.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2733: What kinds of works?


Regarding the text: other kinds of works
In section: gpl3.preamble.p0.s1
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:09 EST
0 agree:
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:09 EST:

It mentions "other kinds of works" here, and yet later on only software is mentioned. I guess it's not a serious problem, since the software-like terms are redefined in a more general context. Still, why even say this? This license is clearly geared toward software.
noted by pboddie on 2007-04-02 at 10:56 EDT:

Subsequent sections mention things like "semiconductor masks", relevant perhaps because of the GPL-licensing of the OpenSPARC T1 materials (http://www.opensparc.net/).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2734: Only free tools?


Regarding the text: free programs
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s2
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:32 EST
0 agree:
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:32 EST:

What about non-free, not-general purpose tools? It is conceivable that a non-free program might be used to compile and install a free one.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2735: Encrypted file systems?


Regarding the text: When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work, and you disclaim any intention t
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:36 EST
2 agree: jamesgnz, nickb
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:36 EST:

What if a work is installed on an encrypted file system? I will be in violation of the license, since I am asserting my legal right to the protection of my data, even though the GPL'd program never even factored into this.

Or, perhaps the phrase "legal rights" needs to be clarified.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 05:55 EDT:

I agree.

At the very least, this clause needs an exception such as "unless the technical measures in question are embodied in a device you legitimately possess."

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-09 at 20:56 EDT:

I assume that this clause is only supposed to prevent copy-protection DRM, however if a device containing copy-protection DRM has an integrated security model (which doesn't seem too unlikely), then the technical measure that enforces copy-protection will be the same technical measure that keeps other people out of your private data.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2736: Warrant notices


Regarding the text: keep intact all notices of the absence of any warranty
In section: gpl3.verbatimcopying.p0.s1
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:37 EST
0 agree:
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:37 EST:

What if I wish to _provide_ a warranty for my recipients? In this case, it would make no sense to leave others' warranty disclaimers intact.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-10 at 11:31 EDT:

I disagree. Keeping the disclaimers intact still makes sense. After all, they still apply to the parties that added them. If you want to provide your customers with a warranty you are in no way prevented from doing so by the existing disclaimers. It's easy to phrase your warranty in a way that it makes clear that it supercedes (with respect to the relation between you and your customers) the existing disclaimers and that the existing disclaimers apply only to 3rd parties. In fact, unless your warranty extends to all people who receive the work indirectly from your customers (which I'm quite sure it doesn't), you have to keep the notices intact so that they don't get lost when your customers pass on the software.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2737: No price


Regarding the text: no price
In section: gpl3.verbatimcopying.p1.s1
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:37 EST
1 agree: johnston
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:37 EST:

The phrase "no price" is implied by "any price".
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-01 at 19:03 EDT:

Perhaps one cannot _charge_ a zero price?

I would agree that 'no price' seems redundant.

'You may charge any price' should encompass 'You are not compelled to charge a price'

noted by sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 21:50 EDT:

The "or no price" makes it 100% clear. Otherwise judges might interpret "any price" to mean any non-zero price -- people have a hard time with the idea of giving away a valuable work!
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-02 at 08:51 EDT:

I agree Sanjoy, but, if you'll allow me to be picky.... ;-)

Even I would have a hard time with the idea of being obliged to give away my work.

I think many people (especially publishers) have a hard time with the idea of giving away copies.

I do not have a hard time with the idea of restoring the public's liberty to copy my published work without having to pay me.

But, it's up to me whether I charge for my work or give it away.

Free as in free speech, not as in free beer.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2738: Network obj code, mailed source


Regarding the text: Conveying Non-Source Forms.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.0.0
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:41 EST
0 agree:
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:41 EST:

Unless I'm misreading this, it seems to preclude the possibility of providing object code over a network, and source code by mail. What is wrong with this situation? Maybe (c) and (e) allow this somewhat, but those appear to be limited special cases.
noted by sepreece on 2007-03-31 at 21:00 EST:

Agree - I don't know why they don't just allow any combination of the gi ven object and source delivery methods....
noted by dogshed on 2007-04-29 at 09:06 EDT:

mkorman is misreading. You select from the list one or more methods of distributing the source code. There is now requirement that choose any particular method of distributing the object code.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2739: Crucial idea


Regarding the text: Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.
In section: gpl3.notacontract.0.0
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:43 EST
2 agree: kohlera, wijnen
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:43 EST:

This seems like a crucial idea which is often misunderstood. Should this be moved into the Preamble, or at least include this idea into the Preamble somehow?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2740: Defective program


Regarding the text: SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.p0.s4
Submitted by: mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:46 EST
1 agree: ccady
noted by mkorman on 2007-03-31 at 18:46 EST:

This may be silly, but what if you don't want to fix it? What if someone else fixes it? This sentence seems to suggest that if the software is broken, you _must_ pay to have it fixed, if it ever gets fixed.
noted by skquinn on 2007-03-31 at 22:34 EST:

In essence it means if you want it fixed, it's your problem. If someone publishes a patch at no cost you are free to use it if it works.

It's a standard disclaimer of warranty, except under the GPL, you can actually fix the bugs in a program (or hire someone to do it for you).

noted by flaschen on 2007-04-04 at 14:27 EDT:

I think that's covered by the word "necessary".

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2741: Angled brackets for URLs


Regarding the text: (http://fsf.org)
In section: copyright.0.0
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 18:46 EST
6 agree: kohlera, sepreece, Adhemar, fraggle, lcchueri, mjuarez
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-03-31 at 18:46 EST:

Angled brackets are generally better for URL delimiters. Some URLs contain rounded brackets, so rounded brackets can not be used as a general method of delimiting URLs without potentially causing confusion in some instances. No URL contains angled brackets.

It's also recommended by the W3C http://www.w3.org/Addressing/URL/5.1_Wrappers.html (I would put angled brackets on this URL, but I don't know whether the comment system would think it was an HTML tag.)

And personally, I think they look nicer.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2742: "only where required by local law"


Regarding the text: Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you may supplement the terms of this License with terms effective under, or drafted for compatibility with, local law:
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p2.s1
Submitted by: vincentc on 2007-03-31 at 18:51 EST
2 agree: vincentc, rinaldo
noted by vincentc on 2007-03-31 at 18:51 EST:

This paragraph should be (emphasized added text): "Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, AND ONLY IF REQUIRED BY LOCAL LAW, you may supplement the terms of this License with terms effective ONLY under local law:"

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2743: Patent protection by bringing in irrelevant code?


Regarding the text: A "contributor" is a party who licenses under this License a work on which the Program is based
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s1
Submitted by: oliva on 2007-03-31 at 23:57 EST
0 agree:
noted by oliva on 2007-03-31 at 23:57 EST:

Let P and Q be unrelated programs, J be a patent holder and I be a hypothetical self. I and J are active contributors to P, and P doesn't infringe upon any of J's patents. I'm working on Q, and it will infringe upon J's patents. I'd like to get some patent protection for myself and other future users of Q, but P is not willing to offer me a suitable license. Since P, as distributed by J, does not implement any of J's patents, there's no patent license as per section 11. However, the last paragraph of section 10 appears to provide for what I need, because I know P is critical to J's business. Consider that I take any code whatsoever from P, as distributed by J, and add it to Q, even though it plays no functional role at all. Then, if J were to sue anyone for patent infringement in Q, I'd put it on notice and threaten to terminate its license for P. I understand we'd love if software patents didn't affect Free Software in any way, but it appears to me that the consequences of the above, if I go it right, might be for patent holders to stay away from development and distribution of any GPLv3 programs whatsoever. This could be a strategic loss. Some questions: Is my reading correct? Is posting patches (perhaps under more permissive licenses) enough to avoid the risks above for the patent holder? Should we perhaps try to find some way to accommodate such concerns, such as by limiting the scope of the termination for litigation such that it applies only to patents implemented in A's version of P (distributed or not), rather than to any work whatsoever that contains code from P? It could be a bit wider than the provisions for implied patent licensing, in that it could still cover versions not distributed by P, but I'm not sure it's fair, or even strategically useful, to enable such tricks to bring in patent protection to unrelated projects.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2744: misleading absence of conditions


Regarding the text: making modified versions of the Program that you do not convey, are permitted without conditions
In section: gpl3.basicperms.p1.s1
Submitted by: oliva on 2007-04-01 at 00:02 EST
0 agree:
noted by oliva on 2007-04-01 at 00:02 EST:

IIUC it's not true that making private modifications is permitted without conditions. There are actions, such as initiating patent litigation against covered works, that may lead to termination, and that thus serve as conditions for making private modifications.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2745: digital signatures against malicious tampering


Regarding the text: prevented or interfered
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s2
Submitted by: verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 04:52 EDT
0 agree:
noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 04:52 EDT:

Today, many users are exposed to softwares that have been tampered with malicious code, or with bugs that may be used by external parties that want to interfere with the user installed software; if the software is digitally signed by its author or distributor, to allow users knowing if a software was modified or if it is the original tht was created by the original author or distributor, then, using the GPL rights, users are permitted to modify the software, thus canelling the digital signature.

The effect is that the modification will effectively interfere with the digital signature mehanism, that may signal the existence of a modification (which may or may not be maliious). This kind of interference should be allowed, provided that it does not block the user to use the software as intended with the modifications (in other words, providing an extra information to the user that this is not an original, and letting the user choose whever he accepts to run the modifications or not should be left to the user, but not be prohibited arbitrarily by the implementation of a GPL-covered system).

Digital signatures will be useful to verify that the distributor of a GPL-covered software actually accepted the conditions of the GPL, and that he only was liable for the content of the software that he made himself, but that he is NOT liable of further modifications made by unknown third-parties to whom he licenced or sublicenced the software.

In other words, each "Contributor" is responsible of his own modifications, and if that contributor cannot be identified, then he has abused the licence by not providing the source of his modifications along with the modified software, or by not including the required modification notices in the history, as required by the GPL.

But if the modifications were made by the final licenced user himself, nothing should prohibit him to run the modified (patched, corrected, secured...) version that he made himself, even if those modifications cancelled the digital signature of the author or distributor.

If the modified software is part of a more general system (such as a GNU/Linux system, or a Cygwin toolkit distribution, that includes an update mechanism), the system should continue to accept the modification, and should not automatically block it or revert it to the previous digitally signed version, because it would interfere with the legitimate user rights allowing such modifications.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2746: certifications and labels in product publicity


Regarding the text: or service marks
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p6.s1
Submitted by: verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 08:20 EDT
0 agree:
noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 08:20 EDT:

does "service marks" include certifications and labels, that may be used shown for publicity on specific versions conveyed by one distributor? It seems that such certifications and quality labels are reasonably efficient only if they conver unmodified copies, and it seems reasonnable to include additional terms that require the removal of such certifications or labels that were only asserted on unmodified versions, but do not extend to unknown modified versions. such terms may be useful to allow users to check if the versions they receive are effectively covered by applicable quality labels, that have not been tampered by their immediate distributor. Without such inclusion of additional terms, certification and labels could be kept in modified versions by the distributor, who may lie on the effective quality, because such labels are not as easy to protect as digital signatures that authenticate the origin of the certified software (and requiring the use of verifiable digital signatures, and the purchase of digital certificates, may be too restrictive for licencees that want to distribute their modified versions). For this reason, a licence should be allowed to include additional terms that require removing all references to the quality or certifications from all modified versions that will be distributed.
noted by verdyph on 2007-04-01 at 08:36 EDT:

Note that all certifications are labels are not necessarily protected. this is the case for example with standard compliance labels in US and EU, or elsewhere, that are sometimes required to make the product distributable. In many certification and labelling schemes, there's NO prior verification of the label according to compliance terms, but the conditions will be investigated and checked after, in case of litigation on the quality or security of the product. So those labels are generally not transferable, and it's up to each distributor to make sure that the labels are still applicable. The simplest way for a distributor to avoid removing the labels is to distribute verbatim copies, and adhere to the terms of the labelling program (but in some cases, even the production of verbatim copies may not be sufficient, because some labels include required warranty offers). But if there are modifications, it's clear that such labels should be removed, and i don't think that the GPL should prohibit such additional terms, notably when the labels are part of the sources (for example icons shown in the program's About dialog).

This applies not only on quality and security labels, but also on content rating labels (if the content intended for the general public, or should be avoided for children). So, these content rating labels should be allowed to be removed, even if this requires modifying the sources or binary distributions.

Suppose for example that a GPL'ed browser is modified by a contributing licencee to implements a "safe-surf" rating system for usage of the browser by children. With that modification, the licensee adds a ratings compliance label, and makes a public announcement to parents, but will want to include additional terms limiting the distribution of these labels in any modified version. This programmer adhere's to a charter; but a sublicencee modifies the program and removes some rating filtering implemented in the rating system: can he still redistribute the program by keeping the rating system label?

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-18 at 05:39 EDT:

I'm not sure whether "use for publicity purposes" includes use within the work itself or not. But in any case, I think the situation with regards to verbatim copying and trademarks, etc. needs to be clarified, e.g. does the right to convey verbatim copies override trademark considerations, or do trademark considerations override the right to convey verbatim copies? As it is, I think it is a bit ambiguous.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2747: To "proagate" a work means ... except executing it on a computer


Regarding the text: except executing it on a computer
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s1
Submitted by: tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:13 EDT
1 agree: jamesgnz
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:13 EDT:

This should be extended to say "except executing on a single computer which is accessible only by a single user" in order to exclude those circumstances where a copy is placed on a shared computer which can then be accessed by any number of other people.

One of the dictionary definitions of propagate is: "Extend the action or operation of; transmit in some direction or through some medium". Similar definitions are available at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/propagate

If software which is derived from or a modification of a GPL'd work is placed on a server which can be accessed by others, then that software is in effect being shared with others. Surely it does not matter that a third party is not running that software from their local hard drive but from a remote server? They are still running the software, supplying input to it and getting responses from it, regardless of the distance.

Propagate means sharing with others regardless of the means. The only way to not propagate is to not share.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 12:52 EDT:

The opening paragraphs of the GPL state: "... you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software ... that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs ...". The use of the word *free* implies that GPL'd software can only be used in not-for-profit situations. The only charge that is permitted is to cover the costs of any distribution media. Nowadays most software can be downloaded from the internet, therefore the distribution costs are zero.

If it is not permissible to make a profit from someone else's GPL'd software, then this should include the situation where someone puts a modified work on a shared server (such as the internet) and charges other people to use that software. One could argue that because only a single copy of the software exists and that copies are not "conveyed" to those other users then those changes are not "shared" with those users, therefore any profits made by charging those users does not violate the GPL. This strikes me as an utter contradiction.

Allowing other people to run software from your computer should be treated in the same way as giving them copies which they can run on their own computers. If you allow your work to be accessed by others then you are sharing it with those others. The fact that the work is hosted on a singe computer should be irrelevant - it is the number of other people who have access to that work which should be more significant.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-01 at 19:28 EDT:

Tony32, the GPL is a liberty restoration license. It is NOT a non-profit license. It permits private and public commercial exploitation.

If you require a license that precludes sale of the software by requiring the compulsory publication of modifications (without charge) then you should check out the Affero license.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-05 at 13:14 EDT:

To crosbie. If the GPL is NOT a non-profit license then can you please explain the meaning of "... that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs". If the new program is free then you cannot charge anyone for using it, and if you cannot charge a fee you cannot make a profit. I submit that "new free programs" means the same as "not-for-profit programs".
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-05 at 15:53 EDT:

tony32, read the quoted sentence as follows: "... that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new programs that necessarily also meet the definition of 'free software'"

Free as in free speech, not as in free beer.

The GPL has nothing against anyone charging for free software or making a profit.

The GPL only says that if you have a copy of free software YOU ARE FREE to do what you want with it, as long as you preserve this freedom for others to whom you give OR SELL copies to.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-23 at 11:26 EDT:

The GPL does not allow you to SELL copies of free software, but it does state "you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)" which means that you can ONLY charge when distribution is involved. A later section states "on a durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange, for a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying" which means that you can only cover legitimate costs and therefore not make a profit.

The problem with the current wording is that it uses imprecise terminology which can be interpreted in several different ways, which is the root cause of many misconceptions and differences of opinion.

Does "free" mean "free of price" or "free of restrictions"? If it means one bot not both of these, then a more precise term should be used.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-25 at 12:07 EDT:

tony32, e-mail me some of your GPL software. I will modify it and sell you a copy of my mods for $100,000. I will also sell anyone else a copy of my mods for $10,000.

Tell me precisely where I am contravening the terms of the GPL?

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-05-20 at 22:55 EDT:

It seems that the license allows people to run the program, even on a public server, without accepting the terms of the license. I think people should definately have to accept the license before running the program on a public server.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2748: Propagation includes ... making available to the public


Regarding the text: making available to the public
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s2
Submitted by: tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:25 EDT
0 agree:
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:25 EDT:

Propagation includes sharing something with *any* others, which may include others within a closed community and not necessarily the general public, therefore the phrase "making available to the public" should be changed to "making available to others". This would then follow more closely the notions of "private" and "shared" which appear in other places in this document.

"Private" is when I keep something to myself, but if I share it with *any* others then it is "shared" and ceases to be "private". I should not be able to use the excuse that I only shared it with the people in my street and not the general public, therefore it is still "private".


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2749: Is this a loophole that could defeat the intent?


Regarding the text: a third party that is in the business of distributing software
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: polymath on 2007-04-01 at 11:30 EDT
1 agree: ismaell
noted by polymath on 2007-04-01 at 11:30 EDT:

By limiting this clause to agreements with third party software distributors the door may be opened for patent trolls (a la Rambus).

This could permit a distributor to enter into a discriminatory agreement with an entity in the business of filing and licensing software patents but that refrains from distributing software. Potentially, a software distributor could transfer its patent rights to another entity that would be in the business of licensing those patents.

Can this be phrased so that the limitation applies to agreements covering software patents regardless of the third party's business? As technology evolves might it become difficult to distinguish software patents from other types of patents. It would be best to start off as inclusively as reasonable and loosen it up if legitimate issues arise.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2750: Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying.


Regarding the text: Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s4
Submitted by: tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:45 EDT
1 agree: mjuarez
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-01 at 11:45 EDT:

It may not be conveying the software, but I would contend that it is propagating the use of that software. Whether you run software from your local hard drive or a networked server you are still running that software, and if you allow others to run that software you are sharing and therefore propagating the use of that software. The physical distance between the user and the hard drive, and the ownership of that hard drive, should be irrelevant.

Something can only be said to be "not propagated" if it is also "not shared". An idea can be propagated if it is shared with others, therefore software can also be propagated if it is shared with others. It is either "private and not propagated", or "propagated and not private".

The notion that you must give a third party a physical copy of you software in order to share it is fundamentally flawed. You can have just one copy on a single networked server which can be accessed by millions of people and you are immediately sharing it with and propagating it to those millions of people.

noted by sepreece on 2007-04-01 at 17:16 EDT:

This is a copyright license. If the software runs on a server and is accessed only through a web interface, there is no copying, so copyright dos not come into play. Providing a service over the web does not require copyright permission, so it is not propagation in the sense that the license uses that word.

Also, of course, the FSF has a strong commitment to preserving the right of users to use the software as they like. Offering a service, hosted on your own computer, is clearly a use, not a distribution.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-05 at 13:20 EDT:

Offering it as a service for which you do not charge any sort of access fee is one thing, but if you charge for this service then you are in violation of the clause which states "... that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs". For such a program to be "free" you may not charge any sort of fee to access it. You may only charge for distribution, so if the software is not distributed you may not charge anything at all.
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-05 at 13:45 EDT:

One of the leading paragraphs in the GPL clearly states "...you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)" which means that the only time that you may charge a fee for GPL'd software is if it is distributed, and you may only cover the cost of any physical distribution media. Clearly then, if the software is not distributed then you are not allowed to charge any sort of fee.

I agree that you may use the software how you like, but you cannot charge a fee to anyone else unless it is to cover the costs of distribution.

noted by mole on 2007-05-02 at 13:14 EDT:

The definition of Propagation includes the phrase "except executing it on a computer" - this would seem to mean that mere interaction with a user over a computer network would not be propagation. Clarification is needed ,I suggest changing this clause to either:

"Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is neither conveying nor propagation"

Or

"Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying but is propagation"


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2751: This is a circumvention path


Regarding the text: But this requirement does not apply if neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install modified object code on the User Product (for example, the work has been installed in ROM)
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p9.s2
Submitted by: pauldv on 2007-04-01 at 14:01 EDT
1 agree: michals
noted by pauldv on 2007-04-01 at 14:01 EDT:

This path does make it possible for vendors to use a flash memory in such a way that it can be only (uniquely for one customer) be written to. As those devices are not generally updated this is no loss to the manufacturer, but a loss to the customer. Similarly to write once read many memmory.

The flash case might be invalid because the manufacturer can physically reprogram the flash (only when the encryption key used is retained).


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2752: Style: Program or Work?


Regarding the text: The Program
In section: gpl3.definitions.p1.s2
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:15 EDT
2 agree: kaol, jamesgnz
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:15 EDT:

Since the GPL is designed to be applicable to any work of authorship (not only computer programs), I would suggest using a more neutral term than "the Program". Something like "the Work" would avoid misleading many many people into thinking that the GPL can only be applied to computer programs.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2753: Good: clear definitions


Regarding the text: To "modify" a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of a verbatim copy
In section: gpl3.definitions.p2.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:17 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:17 EDT:

The definitions of "modify", "modified version", work "based on" another work, and "covered work" are slightly changed with respect to GPLv3draft2, but they are still clear. It's good that the definition of "modified version" exploits applicable copyright law without trying to rewrite it. This ensures that the license does not place restrictions on activities that do not require permission under applicable copyright law.
noted by sklein on 2007-04-03 at 14:36 EDT:

I think the complexities of defining the scope of a covered work, that were evident in the equivalent language of GPL v2, didn't go away. They just moved elsewhere, e.g., to the section on defining "Corresponding Source" and to Section 5. Citing copyright law helps, but there is still a need to clarify the scope of a covered work that interfaces to other works that might be deemed independent of it.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2754: Good: clear definitions


Regarding the text: To "propagate" a work means to do (or cause others to do) anything with it that requires permission under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a computer or making modifications that you do not share
In section: gpl3.definitions.p4.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:19 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:19 EDT:

The definitions of "propagate" and "convey" seem fairly clear. Again, their linking to copyright law ensures that the license does not place restrictions on activities that do not require permission under applicable copyright law.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2755: Good: clear and appropriate


Regarding the text: Source Code
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:20 EDT
1 agree: stikonas
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:20 EDT:

This section seems OK to me.
noted by flaschen on 2007-04-03 at 20:07 EDT:

Mainly, I think the part about System Libraries needs to be explained a bit better.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2756: Good: please keep these definitions


Regarding the text: The "source code" for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p0.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:21 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:21 EDT:

I like the definitions of "source code" and "Object code" as they are. Good to see that they were kept unaltered.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2757: Good: mentioning of fair use is an improvement


Regarding the text: This License acknowledges your rights of fair use or other equivalent, as provided by copyright law
In section: gpl3.basicperms.p0.s4
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:22 EDT
1 agree: sanjoy
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:22 EDT:

Good to see that fair use and similar rights are explicitly mentioned. This is an improvement over GPLv2.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2758: Good: overreaching patent retaliation clause has been dropped


Regarding the text: Basic Permissions
In section: gpl3.basicperms.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:23 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:23 EDT:

I'm glad that the patent retaliation clause has been dropped: it was overreaching IMHO.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2759: Problematic: possibly untrue


Regarding the text: No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention
In section: gpl3.drm.p0.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:25 EDT
2 agree: goldie, mux2005
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:25 EDT:

This clause is improved (being now denationalized), but still problematic. It could be seen as an untrue statement in some cases. How can the licensor say that the covered work won't be judged as "part of an effective technological measure" under a given law? That is for the courts to decide. In some scenarios, GnuPG may actually be considered "part of an effective technological measure" and could be deemed so by a judge...
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-10 at 10:27 EDT:

I agree. "shall be deemed" does not sound like it is an enforcable part of a license unlike the "When you convey...you waive..." part. The "shall be deemed" paragraph should be rewritten. If it's just a statement of intent that should be made clear. If it's meant to have legal force then it should be phrased more strongly such as "You are not allowed to incorporate this work or parts of it in..."

The section should also address the situation where the work does appear (or even purport) to be (part of) an effective technological measure. Don't forget that an author who releases software under the GPL does not always understand it completely. So it's conceivable that someone releases software that is meant to be (part of) an effective technological measure under the GPL. What are the legal consequences of this? Does it render the complete license on this work void? Does it restrict what licensees can do with the software (which would seem to be in conflict with the 4 freedoms the GPL wants to protect)?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2760: Bad: possibly overreaching


Regarding the text: you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:27 EDT
2 agree: jamesgnz, nickb
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:27 EDT:

This clause is clearer than in the previous draft, but still troublesome, as it seems to be overreaching. For instance, it could be interpreted as covering legal powers to forbid "computer crimes" such as unauthorized intrusion into computer systems.

E.g.: suppose that the covered work is a vulnerability scanner, or password cracker, or anyway a tool that could be used (among other things) to break into other people's computers. Using that tool in this manner is exercising a right "under this License" and is a circumvention of appropriate technical measures set to protect a computer system or network from unauthorized access. Gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer system or network is forbidden by law in several jurisdictions; do I waive such a legal protection, when I convey the covered work?

I suggest dropping the waiver entirely, thus leaving the following disclaimer only.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2761: Good: substantially unchanged


Regarding the text: Conveying Verbatim Copies
In section: gpl3.verbatimcopying.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:28 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:28 EDT:

This section seems to be reworded for clarity, but not much changed in its meaning with respect to previous drafts. It's not that dissimilar to the corresponding section in GPLv2 (apart from the references to section 7) and looks OK to me.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2762: Good: improved wording


Regarding the text: The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p1.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:29 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:29 EDT:

This subsection is clarified as to which date(s) must be given. This is an improvement, since many people were uncertain on how the corresponding language in GPLv2 should be interpreted.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2763: Good: disjunctive licensing is explicitly acknowledged


Regarding the text: This License gives no permission to license the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you have separately received it
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s3
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:30 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:30 EDT:

I think that explicitly acknowledging the possibility of dual licensing (GPLv3 or OTHERLICENSE at the recipient option) is good, as it clarifies that the GPL does not try to take away permissions that are separately granted. This is an improvement over GPLv2: good to see that it was kept in GPLv3draft3 too.

Section 5 seems OK, so far (apart from the reference to Section 7, more on this in a later comment...)


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2764: Bad: too restrictive


Regarding the text: If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must include a convenient feature that
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:32 EDT
3 agree: larhzu, ccady, mux2005
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:32 EDT:

Clause 5d in GPLv3draft3 is basically unchanged with respect to previous drafts. It's worse than the corresponding clause 2c in GPLv2... :-(

It's an inconvenience and border-line with respect to freeness. Actually this clause restricts how I can modify what an interactive program does when run. It mandates a feature that I *must* implement in *any* interactive interface of my modified work. It's very close to place an unacceptable restriction on modification. What is more awkward is that it seems that when a non-interactive work is modified so that it becomes an interactive work, the modifier is *compelled* to implement these features in *any* newly created interactive interface...

I would like to see clause 5d dropped entirely.

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-11 at 10:37 EDT:

Yes, 5d should be dropped. The reality is that this requirement is already being ignored. Some original authors do not want such an interface and don't include it in their GPL'ed programs (me, for instance), which is the reason why the new language has been added that if the original work doesn't have such an interface a modified version need not add it.

GNU bash itself (I have "2.05b" here from Debian) seems to violate this requirement. At least when I launch bash I don't get a startup message of the kind demanded in this section and if bash has an interactive command to display it, it's well hidden and not listed in the commands listed by "help", which violates the requirement that "if the interface presents a list of user commands [...], a command to display this information must be ***prominent*** in the list". If the FSF feels the need to make exceptions for their own software, how can this section be of any importance to the cause of free software?

What is this requirement trying to achieve? I can see 2 possible goals:

a) prevent someone from removing attributions (or even replacing them with his own)

b) function as an advertising clause for the GPL/FSF

I think a) is better dealt with through provisions that prohibit misrepresentation of the program's origin (see section 7). The latter is more flexible as they allow a licensee to remove the interactive interfaces (e.g. to fit the program for space-constrained environments such as mobile phones) and replace them with prominent notices in the printed manual.

b) is IMHO morally wrong, because it sacrifices some freedom to modify the work (not being allowed to remove the notices may make it impossible to adapt the work for a given task) just to gain more publicity.

Does the FSF really think that removal of such an interactive interface will ever be something worth fighting against? Will anybody ever sue over this, if it DOES NOT coincide with misrepresentation of the program's origin (which is actionable no matter if it involves interactive interfaces or not)?

p.s.: If someone claims that the line "Use `info bash' to find out more about the shell in general" that's displayed by the "help" command satisfies this section, I have to object. The bash info page is NOT part of bash, building it is NOT a compulsory part of the bash build process and on the Debian system I'm working at here it's apparently not installed. At least "info bash" gives me the bash manpage, which does not contain the required notice. Furthermore, the command "info bash" requires GNU info to work, which is also NOT a part bash. So there's no way the above message can satisfy the conditions of this section.

noted by thomasd on 2007-05-25 at 09:36 EDT:

The problems which this subsection intends to address is attempting to comply with any copyright law notice requirements, attempting to ensure lack of warranty notice (if a warranty is not offered); attempting to ensure ascent to the license, and.attempting to ensure that users are informed of their rights under the license.

Local laws may presume that a grant of warranty is implied if notice of lack of warranty is insufficient. You may be subject to warranty obligation if notice is insufficient. I suspect there are legal theories if not local laws that may pass on warranty obligations to upstream authors if upstream authors allow you to make modifications without requiring you to provide adequate lack of warranty notice.

The GPL is about preserving freedom for all users not merely developer/users. Although, if a developer is compelled to provide a mechanism for displaying the information in making a modifications then the developer must be presumed to have seen the copyright and license terms. Users are not required to ascent to the license to use the program but users are required to ascent to copy or modify the program as section 9 states, reiterating copyright law.

"You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program." ,,, "However, nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so."

Most software users are not aware that looking for text files which are not displayed as part of running the program is liable to lead them to discover important information about the terms of use for the program absent from features of the program itself. Users need to be informed about their rights under the GPL in a manner as easily accessible to them as possible. Users cannot exercise rights that they do not know they have.

Of course, some requirements are imposed in order to ensure that users freedoms cannot be taken away and that users are aware of the freedoms which the GPL grants.

There is an exception to the modification requirement for displaying such information in GPL V2 and similarly in the GPL V3 drafts. Modifiers are not required to provide an interface for displaying such information if the interface had not already displayed the information in the copy of the program the modifier received.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2765: Good: basically unchanged so far


Regarding the text: A separable portion of the object code, whose source code is excluded from the Corresponding Source as a System Library, need not be included in conveying the object code work
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p6.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:33 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:33 EDT:

Section 6 seems so far to be basically similar to section 3 of GPLv2, just more explicit and clear in some respects and a little more permissive in other ones. Good.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2766: Problematic: very U.S.-centric


Regarding the text: In cases of doubt concerning whether an item is a "consumer product", the interpretation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq., shall provide the basis for interpretation, regardless of the choice of law determination for this License
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:35 EDT
4 agree: hawk, stikonas, jamesj, mux2005
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:35 EDT:

This part between squared brackets looks too U.S.-centric and awkward to see in a license text. I feel uneasy in reading such specific references in a license...

I suggest dropping this sentence entirely.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2767: Good: clarified requirement to accompany source with installation keys


Regarding the text: The requirement to provide Installation Information
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:37 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:37 EDT:

This requirement to provide Installation Information is a reworded and clarified version of the requirement to include installation keys in the Corresponding Source (as the draft rationale explains). The current language seems clearer and better. Good.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2768: Good: improved section


Regarding the text: Additional Terms
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:38 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:38 EDT:

This section is improved with respect to the previous draft, especially because two additional requirements can no longer be added to a covered work (forced distribution of source to network users, and strong patent retaliation clause). Unfortunately more improvements are needed for this section to be considered OK. Further details in later comments.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2769: Kills copyleft: this is not in the spirit of GPLv2


Regarding the text: you may supplement the terms of this License with terms effective under, or drafted for compatibility with, local law
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p2.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:40 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:40 EDT:

I strongly *dislike* the entire concept of allowing a limited set of additional requirements to be added.

That is *against* the spirit of the GPLv2 (where the FSF promised that new versions would "be similar in spirit to the present version", see GPLv2, section 9.) and greatly weakens the copyleft.

Yes, it enhances license compatibility (as the rationale of GPLv3draft1 explains), but the GPL never was a champion of compatibility. If the goal were maximizing license compatibility, the best choice would be adopting the 2-clause BSD license (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/info/BSD_2Clause.html) as the new GPL... It would be compatible with pretty everything and clearly free, even though non-copyleft. I'm *not* against non-copyleft free licenses, but they definitely aren't "similar in spirit to" GPLv2...

I would be happy to see all these "permissions to add restrictions" entirely dropped from Section 7.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2770: Kills copyleft: are these the cousins of GFDL's Invariant Sections?


Regarding the text: requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions in source or object code forms of material added by you to a covered work
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p4.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:41 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:41 EDT:

What exactly is a "reasonable legal notice"? What exactly is an "author attribution"? It seems that these terms are not defined anywhere in the license. I'm concerned that they could be interpreted in a broad sense and allow people to take a GPLv3'd work and add some sort of invariant long text that nobody will ever be able to remove or modify... This option could make a work include unmodifiable & unremovable parts and thus fail to fully grant the freedom to modify. I would rather avoid introducing such options in the GPLv3!
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 10:44 EDT:

I disagree with frx. I think the current wording is good. "Reasonable" should be left for the courts to interpret in the appropriate context. Attempting to specify this in the GPL is futile and will do more harm than good. Certainly the "invariant long text that nobody will ever be able to remove or modify" will be treated as unreasonable by courts.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2771: Good: further restrictions are void


Regarding the text: If the Program as you received it, or any part of it, purports to be governed by this License, supplemented by a term that is a further restriction, you may remove that term
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p7.s2
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:43 EDT
5 agree: wijnen, pboddie, fraggle, gerv, mux2005
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:43 EDT:

I'm glad to see that this is explicitly stated: every attempt to license a work under the terms of GPLv3 with further restrictions is equivalent to licensing under the plain GPLv3. This is good, since there are unfortunately many people that license works in inconsistent manners (such as GPLv2 + additional restrictions); creating a rule that resolves this kind of inconsistency for the better is a good thing to do.
noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-18 at 11:02 EDT:

I agree with frx. I've personally dealt with someone purporting to license under GPL but prohibiting commercial use. He wasn't an evil guy and the code was 100% his own (so he could have written his own license), it's just that techies often don't read/understand the GPL very well. That sentence will make it a lot easier to explain to them that they can't do it like this.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2772: Improvable: fails to mention fair use


Regarding the text: Termination
In section: gpl3.termination.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:44 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:44 EDT:

Section 8 seems to be more or less similar to section 4 of GPLv2, except that it's more forgiving to first-time violators. This is good. However, as in GPLv2, it fails to mention fair use and similar rights and possible separate licenses (as in disjunctive dual-licensing...). It should be improved to acknowledge these possibilities.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2773: Improvable: again fails to mention fair use


Regarding the text: Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies
In section: gpl3.notacontract.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:44 EDT
1 agree: skquinn
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:44 EDT:

Another section that fails to mention fair use and similar rights and possible separate licenses. Section 9 should be improved by acknowledging these possibilities.
noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 12:37 EDT:

No section needs to mention the possibility of separate licenses. I can disjunctively license my code under 20 different licenses if I like, no matter whether each of them specifically permits it or not.
noted by frx on 2007-04-08 at 13:01 EDT:

gerv: I know that no explicit permission is really needed in order to be able to dual- or triple- or multiple-license a work. What I am suggesting is explicitly acknowledging this possibility for clarity's sake.

Reading "nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License" in a license text could be a little confusing, especially to people not too familiar with copyright law. The quoted sentences are technically true only *as long as* there are no other separate licenses available for the work and *as long as* the actions under consideration are not explicitly permitted by copyright law (through fair use and similar limitations to exclusive rights).

I hope I clarified what I meant.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2774: Good: patent litigation prohibition doesn't seem to be overreaching


Regarding the text: you may not initiate litigation (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any patent claim is infringed by making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the Program (or the contribution of any contributor)
In section: gpl3.autolicense.p2.s2
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:45 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:45 EDT:

This clause forbids patent litigation in a manner that seems to be narrow enough to be free: it only forbids patent suits related to the Program and only concerns people who need the License to convey the covered work. Looks OK.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2775: Bad: possibly not enough as a protection against patents


Regarding the text: (1) cause the Corresponding Source to be so available
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:46 EDT
2 agree: blinken, mux2005
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:46 EDT:

I don't quite understand how (1) can be seen as a specific form of shielding downstream recipients. If I am a downstream recipient who does not have a patent license, what protection (against patent infringement lawsuits) would I get from the existence of a network server which makes source available to the public?

I'm puzzled.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2776: Good: this is a no-discrimination clause


Regarding the text: If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a patent license providing freedom to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific copy of the covered
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:48 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:48 EDT:

This clause seems to be intended to prevent the negative consequences of Microsoft-Novell-like deals. It seems to be well drafted, since it's based on a no discrimination principle: you cannot grant a patent license to some recipients only; if you grant a patent license to someone, you automatically extend it to every other recipient. Good.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2777: Good: this is a no-further-restriction-through-patents clause


Regarding the text: You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and und
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:50 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:50 EDT:

This clause seems to be based on the general principle that no further restrictions can be added beyond the terms of this License. In the present case, it is stated that one cannot add further restrictions through restrictive patent licenses. Looks OK.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2778: Bad: the date is arbitrary


Regarding the text: unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:51 EDT
5 agree: ismaell, pboddie, flaschen, skquinn, Soong
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:51 EDT:

Why this date? What's special about it? Is it just the date of publication of the third draft? Was it chosen in order to avoid placing retroactive restrictions, by chance? If this is the motivation, I don't think this date limit is needed: since the GNU GPLv3 is not yet released, no work has been licensed under its terms yet, and hence no provision can be retroactive...

The draft rationale explains that this date limit is intended to avoid forcing companies to face problems due to past agreements that cannot be changed anymore. I'm not convinced that this would be unfair: agreements like those are bad things and hence making them incompatible with conveying GPLv3'd works does not seem to be unfair.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2779: Good: basically unchanged


Regarding the text: No Surrender of Others' Freedom
In section: gpl3.libertyordeath.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:52 EDT
1 agree: rodom
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:52 EDT:

This section seems substantially the same as section 7 of GPLv2 (and of section 12 of previous drafts), apart from minor details. I think it's OK.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2780: Kills copyleft: compatibility with a yet unknown license


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:54 EDT
4 agree: larhzu, wijnen, kaol, rodom
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:54 EDT:

This section introduces a form of compatibility with a license that is yet unreleased and thus possibly non-free: the Affero General Public License, version 2. The AfferoGPL v1 is, in my opinion, a non-free license, due to its clause 2(d). I won't restate all the reasons for my conclusions (more details in http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/rt/readsay.html?filename=gplv3-draft-3&id=1663). As a consequence, I have few hopes that the forthcoming version 2 of the AfferoGPL will be a free license.

Being compatible with an unknown (and thus possibly non-free) license destroys the copyleft mechanism of the GPLv3. The draft rationale states that most other free software licenses also feature such form of compatibility with the AfferoGPL: this is true for non-copyleft licenses, though! When I choose a long and complicated copyleft license such as the GNU GPL, I want a copyleft mechanism that actually works; or otherwise I can choose short and simple non-copyleft licenses, such as the Expat or the 2-clause BSD ones...

I strongly recommend dropping section 13 entirely.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2781: Good: it should be kept as it is


Regarding the text: Revised Versions of this License
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:55 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:55 EDT:

This section is unchanged from previous drafts, and similar to section 9 of GPLv2 (apart from minor rephrasing and the addition of the final paragraph). It's good that licensors have the option of specifying a certain version of the GNU GPL "or any later version", but are not forced to do so. In other words, the upgradeability of the license is a permission that is granted outside the license text and that is a good feature to keep.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2782: Good: slightly improved


Regarding the text: Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability
In section: gpl3.nowarranty.0.0
Submitted by: frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:56 EDT
0 agree:
noted by frx on 2007-04-01 at 18:56 EDT:

This section seems to be virtually the same as the joining of sections 11 and 12 of GPLv2, except for the last paragraph, which is a good explicit clarification. It looks fine to me.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2783: Why not allo


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: hawk on 2007-04-01 at 19:44 EDT
0 agree:
noted by hawk on 2007-04-01 at 19:44 EDT:


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2784: Brilliant compromise, but why not be specific?


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: hawk on 2007-04-01 at 20:21 EDT
3 agree: hawk, vincentc, schabi
noted by hawk on 2007-04-01 at 20:21 EDT:

First: allowing linking with a specific license is a great compromise.

However, why not reuse some of language from GPLv3DD2 7b instead of naming the AGPL explicitly?

Advantages include: (1) the GPL would stand on its own, (2) it gives a path for graceful upgrades of the GPL without including the "or later"-clause, (3) it allows GPL-code to be used by those bent on a patent retaliation clause, and (4) if done properly, those who want more restrictive licenses could be LGPL-like and we just might avoid a lot of license proliferation.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2785: lump sum payments


Regarding the text: based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: skissane on 2007-04-01 at 20:54 EDT
0 agree:
noted by skissane on 2007-04-01 at 20:54 EDT:

As I read this phrase, I cannot enter into a license agreement with a third party by which recipients of the covered work from me are indemnified against patent claims, if such agreement requires payments proportionate to the number of recipients, or number of copies distributed. However, if I simply make a lump sum payment for any number of recipients or any number of copies, then my payment is arguably not "based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work", and yet arguably such an agreement should still be prohibited by this agreement.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2786: good source-distribution option


Regarding the text: to provide access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 21:36 EDT
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 21:36 EDT:

Great! This network-distribution option is very useful and takes account of the spread of Internet distribution (I can't remember the last time I loaded software via durable physical media).

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2787: This kills the whole thing.


Regarding the text: violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: chandon on 2007-04-01 at 21:52 EDT
2 agree: wijnen, mux2005
noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 21:52 EDT:

So... the TOS for the service is "no modified clients", and so any modified client violates the "rules... for communication across the network".

If you put this here, it basically explicitly allows the distributor to prevent modification of any network client software.

noted by sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 10:38 EDT:

While I largely agree with the comment (and had already posted a similar comment myself), I also don't see how you can get around it. Most services are going to have terms of service that allow service to be canceled if the client misbehaves in any case and the license can't get around that (especially if the network service is not involved in the distribution of the software). So, I tend to think that including this language is simply stated reality rather than granting any special privileges.

I believe the license's intention is to require that the software, thanks to the installation requirements, be able to present itself as the previous, authorized version. If the network uses some method that can't be spoofed, I think that's simply beyond the scope the license can control.

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-29 at 23:18 EDT:

/ If you put this here, it basically explicitly allows the distributor to prevent modification of any network client software. /

Perhaps. But then, it is their network. In the case of on-line games, for instance, network maintainers might want to disallow the use of modified client software that provides some advantage (i.e. cheating). I think the most important thing is to ensure that the client software can be modified and used on /other/ networks without being crippled, and I think the license achieves that.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2788: too strong?


Regarding the text: each must include
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s1
Submitted by: sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 22:03 EDT
0 agree:
noted by sanjoy on 2007-04-01 at 22:03 EDT:

Is it too strong to require that *each* interactive user interface include the feature? Perhaps instead "the main interface or menu must include..."?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2789: Period copies with URL


Regarding the text: http://www.gnu.org/licenses.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p13.s1
Submitted by: chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:31 EDT
0 agree:
noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:31 EDT:

The URL doesn't work for me. Mostly because it's wrong, but that's the easiest thing to copy from the file.

How about "... the GNU GPL, see the GNU Licenses Page (http://www.gnu.org/licenses)."

noted by chandon on 2007-04-01 at 22:32 EDT:

Err... apparently this app doesn't auto quote angle brackets. How about:

This URL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses.) doesn't work for me...

noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-10 at 07:14 EDT:

/ This URL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses.) doesn't work for me... /

I agree on this. You know that the full-stop isn't part of the URL. I know that. Probably everyone here knows it. But I bet it will trip up some people.

However I think it would be better to put the URL in angled brackets. I suggest doing this consistently throughout the license.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2790: too strict


Regarding the text: You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: timi on 2007-04-02 at 03:20 EDT
0 agree:
noted by timi on 2007-04-02 at 03:20 EDT:

I don't think that this is a good idea. First it isn't good to use a license to reach political reasons.

But second, when you want to use patent protected software (like some parts of the TrueType interpreter of FreeType) and you want to buy such a license, it would be impossible to buy this from a company who distributes the software. This resctriction is stupid. It makes life more complicat without bringing any benefit against patents!


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2791: should be "the user device", not "the modified object code"


Regarding the text: the modified object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p8.s2
Submitted by: wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 06:43 EDT
1 agree: gerv
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 06:43 EDT:

The point isn't that the object code will still function, the important part is that the entire device will. If the device contains several parts, one of which is running the GPL code, then it would be possible to make the device completely unusable with modified code, solely because it was modified, by letting the other parts of the device fail. This wouldn't be caught by this clause, because the code itself runs fine, only the rest of the device stops working.

Therefore I think it's better to change "the modified object code" into "the User Product [including the modified object code]". (I'm not sure if that last part is needed.)

noted by gerv on 2007-04-25 at 09:35 EDT:

I agree. I made this point independently in my comments: http://www.gerv.net/hacking/gplv3/draft3/ . I would also go with "the User Product" as alternative wording.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2792: Separate permissions/restrictions


Regarding the text: Additional Terms.
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.0.0
Submitted by: wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:02 EDT
0 agree:
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:02 EDT:

If I read this section correctly, it allows two things:

- additional permissions by making exceptions to sections - additional restrictions, in the categories a-d.

I may however be misreading it, which is exactly the problem. Please clarify this section. If it does indeed mean what I think it does, subheadings would probably help.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2793: What if the predecessor doesn't have the right to possession of the Corresponding Source?


Regarding the text: a right to possession of the Corresponding Source of the work from the predecessor in interest.
In section: gpl3.autolicense.p1.s2
Submitted by: wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:07 EDT
0 agree:
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 07:07 EDT:

It is possible to receive a program licensed using GPLv3, including a written offer to get the source code, valid for a limited term (at least 3 years). After this term, the offer is no longer valid, and so the entity may have lost the right to possess the Corresponding Source (this happens if it has no other means to get it). In such a case, this sentence demands the entity to give away a right it doesn't have itself.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2794: This seems to make the whole patent section void


Regarding the text: Nothing in this License shall be construed as excluding or limiting any implied license or other defenses to infringement that may otherwise be available to you under applicable patent law.
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p4.s1
Submitted by: wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 08:10 EDT
0 agree:
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 08:10 EDT:

I would think "any implied license or other defenses to infringement" includes every possible thing you can do against someone infringing on your patents. If this license does not exclude you from those that would otherwise be available to you, it clearly doesn't exclude you from any defenses. Which means, AFAICS, that anything about patents can just as well be omitted.

I suspect this may not be true for granting patent licenses, but this is not at all clear. Please clarify this.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2795: Please discourage this


Regarding the text: you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library.
In section: gpl3.howtoapply.p14.s2
Submitted by: wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 08:23 EDT
0 agree:
noted by wijnen on 2007-04-02 at 08:23 EDT:

There are only few occasions where using the LGPL instead of the GPL is a good idea, even for libraries (and the fsf agrees with me on that, AFAIK). Therefore, even though it may be good to mention it (if the LGPL continues to exist), it should be discouraged while doing so IMO.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2796: Dangerous clause


Regarding the text: You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and und
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: jring on 2007-04-02 at 08:42 EDT
2 agree: timi, schabi
noted by jring on 2007-04-02 at 08:42 EDT:

There is a very huge problem with this clause. Imagine what happens if Microsoft start sueing people all over the place, while simultaneously offering a very cheap deal under which they won't sue you. Small companies may find they have no choice but to accept the deal, at which point they are suddenly banned from redistributing GPLv3 software. Thus this clause could allow a huge company to abuse the patent system in order to effectively kill small vendors ability to use GPLv3 software.

I don't see any easy solution to this problem. The only alternative seems to be to allow Microsoft - Novell like deals, which is unacceptable, but the other possibility could result in proprietary software vendor's trying to push companies into signing seemingly innocent deals without realizing they are giving up their right to use the GPLv3.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2797: Definition


Regarding the text: free programs
In section: gpl3.sourcecode.p3.s2
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 14:41 EDT
1 agree: tony32
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 14:41 EDT:

Those of us reading this license, and with a sense of Freedom understand this means "libre". However, common (english) usage does not mean this. Since the term "Free" is not defined in this license, this phrase is ambiguous.
noted by tony32 on 2007-04-24 at 06:21 EDT:

The use of a word such as "free" which has different meanings is very confusing. To remove this ambiguity a different word which only has ONE possible meaning should be used. For example, if "free" only means "free of restrictions" and not "free of price" then the word "unrestricted" should be used instead.

When the word "unrestricted" is used for the first time it should be clearly explained, such as:

(1) You cannot place any restrictions on who can or cannot have access to the software, such as "only ... can access the software" or "everybody except ... can access the software"

(2) You cannot place any restrictions on what uses the software may or may not be applied, such as "you may only use the software in ... applications" or "you may use the software in any application except ..."

Unless this level of detail is clearly defined, precisely what *is* and *is not* permitted, there will always be room for someone unscrupulous to use their own interpretation. If a legal document such as a license contains phrases and words which are open to interpretation then it is a very poor document.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2798: Judicial Review has sharp teeth...


Regarding the text: fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996
In section: gpl3.drm.p0.s1
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 14:50 EDT
0 agree:
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 14:50 EDT:

Like one poster above, I feel that referencing a specific law inside of a license is problematic. For instance, stating the obligation of such laws may also inadvertently pull in judicial opinions of such laws, invalidating or conflicting with the intent of the license.
noted by skquinn on 2007-04-06 at 17:26 EDT:

I don't see any way to get around it here. What text do you propose as a replacement?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2799: Strike


Regarding the text: If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must include a convenient feature
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s1
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:01 EDT
3 agree: larhzu, ccady, mux2005
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:01 EDT:

I believe in some cases this conflicts directly. Firstly, I believe this steps on Freedom 1, dictating specifically how one must write or design a program.

In many cases, optimization for space is important, specifically to embedded devices. Also, when designing web application, ease of navigation is important. This clause would restrict a user from removing such notice to reduce space or improve navigation, hence, limiting one's ability to improve a program.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2800: Confusion


Regarding the text: However, if the Program has interactive interfaces that
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p4.s3
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:05 EDT
0 agree:
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:05 EDT:

I simply don't get this. This subsection doesn't clearly explain how one has a compliant or non-compliant user interface. Interpreted at face value, it would seem that not providing such notifications would be non-compliance. If so, the last clause says "If you don't comply, you don't have to".

Clarification here is needed.

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-15 at 04:43 EDT:

@kdean06: The point is that the copyright holder can do whatever he wants. He is not bound by the terms of the GPL, because he's the licensor, not a licensee. Take me for instance. I am a free software author and use the GPL almost exclusively for my software. I have released several interactive programs with the usual menu bar, including a "Help" menu with an About box. But I never include licensing information in my About boxes, so my About boxes are never compliant. Sometimes I don't even include an About box at all. Without the "However,..." provision, someone who takes my programs and wants to modify them, would have to add About boxes to comply with the GPL. But that's nonsense. I, the original author, have decided that I don't want my program to have such an About box. Why would I force licensees to add one?

In fact, it would be morally wrong to force them to add one, because it restricts their freedoms. What if someone wants to fix a security bug in a mail program I wrote. It's a simple off-by-1 bug he found during a code review. He can fix the off-by-1 bug easily but he doesn't understand GUI programming and therefore is unable to add a compliant About box. Without the limitation provided by the "However,..." sentence, he would be prevented from releasing the bugfixed mail program, which goes against the principles of free software.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2801: Reference to laws


Regarding the text: the interpretation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq., shall provide the basis for interpretation,
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p7.s2
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:19 EDT
2 agree: stikonas, mux2005
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 15:19 EDT:

Again, I feel a reference to a specific law is potentially dangerous, opening it to judicial interpretation and altering the terms of this license.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2802: No Denying Freedom


Regarding the text: unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to March 28, 2007].
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p3.s1
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:10 EDT
7 agree: flaschen, fraggle, skquinn, stikonas, Soong, mjuarez, masood
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:10 EDT:

How does such a deal, entered into on March 27, 2007 violate freedom anymore than one entered into on April 1, 2007?

If this act is a threat to freedom, it should be disallowed, in all ways, at all time. If it is acceptable to allow before that, then it should be acceptable after.

This line should be removed.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2803: Spell it out


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:23 EDT
4 agree: larhzu, kaol, rodom, schabi
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:23 EDT:

The GPL, in all versions, should very clearly spell out rights that it protects. Referring to another license doesn't do this, I think.

As stated with the reference to laws, referencing this license by NAME also irrevocably ties it to the fate of that license. Should, for some reason, the Affero GPL be rendered invalid, it also renders the GPLv3 invalid; a VERY dangerous thing.

The GPL should spell out exactly what the Affero GPL protects, or this section should be removed.

noted by chandon on 2007-04-05 at 13:00 EDT:

Wait. What? What does "rendered invalid" even mean in relation to a copyright license?
noted by thomasd on 2007-05-23 at 23:02 EDT:

DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE.

All the GPL software licenses protect the right of software users "to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users". The different GPL software licenses have terms covering different contexts for the same goal. I do agree that some phrase indicating that the Affero GPL covers 'software used over a network where the software being used has not been conveyed to the user' or whatever is found suitable should be included in this section. The difficulty of finding the best language for such a phrase is part of the reason no such language appears here in GPL V3 DD3. IF SOME LICENSE TERMS FAILED.

Your presumption that a copyright license as a whole is liable to be held invalid buy a court if some part of the license is found invalid or unenforceable is contrary to standard court practise, at least in the US. Court practise tries to uphold as much of a legal document as can reasonably be separated from any part which fails to be upheld in court. Do you know of a context where this is not the case?

Obviously, if one part is based upon another then failure of the base would imperil subsidiary sections. However, you are worrying about the failure of a subsidiary document undermining the base document. The subsidiary part may fail leaving the base intact.

I expect that the base and subsidiary document to prevail against any significant court challenges. NEED SIMULTANEOUS DISCUSSION OF LINKED DOCUMENTS.

The mere possibility of unknown interactions between the two documents should require that discussion of the GPL V3 draft be held open during the term of a full discussion of the unpublished dependent Affero GPL draft.

If and only if there was an overwhelming current problem which required the release of GPL V3 as a remedy, there should be a full simultaneous discussion of both draft documents together. If such a situation occurred and the was insufficient opportunity to discuss both drafts simultaneously, then GPL V3 would function similar to the "or any later version" clause for GPL V3 with respect to possible linking with the forthcoming Affero GPL. I hope to see the discussion draft of the Affero GPL soon.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2804: much better than the previous version!


Regarding the text: Each contributor grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p0.s1
Submitted by: timi on 2007-04-02 at 16:29 EDT
0 agree:
noted by timi on 2007-04-02 at 16:29 EDT:

This is much better than in version 2. There, a complete licence wasn't required. This is clearer.
noted by blinken on 2007-04-05 at 00:13 EDT:

This doesn't make sense. The only place a license is unconditionally granted is in the last paragraph of section 10, and that uses completely different (and weaker) language. So paragraph 1 of section 11 makes a promise, but no where is there a requirement for maintaining that promise.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2805: Proxy


Regarding the text: If the Program specifies that a proxy
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.p2.s1
Submitted by: kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:30 EDT
1 agree: jamesj
noted by kdean06 on 2007-04-02 at 16:30 EDT:

I believe this opens a potential danger. Not towards freedom, but the fact that proxys are specifically mentioned here, but not elsewhere, is slightly alarming.

A proxy should have any and/or all of the rights granted in this license, if so granted by the copyright holder, it should be applied to the entire license, or removed from this section as it can potentially limit a copyright holder's right to enforce protections through a proxy.

For instance, a proxy is very clearly given the right to accept the next version of the GPL, but only the proxy agreement ensures that a proxy has the right to offer patent protection as required previously in this license. A proxy could license a work under v3 without having the legal authority to allow covered patents to be used.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2806: very fast change of opinion ;-)


Regarding the text: grant a patent license
In section: gpl3.licensingpatents.p2b.s1
Submitted by: timi on 2007-04-02 at 16:41 EDT
0 agree:
noted by timi on 2007-04-02 at 16:41 EDT:

In the draft 2, the FSF didn't want to include a royaty free patent license. Now here it is. Well, I think this is a good idea, not only the first paragraph, but also this fourth paragraph.

However, now you want to do something against Novell. And you have now this patent license in th GPL (good) but all the rest (paragraph 5) is only ideological.

noted by flaschen on 2007-04-05 at 05:43 EDT:

Draft 2 actually required that all distributors (not just contributors) effectively grant a royalty-free patent license. It said, "If you convey a covered work, you similarly covenant to all recipients, including recipients of works based on the covered work, not to assert any of your essential patent claims in the covered work." It wasn't phrased as a license, but that's irrelevant. Regarding paragraph 5; it is indeed ideological. The GPL is meant to be. The paragraph is there (albeit wordly quite poorly) to stop people from dividing the community by granting partial freedom to some while implicitly threatening everyone else.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2807: This needs definition and explanation


Regarding the text: If the Program specifies that a proxy can decide whether
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.p2.s1
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 18:01 EDT
1 agree: mux2005
noted by sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 18:01 EDT:

Who can be a proxy? How is it specified? How does this interact with ownership of the copyright? Is the proxy designation revocable? Can a proxy be specified after-the-fact?

I think this idea is potentially interesting, but needs significant grounding before including it.

noted by mux2005 on 2007-05-22 at 05:16 EDT:

I agree that this is an interesting idea but that it requires more work. The questions that I find most concerning are:

1. Is a proxy designation revocable? (asked already by sepreece)

2. What about works that combine parts with different upgrading restrictions (e.g. parts that specify "or any later version", parts that specify a proxy and parts that are GPL 3 *only*). The current GPL3 wording sounds as if in that case the proxy designated for the combined work can make a final decision with respect to the Program. But that can't be possible. In that case the proxy can only say "If these other proxies and those copyright holders also agree that relicensing is okay, then the Program can be relicensed. Otherwise it cannot."

I'm not sure if this proxy concept can be worked out in the timeframe for GPL3. And I don't see a need to have this in the GPL3 itself. Adding the proxy provision is something that the copyright holder can do even if it's not in the GPL. My suggestion is to remove this from the GPL and to work on it independently. Then the FSF should launch a proxy campaign that includes determining potential proxies and advertising the addition of the proxy provision to important GPLed software. Since the proxy provision seems to be targeted at avoiding problems during the GPL3-&gt;GPL4 transition, it will be wise to wait until after the GPL2-&gt;GPL3 transition. That way we can learn, what kinds of difficulties arise during such a transition and have this experience flow into the design of the proxy concept.

And we must not forget the very real possibility that the proxy idea does not gain any popularity in the free software community. Personally, I don't think I will add such a proxy designation to my programs. If I don't trust the FSF enough to add "or any later version" to my licensing (and I don't, sorry), who else would I trust enough to give them power to relicense my works?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2808: Bad


Regarding the text: that proxy's public statement of acceptance of any version is permanent authorization for you to choose that version for the Program.
In section: gpl3.revisedversions.p2.s1
Submitted by: yusuke on 2007-04-02 at 18:58 EDT
0 agree:
noted by yusuke on 2007-04-02 at 18:58 EDT:

This provision works only in the case that only one party has copyright for a work, i think.

(case a) If someone add this proxy clause to their modified version, and previous licensors do not agree, what will happen?

(case b) If original version has this proxy clause, and someone develop a modified version without such proxy clause, is it violation?

noted by schabi on 2007-04-20 at 12:18 EDT:

IMHO: When upstream had the "or any later" version, or no specific version at all, then restricting to some versions explicitly or by naming a proxy is legal.

When upstream had a specific version, the modifier does not have the right to add a proxy clause to upstreams code (that whould violate the copyright laws).

Removing a proxy clause or removing a "or anly later version" clause is legal.

noted by yusuke on 2007-04-20 at 18:44 EDT:

Why is removing a proxy clause legal? I think it is a kind of additional requirements rather than additional permissions. If so, removing it is illegal.

BTW, If you know, please tell me about whether adding my proxy's name to my modified version based on the Program, and that has already had a proxy clause, is legal or illegal.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2809: Death penalty for parking infringements


Regarding the text: 8.[4] Termination.
In section: gpl3.termination.0.0
Submitted by: jamesgnz on 2007-04-02 at 21:19 EDT
1 agree: mole
noted by jamesgnz on 2007-04-02 at 21:19 EDT:

This section is too harsh as it stands. It is presumably intended to be applicable to situations such as small non-profit organisations enforcing the GPL against large companies that have intentionally seriously breached the GPL to pervert copyleft, but it could just as easily be used by large companies to pervert copyleft by intimidating or destroying small non-profit organisations that have unintentionally breached the GPL in some minor way. It could potentially enable rather than prevent the next SCO.

Consider the sorts of things that can be GPL breaches:

MEPIS maintainer Warren Woodford distributes source code for binary packages he has modified, but not for binary packages that he distributes verbatim. I am sure this was not malicious.

Cases where previously unenforced trademarks start being enforced: Linux, RedHat, Mozilla (against Debian). And the DCC (formerly Debian Core Consortium) ran into problems for using the trademark Debian. There are many potential violations here that would not be malicious but could be breaches of the GPLv3. In order to correct these breaches, it may be necessary to change domain names, and redo artwork, etc.

Consider that Linux distributions often involve thousands of packages for several platforms, and sometimes backport fixes to stable packages. It is entirely possible that some author attribution or licensing clause could be accidentally lost. In order to correct these breaches, it may be necessary to permanently take down archives, and entirely cease distribution until a new release is ready.

Two breaches are required to make GPLv3d3 termination permanent, but this could be two uses of a trademark in artwork, or two downloads of a binary file for which source is not immediately available, or for which attribution is slightly incorrect. Even temporary termination could cause serious damage over a minor breach.

Essentially this clause is the equivalent of the death penalty for parking infringements. In order to protect freedom, it is necessary to adhere to the ideas of "innocent until proven guilty", "first do no harm" and "the punishment fits the crime". The most important thing to keep in mind for this clause is to ensure that it can not be used to deny the freedom that it is supposed to protect.

It is not (I think) difficult to imagine that a former Linux company bought out or paid off could use this clause to devastating effect. Think of SCO, but whereas it seems that SCO never had a real case, the termination clause might well provide the next SCO with a real case.

Most GPL breaches do not require such a harsh penalty. It would suffice in the majority of cases to simply sue (or threaten to do so) for the breaches themselves, with the license still in place, thus ensuring that the punishment fits the crime. Anyone who thinks this would not be enough ought to be pushing for harsher copyright laws, rather than seeking the harshest possible punishment (termination) for even the smallest possible offence.

There is only one class of breaches for which it is necessary (or desirable) to charge in with guns blazing, that being when someone brings a lawsuit in breach of the GPL. This is the only type of breach which could cause immediate devastating damage, so it is the only instance in which it is necessary to be able to respond with immediate devastating damage.

By a happy co-incidence, this is also the only kind of breach which we can reasonably assume to be malicious, and the only kind of breach which we can be reasonably sure there is a quick and easy way for the party in violation to fix (i.e. by dropping the lawsuit or refunding damages).

That is to say, this is the only kind of breach for which it is necessary to be able to terminate rights in order to prevent the next SCO, and it is also the only kind of breach for which it is reasonably safe to allow termination without risking enabling the next SCO.

Further, even in instances where it is desirable to bring in the big guns and punish an aggressor by preventing them from benefiting from GPL code, it is both unnecessary and undesirable to also prevent them from offering a public service. And it is perverse to prevent them from fulfilling their GPL obligations. To highlight how absurd the situation is at the moment: Someone can have their license terminated for not providing source code, then be sued for providing source code, or they could have their license terminated for distributing incorrectly attributed works, then be sued for making the corrections. Think about this for a minute: The GPL being used to prevent someone from distributing source code in accordance with, and as required by, the GPL--this is lunacy.

In the case of a commercial Linux distributor that sues on the grounds of a patent in GPL code, it would make sense to terminate their right to sell their distribution, but not to terminate their right to provide source code for their distribution, or provide a public mirror of the distribution that theirs is based on. (They would have to remove any allegedly patent infringing feature from source code they provided anyway, since conveying GPL works that depend on a patent is disallowed, but they may as well be allowed to provide the source code /without/ that feature, allowing them to mostly fulfill their obligations, even while their right to commercially distribute the work is entirely terminated, with or without the feature.)

Terminating the right to commercial use of the GPL work is all that is needed to hit the aggressor where it hurts (in the pocket). In attempting to pervert copyleft, they are likely to be after a financial gain, so a financial disincentive is appropriate. If this doesn't work (say the aggressor is a software company that doesn't rely on the GPL work), then also terminating their right to offer a public service isn't going to help at all. If it is desirable to make the punishment any harsher than this, then it could be required that they distribute source code (rather than just an offer for it) with every non-commercially distributed binary, and/or that they must offer source code for covered works run on a public server (the AGPL condition that was seen as to restrictive for GPL use might be appropriate in this context).

Finally, the primary goal of the termination clause should be, first and foremost, to prevent damage to innocent parties, or if damage has already been done, to undo it, in so far as is possible. The primary goal should not be to destroy the aggressor, no matter how appealing this may sound. It would actually be better for everyone if they started playing nicely. To this end, it makes sense to allow immediate and automatic reinstatement of the terminated rights as soon as the GPL breaches are corrected, regardless of whether this is after 2 breaches, or a month, or whatever. If the aggressor is ever put in the position where they have no way of escaping termination, then there is no incentive for them to play nice. This will simply ensure that whatever damage they have done will become permanent. It may even force them into making a business model out of suing the users of GPL works, which is exactly what this section should be trying to avoid.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2810: Narrow this


Regarding the text: Such a work is called the party's "contribution."
In section: gpl3.definitions.p3.s2
Submitted by: sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 21:49 EDT
0 agree:
noted by sepreece on 2007-04-02 at 21:49 EDT:

I think that, with respect to a particular covered work, the contribution should be just the part of the contributor's work that is actually present in the covered work.

That is, if author A takes a library routine from open-source program X written by author B, and uses it in a new work Z, both A and B are contributors to the new work Z, but B's contribution to that work should be just the library routine, not all of X.

This distinction becomes important in the clauses involving patents and automatic licenses.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2811: The GPL3 vs. GPL3+C distinction


Regarding the text: b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License and any conditions added under section 7.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p2.s1
Submitted by: vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 07:57 EDT
0 agree:
noted by vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 07:57 EDT:

Short version: point 5.[2] b) in GPL3 draft3 is not strong enough! INSTEAD OF: 5.[2] b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under [GPL3] and any conditions added under section 7. This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to "keep intact all notices", I SUGGEST: 5.[2] b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released either under "GPL3" or under "GPL3+C" (the latter meaning "GPL3 + any Compatibility conditions added under section 7"). "GPL3+C" also stands for "GPL3 and some GPL3+C material, such as blah-blah", meaning that, even if only a small part of the work is "GPL3+C", the whole work must be advertized as "GPL3+C". The licensor must not under any circumstances label or advertize the work released under "(GPL3 and) GPL3+C" as merely "GPL3". This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to "keep intact all notices". Rationale: When introducing a GPL3+conditions project in a news story or even on a project's official page, it's much more excuseable for the publishers to shorten "GPL3 and the following conditions: blah-blah" to "GPL3" than it is to shorten "GPL3+C" to "GPL3". Now, it's obviously impossible for the LEGAL enforcement of this "GPL3+C" labeling to cover wikis, support forums, or publications, BUT, because of its "ergonomics", this "GPL3+C" idea will be way much more "enforceable" at least as a matter of fairplay, reputation, and credibility. After all, nobody can ever find any respectable and innocent excuse to drop the "+C" part, even informally, on a forum! Also, just try to imagine, as an analogy, how weak GPL's copyleft would've become if instead of "LGPL" we'd allowed licensors to advertize their projects as "GPL [with additional permissions, as mentioned in section blah-blah]"! In conclusion, when adding "additional terms", licensors should be forced by GPL3 to NEVER, NOWHERE, advertize their software as being GPL3 without adding something like this: "+C, namely: MPL / CDDL / etc. material[, as_follows: blah-blah / as_detailed_at: blah blah]". AND, in situations in which such long mentions would be unreasonable (like when repeated too often on the same page), THE ONLY VALID available alternative should be that such notices be shortened to "GPL3+C" (or "CGPL3"?). But never should the GPL3 implicitely allow them to simply shorten it to "GPL3" (as the current draft3 sadly does)! If GPL3 won't tell them what's the reasonable way to shorten that, they will be forced to find their own "reasonable" ways. Reasonable and... convenient. Moreover, some licensors will feel INVITED to add further "terms" (restrictions) to their work "just because they can" and because "it will still be GPL3, anyway", while they can still safely advertize it as GPL3, which is "approximately true, anyway" (and, by the way, "just sue us if you think it sounds misleading!"), and then they leave to us the "pleasure" to find out "what kind of" GPL3 their work actually is (yes, there will be more than one [kind of] GPL3!) -- usually only after we get the source code. So it will become very easy to use GPL3 as a buzzword. Well, we don't want such traps! My proposed GPL3 / GPL3+C distinction will "invite" licensors to abandon such deceitful labeling. This distinction is especially important (and hopefully enforceable even legally) in legal/technical (con)texts, on the project's official pages, and in the object code (not only source). Otherwise, not only that the current GPL3 (draft3) would effectively invite them to add restrictions, but GPL3's very definition would be weakened. GPL3 won't mean "GPL3" anymore, but rather something like "open source" (a general expression with no safe and precise meaning). Weakened because of its Section 7 ("additional terms"), unlike GPL2, GPL3 won't give us that feeling of uncompromized protection anymore! :(
noted by vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 07:59 EDT:

Why couldn't I
mark paragraphs?
noted by vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 08:05 EDT:

Could somebody please delete this post? I resent a new version of it with paragraphs, so I need to delete this version without paragraphs, which is unreadable.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2812: The GPL3 vs. GPL3+C distinction


Regarding the text: b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License and any conditions added under section 7.
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p2.s1
Submitted by: vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 08:01 EDT
3 agree: vincentc, jamest, rinaldo
noted by vincentc on 2007-04-03 at 08:01 EDT:



Short version: point 5.[2] b) in GPL3 draft3 is not strong enough!

INSTEAD OF: 5.[2] b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under [GPL3] and any conditions added under section 7. This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to "keep intact all notices",

I SUGGEST: 5.[2] b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released either under "GPL3" or under "GPL3+C" (the latter meaning "GPL3 + any Compatibility conditions added under section 7"). "GPL3+C" also stands for "GPL3 and some GPL3+C material, such as blah-blah", meaning that, even if only a small part of the work is "GPL3+C", the whole work must be advertized as "GPL3+C". The licensor must not under any circumstances label or advertize the work released under "(GPL3 and) GPL3+C" as merely "GPL3". This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to "keep intact all notices".

Rationale: When introducing a GPL3+conditions project in a news story or even on a project's official page, it's much more excuseable for the publishers to shorten "GPL3 and the following conditions: blah-blah" to "GPL3" than it is to shorten "GPL3+C" to "GPL3". Now, it's obviously impossible for the LEGAL enforcement of this "GPL3+C" labeling to cover wikis, support forums, or publications, BUT, because of its "ergonomics", this "GPL3+C" idea will be way much more "enforceable" at least as a matter of fairplay, reputation, and credibility. After all, nobody can ever find any respectable and innocent excuse to drop the "+C" part, even informally, on a forum! Also, just try to imagine, as an analogy, how weak GPL's copyleft would've become if instead of "LGPL" we'd allowed licensors to advertize their projects as "GPL [with additional permissions, as mentioned in section blah-blah]"!

In conclusion, when adding "additional terms", licensors should be forced by GPL3 to NEVER, NOWHERE, advertize their software as being GPL3 without adding something like this: "+C, namely: MPL / CDDL / etc. material[, as_follows: blah-blah / as_detailed_at: blah blah]". AND, in situations in which such long mentions would be unreasonable (like when repeated too often on the same page), THE ONLY VALID available alternative should be that such notices be shortened to "GPL3+C" (or "CGPL3"?). But never should the GPL3 implicitely allow them to simply shorten it to "GPL3" (as the current draft3 sadly does)! If GPL3 won't tell them what's the reasonable way to shorten that, they will be forced to find their own "reasonable" ways. Reasonable and... convenient.

Moreover, some licensors will feel INVITED to add further "terms" (restrictions) to their work "just because they can" and because "it will still be GPL3, anyway", while they can still safely advertize it as GPL3, which is "approximately true, anyway" (and, by the way, "just sue us if you think it sounds misleading!"), and then they leave to us the "pleasure" to find out "what kind of" GPL3 their work actually is (yes, there will be more than one [kind of] GPL3!) -- usually only after we get the source code. So it will become very easy to use GPL3 as a buzzword. Well, we don't want such traps! My proposed GPL3 / GPL3+C distinction will "invite" licensors to abandon such deceitful labeling. This distinction is especially important (and hopefully enforceable even legally) in legal/technical (con)texts, on the project's official pages, and in the object code (not only source). Otherwise, not only that the current GPL3 (draft3) would effectively invite them to add restrictions, but GPL3's very definition would be weakened. GPL3 won't mean "GPL3" anymore, but rather something like "open source" (a general expression with no safe and precise meaning). Weakened because of its Section 7 ("additional terms"), unlike GPL2, GPL3 won't give us that feeling of uncompromized protection anymore! :(


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2813: Why not permit linkage with many?


Regarding the text: Use with the Affero General Public License.
In section: gpl3.affero.0.0
Submitted by: crosbie on 2007-04-03 at 09:32 EDT
2 agree: hozelda, rodom
noted by crosbie on 2007-04-03 at 09:32 EDT:

How about this:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you have permission to link any covered work with a work to which you have a license that is certified as 'GPL linkage compatible' by the FSF, and to convey the resulting combination. The terms of this License will continue to apply to your covered work but will not apply to the work with which it is linked, which will remain governed by the terms of its own license."

The FSF can then list all the umpteen GPL compatible licenses and GPL affinity licenses for which linkage is permitted.

No doubt the list will include AGPL.

noted by schabi on 2007-04-20 at 11:55 EDT:

I strongly disagree with this proposal.

The section should specify which criteria a license must fulfil to be approvable as GPL-Compatible.

It's the same reason why some people removed the "any further version" clause from their code: They don't like the idea of _any_ third party having control of their license.

noted by thomasd on 2007-05-24 at 00:27 EDT:

The prevalent optional application of an "or any later version" clause when implementing GPL V3 covers the possible application of other licenses at a later time. I have confidence that the FSF process will achieve a well considered Affero GPL addressing the 'network services' problem.

However, the valid uncertainties of those identified by the previous child commenter need protecting to ensure maximum usage of the GPL. We should encourage the use of GPL V3 by giving confidence to those who will not trust unknown future terms. GPL V3 should not itself be open ended within the same version. Obviously, simultaneous availability of both GPL V3 and the Affero GPL after a simultaneous discussion of both drafts are needed before those who need a complete known license will have the confidence to adopt GPL V3.

A separate Affero GPL is currently needed by some to easily identify code to avoid using for avoiding obligations for network services use of non-Affero GPL code. I hope that most all of us will eventually agree to protect software users' rights for the network services context as a standard part of some future version of a unitary GPL. Until such time, a distinctive form of the GPL is an acceptable alternative to dividing the community over the network services issue. We should all want maximum usage of GPL V3 now to ensure the greatest availability of free software.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2819: Inadequate Protection Against Abusive Technical Measures


Regarding the text: work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work,
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: thefuchian on 2007-04-03 at 13:21 EDT
0 agree:
noted by thefuchian on 2007-04-03 at 13:21 EDT:

Quoting part of section 3:

"you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work," Aside from a clause that makes every licensee agree to "disclaim any intention to limit operation or modification of the work as a means of enforcing, against the work's users, your or third parties' legal rights to forbid circumvention of technical measures," there is nothing else to actually STOP a person from actually limiting the exercise of rights of end-users under this license, through the actual inclusion of technical measures.

I don't feel that merely making a person agree not forbid circumvention of these measures, or to merely agree not have the intention "to limit operation or modification" of the program is adequate. Why merely limit the power to forbid circumvention of a technical measures? Why not ban any technical measures, altogether, that compromise rights under this license. I recommend adding this clause:

"You agree that you will not include, within any covered work you convey, any technical measures, which are clearly designed to limit, in whole, or in part, the exercise of any right under this license, with respect to the covered work."

I have a written a few programs of my own, and at present, they are licensed under the GNU GPL, version 2. I plan on re-licensing them under version 3, as soon as the official version of the license is published. I DO NOT believe things like product activation, copy or usage limiting or disabling features, or other forms of digital restrictions management should be in any software. I certainly don't want it in my programs and it seems to go against the mission of the FSF and free software as well. Therefore, I strongly recommend a provision that doesn't just prevent circumvention of these types of abusive technical measures, but that forbids, outright, any inclusion of them, into any covered work.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2820: Scope of a covered work


Regarding the text: You must license the entire work, as a whole,
In section: gpl3.distribmod.p3.s1
Submitted by: sklein on 2007-04-03 at 14:50 EDT
0 agree:
noted by sklein on 2007-04-03 at 14:50 EDT:

The earlier sections of this draft, taken as a whole, do not clearly define the scope of a covered work. There was language in GPL v2 stating, in effect, that independent parts of a work can be considered separate works and are not part of the covered work. The guidance on that issue ("intimate communication") migrated to the definition of Corresponding Source. The scope of a covered work remains vague and needs to be clarified.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2821: Supplemental terms for requiring modified version to be marked as such


Regarding the text: prohibiting misrepresentation of the origin of material added by you to a covered work, or requiring that modified versions of such material be marked in reasonable ways as different from the original version
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p5.s1
Submitted by: adhemar on 2007-04-03 at 15:02 EDT
0 agree:
noted by adhemar on 2007-04-03 at 15:02 EDT:

Such prohibition and requirement is already part of this draft of the GPLv3: section 5. Why would one need supplemental terms?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2822: This should include software as a service


Regarding the text: to make sure the software is free for all its users
In section: gpl3.preamble.p1.s2
Submitted by: miked on 2007-04-03 at 15:40 EDT
0 agree:
noted by miked on 2007-04-03 at 15:40 EDT:

People who are interacting with a web service are "users" of the software powering the service, so the freedoms you desire should be extended to them.

However, in your definitions section you state that, "mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying," and therefore the license protections don't apply.

This is exactly what I need to be protected in your license if I'm to use it for my software. If you continue to allow the "software as a service loophole," I will be forced to draft my own license, which is not a good thing.

If you think that the Affero GPL solves this problem, you are wrong. I have written a huge (100,000+ lines) C++ class library that I want to release as free software. It wouldn't qualify under section 2d of the AGPL since it is not a program, and therefore can't offer up its source code via HTTP.

Mike

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-04 at 15:16 EDT:

Perhaps Affero v2 will cover your library then?

See: http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/2007-03-29-gplv3-saas

I suggest 'users' in this sentence means 'users of legitimately received copies of GPL software', rather than 'people who use GPL software even if held on someone else's PC'.

The GPL has never been able to enable users of GPL software to receive copies of source code simply by dint of use, they have always had to first obtain an authorised copy of GPL software (whether as a file or stored within a device they purchase).

Extending access to source code simply by dint of use is a significant change that warrants a separate license, i.e. Affero v2.

noted by tony32 on 2007-04-08 at 06:27 EDT:

I disagree that "users" means "users of legitimately received copies of GPL software". A person "uses" a program by the act of running it, not by having a copy of it on CD or his hard drive. You may run a program on a local computer or across a network, so the distance between the user and the device on which the software resides is totally irrelevant. Neither does ownership or control of the device on which the software resides have an bearing on being a "user" of that software. It would be wrong to say that I am only "using" the software if I own or control the device, but if I hand ownership or control of that device to a third party then even though I may still be "running" the software I am not "using" it.

The current draft contains the following phrases:

- the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users.

- you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)

- you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs

- if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received

- to "propagate" a work means ... except executing it on a computer or making modifications that you do not share

- propagation includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making available to the public and in some countries other activities as well

- to "convey" a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or receive copies, excluding sublicensing

- interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying

- you may not impose a license fee, royalty, or other charge for exercise of rights granted under this License

If you put all these together it is clear that you can do ANYTHING with GPL software except make a profit. The only time you are allowed to charge a fee is when you distribute a copy, and that fee may only cover the costs of physical distribution media, plus post and packaging. If the software is downloaded from a network there is no physical media, therefore no fee is allowed. If the software is not physically distributed to users but made available to them over a network (such as a web application) then again there is no physical distribution media therefore no sort of fee is allowed. This means that you are not allowed to charge a fee to allow others to access your software across a network. You may charge a fee to support the software, but you may not charge a fee for the act of using the software, whether across a network or not. That is what "to make sure the software is free for all its users" means.

If I release my software to the world for free under the GPL I automatically allow anyone to do anything they like with my software EXCEPT make a profit. I think that the new GPL should make this point perfectly clear instead of just hinting at it in various places.

noted by crosbie on 2007-04-08 at 08:37 EDT:

You make a good point regarding the clarity of the GPL's objectives tony32.

I agree that the use of 'user' in 'free for all its users' is prone to misinterpretation as 'free for all its users howsoever they obtain access to the software in order to use it, whether they possess a copy or not'.

I am simply suggesting how I believe the term is intended.

I also agree that the GPL should clearly state whether or not it intends to prevent people from profitting in their sale, authorship, or publication of GPL software. I have suggested this within a comment on the 'Preamble' See comment 2680: http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/rt/readsay.html?filename=gplv3-draft-3&id=2680

Perhaps you could locate all use of the term 'user' in the GPL draft and add comments that seek clarification?


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2823: Correction to My Last Post


Regarding the text: you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work
In section: gpl3.drm.p1.s1
Submitted by: thefuchian on 2007-04-03 at 17:06 EDT
0 agree:
noted by thefuchian on 2007-04-03 at 17:06 EDT:

I apologize, there was a mistake in the very last sentence of my last post. In that sentence, I actually meant to say:

I strongly recommend a provision that doesn't just forbid licensees from preventing other people from circumventing these types of abusive technical measures, but one that also forbids, outright, ANY inclusion of such abusive technical measures, into any covered work.

noted by gerv on 2007-04-05 at 12:02 EDT:

Such a clause would be a restriction on modification, which goes against the four freedoms.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2827: Maybe move to additional terms?


Regarding the text: Network access may be denied when the modification itself materially and adversely affects the operation of the network or violates the rules and protocols for communication across the network.
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p10.s2
Submitted by: locutas on 2007-04-04 at 05:34 EDT
0 agree:
noted by locutas on 2007-04-04 at 05:34 EDT:

This provision seems very specific to me. It looks as though the drafters have aimed it at a very few specific instances (DRM and remote attestation), which does not have wide applications, particularly in the free world. Given that, I wonder if we could move this into the list of additional terms, where authors of software that runs in circumstance where this come us as an issue could specify the appropriate conditions.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2828: The AGPL wouldn't protect my software


Regarding the text: Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s1
Submitted by: miked on 2007-04-04 at 10:39 EDT
0 agree:
noted by miked on 2007-04-04 at 10:39 EDT:

The current AGPL is not adequate to protect developers from the "software as a service loophole." According to section 2d the work must be a program that is designed to be accessed over a network and which is able to download its source code to the user.

My software would not apply since it is a C++ class library and not a program. Using my software would make it easy to develop a web application, and that is one of its goals, but it itself is just a collection of classes. In version 2 of the AGPL, I urge you to require the service provider to offer the source code, not the "program" itself.

Mike


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2829: Can I add Apache license compatibility as an 'additional premission'?


Regarding the text: All other non-permissive additional terms are considered "further restrictions" within the meaning of section 10.
In section: gpl3.licensecompat.p7.s1
Submitted by: samizdat on 2007-04-04 at 12:52 EDT
0 agree:
noted by samizdat on 2007-04-04 at 12:52 EDT:

Does the 'additional permission' option give me, as a user of the license, the ability to add language similar Section 13 that says "notwithstanding anything else in this license, you may link with a work licensed under the Apache License?" Or does the incompatible downstream patent licensing restriction in the Apache license that is causing the current Apache license to be GPL-incompatible render such an 'additional permission' ineffective? I understand this 'additional permission' would not make other people's GPL'ed code Apache-compatible (unless they also added such a permission), but suppose I must link my own code with apache.org's code -- but I do not need to make the derived work compatible with other GPL'ed code. Obviously this is much less satisfactory than having Apache be a GPLv3-compatible license, but is it effective at all as a work-around until that is achieved?

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2830: Affero v2 compatibility with GPLv3


Regarding the text: which will remain governed by the Affero General Public License
In section: gpl3.affero.p0.s2
Submitted by: chemaper on 2007-04-04 at 13:16 EDT
0 agree:
noted by chemaper on 2007-04-04 at 13:16 EDT:

Web hole is open with this clause if Affero v2 includes a reciprocal clause that allow linking the code with GPLv3, with each part under its respective license. People could extend the Affero program using subroutines under GPLv3 license and don't show/distribute them. This is the same problem with web hole than MPL with proprietary code: MPL allow linking with proprietary code and for this reason its effectiveness copyleft is void.

Web hole will be limited if AfferoV2 dose not allow to link with GPLv3 and this requires a explicit permission from copyright folder. In this case, copyrigth holder of a AfferoV2 could use a component under GPLv3 including a explicit clause that allows linking with this library if not alter the interface and the GPLv3 component is not altered to modify internal structures of the AfferoV2 program.


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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2831: why this new limitation ?!


Regarding the text: who possesses the object code
In section: gpl3.nonsource.p2.s1
Submitted by: mnalis on 2007-04-04 at 14:39 EDT
0 agree:
noted by mnalis on 2007-04-04 at 14:39 EDT:

It is conceivable that I might want the source code exactly because I want to rebuild the object code that has become damaged or lost. With this limitation (which does not exist in GPLv2) one would lose all the rights he had in GPLv2.

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# DISABLES ADDITIONAL ACTIONS FOR DRAFTERS

Comment 2832: Multimedia


Regarding the text: other domains
In section: