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Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV question no licence or author

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV question no licence or author
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2008 17:47:41 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

>> It seems that we do *not* have to ask the author at all, since he has
>> already granted us the choice(*), and we choose GPLv2 to be compatible
>> with the Torvald's choice for the larger work.  Now if we wanted to
>> distribute such a file as GPLv3, then I would ask the author, because we
>> can only assume that he had the Linux kernel in mind when he used that
>> language.
> Is this going to be our official practice? If so, we should change the
> DocumentingYourWork site and maybe add it as an option in the kfv.el
> program.

I think trying to contact the author about a file may be a fine idea for
other reasons--it's just not *necessary* for the "under the GPL" issue.
Thus, our official practice might encourage it, but why should it be
required?  We will see what it means for kfv.el and other scripts.
Right now, I am in the middle of a rather important, unrelated update to

With kfv.el now, I simply choose "GPLv2", but since kfv.el *also*
includes the license text by default in its output, the reader of the
output has enough raw data to work with, I think.  OTOH, it might be a
good practice to have our "under the GPL" explanation on a web page
(perhaps as a FAQ of some kind) and just automatically include a link to
that.  That would certainly improve the web user's experience, so I am
tempted to add it to kfv.el.

Rethinking the license issue, I now think that it is not really the
author *directly* granting *us* something.  What happens is that anyone
contributing to the Linux kernel "under the GPL" grants rights to a
distributor, namely Linus Torvalds.  Torvalds in turn distributes it to
the world.  Since Torvalds chooses GPLv2 only, our rights are narrowed
by this *chain* of distribution.  We can only choose GPLv2.  Please
correct me if I am missing something here.

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