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[gNewSense-users] "under the GPL" vs. GPLv2 or later

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: [gNewSense-users] "under the GPL" vs. GPLv2 or later
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2008 10:50:11 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I still am wondering about past
discussions on license versions.  In reaction to the ambiguity of
something like "under the GPL", we feel the need to email the author for
clarification.  However, with something like "GPLv2 or later", there
*also* is ambiguity.  After all, "under the GPL" could mean *at least*
v1, v2, or v3, but "GPLv2 or later" could mean *at least* v2 or v3.
That is, there is *still* ambiguity, so I do not see the logic in having
to resolve one ambiguity but not having to resolve the other.  Kevin
brought up the point that in failing to seek clarification, we
ultimately might even be breaking the law in some places.

When Linux was first put under the GPL in 1992, the current version of
the GPL was already v2, so I would argue that it is hard to see what
prospect v1 could ever have.  You still see it explicitly mentioned here
and there, but clearly v3 is the future.  Thus, it really comes down to
v2 vs. v3, so *for us* how different is "GPLv2 or later" vs. "under the
GPL"?  Should we not also be asking authors about what they mean by
"GPLv2 or later"?  More generally, should we not also apply the same
policy--whatever it turns out to be--to *all* of the other software
whose freedom we check?

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