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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: Daniel Stenberg <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 10:41:54 +0200 (CEST)

On Tue, 11 Sep 2007, q wrote:

> Recently the IRC channel has been rather full of discussion around the
> current licensing of Rockbox (GPLV2 is how most people interpret it, but it
> *is* a little unclear)

Without really taking a stand, I want to clarify what I think of the "or
later" situation. I mean, can we bump the license to GPLv3 without the
expressed consent of all copyright holders?

Here's my reasoning:

1. Our source headers do note state any specific GPL version, nor do they say
    "v2 or later".

2. Our source headers specificly says they are released under the GPL as
    described in the COPYING file.

3. The COPYING file says explicitly on line 2 that it is the GPLv2 (and for
    your information, this is how I've interpreted our license situation).

Now I was pointed out the chapter 9 of the GPL, which is in the COPYING file.
Line 246 says: "If the Program does not specify a version number of this
License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software

So, what is "the Program" ? In my view we point out a file that explicitly
says v2, but this clearly is not how everyone sees this. Lots of people now
consider this phrasing in chapter 9 to be the text that basically implies "v2
or later".

(I am not a lawyer.)

  Daniel Stenberg -- --
Received on 2007-09-11

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