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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: DervishD <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 19:28:49 +0200

    Hi Ray :)

 * Ray Lambert <> dixit:
> First, as for my code, I'm happy releasing it under any version of the
> GPL and I actually encourage the group to move to GPLv3.

    I prefer GPLv2, but:

    - I don't have any code contributed to RockBox, and...
    - The DRM and patent clauses *probably* won't do any harm to the
project in the future (although I'm against DRM and patents...)

> I would recommend that, upon making this move, we require that all
> submitters henceforth explicitly license under "GPLv3 or later"

    What's wrong with "GPLv3", without the "or later". If you include
the "or later", you're implicitly accepting any future GPL, no matter
its terms. Of course, if you don't like some future GPL, then you can
relicense the code... if you're the copyright holder. Given that there
are many copyright holders here, taking the risk of a future GPL may be
a problem.

    OK, I admit that probably the future GPL's will be better and not
worse than the GPLv3, but who know? I haven't switched my projects to
GPLv3 (long story) and I had a hard time changing my published code to
it said "GPLv2 only" and not "GPLv2 or later".

    The "or later" is a loose end, IMHO, because you are relicensing
automagically your code as soon as the FSF publishes a new GPL, whose
contents you may or may not approve (I can't see the future...).

    The GPLv3 *MAY* give problems if some enterprise wants to use
RockBox as their default firmware and contribute back with money,
support or whatever. OK, I hate TiVO-ization, too, and to me it's
plainly immoral, but some enterprise may be bound by patents and the
they won't use/support RockBox if GPLv3'ed for fear.

    It's a very hard job to convince an enterprise to use GPLv2 software
(they're afraid!), so just imagine if they read the license and it has
words like "DRM" or "patent"-near-"grant". They won't probably be
affected, but fear is a powerful tool...

    This said, I pretty doubt any enterprise want to adopt RockBox as
its default firmware. PMP makers like to make their own firmware in
order to hide technical details. I see this pretty stupid (e.g., iAudio,
whose fw stinks badly), but enterprises are usually driven by stupids,
that is the key to success :(((

    Just my 0,02EUR ;)

    Raúl Núñez de Arenas Coronado

Linux Registered User 88736 |
It's my PC and I'll cry if I want to... RAmen!
We are waiting for 13 Feb 2009 23:31:30 +0000 ...
Received on 2007-09-11

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