Subject: Re: When to evaluate dual licenses (was: license categories, was: I'm not supposed to use the ECL v2?)
From: "Ben Tilly" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 15:17:53 -0800

On Dec 3, 2007 2:58 PM, Wilson, Andrew <> wrote:
> Ben Tilly wrote:
> > That is indeed where we part ways.  Because my understanding says
> > copyright is between the copyright owner and recipient.  And a
> > copyright license is permission from the copyright holder to the
> > recipient.  The distributer is irrelevant.  (Unless there are special
> > contracts involved, which there aren't in the case of the GPL.)
> This is indeed the crux of the argument.  For GPL licenses with
> additional permissions, or indeed for the general case of dual
> licensing, the distributor is far from irrelevant.  The
> distributor may remove permissions.  The distributor may choose
> which license of the two granted by the original developer applies
> to code as-distributed.  In fact, there are situations where a
> distributor *must* choose which license applies, and I believe
> you trigger such a situation in the scenario under discussion
> (when you want to release modifications to V2-or-later base
> code under V3, you must choose V3).

Please quote the section from the GPL v3 that, in your opinion,
requires someone who is distributing GPL v2 or later code under GPL v3
to remove the text "GPL v2 or later" and replace it with "GPL v3".

I'm also having trouble seeing how the distributer is able to stop one
third party (the copyright holder) from giving permissions to another
third party (the recipient).  I admit to not being a lawyer, but it
still seems to me to be common sense that the distributer is not part
of that interaction.  If the copyright holder has said they will not
sue anyone for using their copyrighted material under the GPL v2 or
later, then the copyright holder is not going to decide to sue you for
using it under the GPL v2 just because you happened to get the code
from someone using the permission grant of the GPL v3.

Or if you think both of those are OK, then tell me what section says
that if I receive code with the GPL v3 and some set of additional
permissions, the GPL restricts me from choosing (entirely at my
option) to grant all, none, or some of those additional permissions on
my modification.

If you think all of that is OK, then I don't see where the disagreement is.

> Anyone with a fresh angle on this discussion, please weigh in.

Please do.  Because when a smart person (namely Andrew) doesn't get
what seems to me to be common sense, then either I'm not saying it
well or else I'm missing something.  No matter how convinced I feel at
the moment, either is possible so I'd like this resolved one way or
the other.