Subject: Re: brands, trademarks, and the GPL
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 07:39:23 +0200

On Tue, Sep 28, 1999 at 06:54:39PM -0700, L. Peter Deutsch wrote:
> > What specifically are you seeking to avoid: Ghostscript being licensed
> > under terms other than GNU GPL v.2, or not being able to license
> > Ghostscript under GNU GPL v.2?
> The former, given that, as you point out, I would have no control over those
> terms other than moral suasion.
> Since I own the copyright, I can license Ghostscript under whatever terms I
> want: whatever FSF does, they can't deprive me of the right to license under
> GPL v.2.  The authority of the GPL derives from copyright law and the
> copyright holder, not from FSF.

What is the worry ?

If you keep on developing Ghostscript, you can switch to whatever new
license you care with each new version.

I you don't, it may be that you no longer care, and may as well want
to leave decisions to some organization committed to evolve the
license to adapt to the need of open source community. But the
decision is to be made on your last version.

Do you seek to bind possible ghostscript contributors who would make
significant contributions before you lose interest yourself, and
gather enough follower to get some control ?

You have to think in the future:
 - either you still care when GPL-v3 comes out, and you can do something
   about it (if you dislike it), since you still develop.
 - or at the time, you are no longer caring, and leave the proper decisions
   to others (a choice that you have to make now, since you will no longer
 - or you prefer to block any future evolution with your present decision,
   even though you will no longer care, though the landscape may change.


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