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Re: Can a recipients rights under GNU GPL be revoked?


Ben Finney wrote:
> > In other words: Any copyright holder can *say* they wish to
> > retroactively revoke the GNU GPL to some party.

Well, everybody is free to express wishes. But a granted license with no
applicable revocation clause is irrevocable.

The copyright holders alltogether are entitled to grant any license
they can agree on (and that is not illegal or legally void).
E.g. they can grant non-GPL licenses for their GPLed software.

What they cannot do is to revoke granted GPL on published versions.

rhkramer@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I believe that the 
> original author of a package could do something like create further 
> modifications to the code and create a non-free version of the code.

An example is the cdrecord-wodim fork. The copyright holders did not
release newer versions of cdrecord under GPL. So some concerned Debian
developers used an earlier GPLed version as base of their fork named

> Assuming that is correct, people using (or basing modifications) on the 
> (presumably) older free version could continue to use and develop based on 
> that, but would not have rights to that new non-free version.

I agree and practical examples show that we are not alone. 

The copyright of the original authors remains, so that the forkers cannot
change the old license until they replaced all copyrightable imaterial of
the original authors.

Have a nice day :)