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




On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 12:55:15PM +0000, mick crane wrote:

[...]

> What I intended to mean was if somebody wants to try to alter
> (rescind) the license

You'd have to explain what you mean by "rescind" here: the license
to the current version or the one to the future versions. Details
would depend on the license's text. GPLV3 is pretty explicit on
that:

  2. Basic Permissions.

  All rights granted under this License are granted for the term
  of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the
  stated conditions are met.

Any questions?

> they would have to get the agreement of all the previous authors
> whose work, released under the GPL, they used in their code.

This is a whole other kettle of fish, and you shouldn't mix it with
the above -- this will result in impenetrable fog.

This concerns the case when a project wants to change the license:
suppose it is "GPLV2 only" and the project leaders would like to
relicense it to "GPLV3". This would run against the "GPLV2 only"
terms, so it is only possible if /all copyright holders/ agree.

In some cases it's easy (as when there's just one copyright holder)
in others (prominent example: the Linux kernel) each contributor
retains the copyright to her own contribution... a change is
practically impossible. But some (admittedly smaller at that time)
projects have managed to pull that off [1].

The normal case is that when the original authors/company would
like to do something like that, they expect a CLA ("Contributor's
licence agreement") from their contributors (but that has to be
done in advance, of course).

> Which I can't see happening.

Sometimes it happens (see OSM example below)

Cheers

[1] https://blog.openstreetmap.org/tag/license-change/
-- t

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