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Re: [Help-gsl] problems raised by GPL v3 in GNU GLS

From: Brian Gough
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] problems raised by GPL v3 in GNU GLS
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2008 14:43:07 +0000
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.14.0 (Africa) Emacs/22.1 Mule/5.0 (SAKAKI)

At Wed, 2 Jan 2008 23:37:54 -0200,
Pablo De Napoli wrote:
> For project using gnu gsl (that mostly are related to mathematics or
>  numerical analysis), the issues that GPL v3 was designed to address
> seem to be irrelevant. What has to do gsl with DRM ?
> So I see that change in the licence can create legal troubles to
> free software projects without any protection for them. Is it
> reasonable to use GPL v3 for all projects, regardless of the legal
> incompatibilities this might create?
> I don't know if that is possible, but I would suggest reconsider
> relicencing GNU GSL under GPL v2 or any later version. This would
> avoid a lot of troubles to people developing free software for
> mathematics.


Thanks for your email.  Let me say first that I'm not in a position to
make changes to the license of GSL from GPLv3 (it's a GNU project

Regardless of the details of this specific case, licenses do need to
be updated to respond to new threats, so it's important to always use
the wording "or any later version" as given in the GPL.

Apart from DRM, GPLv3 does contain some other major changes such as
the updated patent clause to prevent Microsoft-Novell type deals, and
internationalisation of the license to make it valid outside the USA.

If some external projects have restricted themselves to an old version
of the license, that's unfortunate.  The best course of action is to
contact the developers and ask them to add "or any later version" to
their copyright notice.

best regards,

Brian Gough

GNU Scientific Library -

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