GPLv3 and anonymous changes

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at
Thu Jun 7 15:12:12 UTC 2007

Florian Weimer <fw at> writes:
> I'm glad to see that one of the most-violated clauses of the GPLv2 is
> gone, namely:
>     a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
>     stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
> Great, thanks.  But one ambiguity in version 2 still remains: are
> anonymous changes allowed, or must the authors and copyright holders
> be identified?

The replacement text is:

     a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it,
     and giving a relevant date.

So they've removed the requirement that "the modified files" contain notices
that they've been changed, and have replaced this with a more relaxed
requirement that "the work" has to contain such notices.

It looks like anonymous changes are not allowed.  If they were, the licence
should use the words "stating that it was modified", rather than saying
"that you modified", but you're right that this isn't clear, so I've added a
comment to the draft about this.

CiarĂ¡n O'Riordan __________________ \ _________ \  GPLv3 and other work supported by \   Fellowship:

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