GPLv3 and anonymous changes

Florian Weimer fw at
Thu Jun 7 15:17:30 UTC 2007

* Ciaran O'Riordan:

> 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.

Yeah, I should have been more precise.  The replacement actually has
got a good chance of being adhered to in practice, unlike the GPLv2
requirement.  This is definitely a good thing.

> 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.


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