Questions / Concepts GPL. Was: Re: GPL License with clause for Web use?

Sam Liddicott sam at
Thu Nov 22 10:09:51 UTC 2007

* Shane Martin Coughlan wrote, On 21/11/07 20:14:
> Suggestion:
> How about we make a list of concerns that people have and I email Brett
> Smith with them?  That way we consolidate the concerns into one
> submission and potentially speed up the process of obtaining answers.
> MJ, Sam, perhaps you could coordinate the list of questions.
Thanks for this good suggestion.

I volunteer to coordinate a list of questions or points that ought to be
expressed on a GPL FAQ or informational page.

Submitters may add comments on:

or may email me directly or reply to this thread with the subject line
beginning: Questions / Concepts GPL
mailto:sam at

In coordinating such comments I may add links to them to the page at

My personal proposal is the creation of a list of implications of
choosing a specific license to help prospective licensors choose (or
avoid) a license according to their requirements.

My proposed implication is:

The GPL is widely considered a share-alike license where licensors have
understood that the same terms will propagate throughout the
distribution chain.

With the GPL3 this is not true: at some time in the distribution chain,
derived works may have certain additional restrictions added, thus
licensing the combined work under the AGPL such that when an original
contributor receives the derived work with enhancements to his own work,
he may not distribute any combination of his work with any of those
enhancements unless he does so with the additional restrictions of the

If the licensor finds this disparity objectionable then he may prefer to
use the GPL2.

I believe that this implication is not widely understood and because
ealier versions of the GPL are widely known to prohibit the addition of
extra restrictions, this implication is also unexpected.

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