Re: GPL Cooperation Commitment variations
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I'm a little late to this discussion, but I think I should weigh in. To
me this discussion is very odd, at least from the context of the Kernel
Enforcement Statement. I don't think it makes any sense to encode the
KES in an SPDX tag, and I am leaning in the same direction on the GPLCC.
In fact, I think it is actively harmful to do this.
When I proposed and drafted first version of the KES, the intent was to
provide a body of work that effectively says "We think the GPL means
/this/". It was right in the middle of when many of us knew of the
McHardy lawsuits that presented unorthodox interpretations of the GPL,
but none of us could talk about it in public. There was (perhaps oddly)
little in the way of material that any of us could point at to argue
that we generally agree on what the GPL means, and more importantly,
that the interpretations and enforcement activity being presented in
court are outside the widely accepted interpretation.
The KES is a document that can be shown to companies and individuals
that can give them confidence that a GPL licensed project is safe and
well understood. Hopefully it is a document that will be considered by a
court when challenging an infringement action that does not line up with
the interpretation agreed by a large body of the community.
(Insert here comment about I am not a lawyer, followed by dodgy legal
advice -- I approached this problem from the point of view of a
community member, and I have to believe that when a large group of the
community share a common understanding then surely that understanding
carries some weight. Those of you with law degrees can comment on how
naïve I'm being)
The KES was not intended to change the interpretation of the GPL. The
GPLv2 is exactly the same license as it always was. What the KES does,
or attempts to do, is claim that what the GPL /means/ is well
understood, and that it has always meant that. The last bit is really
important. McHardy, or anybody else, doesn't get to claim that the GPL
on their code is interpreted differently than the GPL on the code I've
I think putting the KES or GPLCC into a SPDX tag undermines that exact
arguement. By encoding them into SPDX tags, it seems to argue that there
are two different classes of GPL. Vanilla GPL, and Super Special Blessed
GPL when the project has adopted the KES or GPLCC. This is actively
harmful to solving the problem the KES and GPLCC are trying to solve.
Without a really strong use case for how KES and GPLCC tags would be
used, I strongly oppose both of them.
I'll leave aside the arguements about logistics of adding a new tag to
the kernel flags, or about not every contributor to the kernel has
signed the KES. James and Jilayne have argued those well and I don't
need to rehash those arguments.
On 08/12/2018 06:51, Richard Fontana wrote:
I've thought further about the issue of whether GPLCC, as a possible