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    SubjectRe: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders

    >> Makes me wonder if something should be done to address the issue of
    >> dead copyright holders. Not sure what but maybe there should be a
    >> clause in GPL3 addressing that?
    >
    >
    >
    > Their heirs would have two years to bring a cause of action if they
    > object. Proper notice could be served by posting a notice on the
    > internet at kernel.org
    > that their code is being redistributed under GPL3. I note that the
    > general notice in the code states "GPL2 or any later version of the
    > license". Given this
    > language, it is highly likely the remaining code can proceed under a
    > new license without incident since it can be assumed they already
    > agreed by
    > having this general notice posted at kernel.org for many years. I
    > think the point is moot. Legally, there is exposure if their
    > successors or owners
    > of their estates bring action. Those outside the US would of course
    > be subject to the laws of their jurisdiction. An attorney at FSF
    > needs to review their
    > code and render an opinion, but I think it will not be a problem.
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >>
    NOTE: Under the Doctrine of Esstopel, if you proceed on this basis and
    two years pass without their heirs bringing an action of some sort, then
    under this
    legal doctrine, the rights to use their code under GPLv3 would in all
    probability pass consitutional muster. Again, someone needs to run this
    by an attorney at the FSF and get a formal legal opinion rendered. The
    Doctrine of Esstopel basically says that if you use something for some
    period of time, and no one
    objects, then you obtain certain rights to use it permenantly. Not
    wanting to disrespect the wishes of the dead, I would attempt to contact
    the successors of
    their estates in any event and obtain permission, and if not possible,
    then proceed.

    Jeff
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