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    SubjectRe: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders


    Jeff V. Merkey wrote:
    >
    >>> 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

    Is it possible to have Linux be mostly GPL3 with parts of it GPL2? Or is
    that just too insane to deal with?

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