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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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