[lkml]   [2017]   [Nov]   [21]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [patch V2 02/11] LICENSES: Add the GPL 2.0 license
On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 2:57 PM, Philippe Ombredanne
<> wrote:
> Alan, Linus,
> On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 4:31 PM, Alan Cox <> wrote:
>> On Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:14:00 -0800
>> Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
>>> You may be confusing things because of a newer version.
>>> On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Charlemagne Lasse
>>> <> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > That should be "GNU Lesser General Public" and not "GNU Library General Public"
>>> That's just FSF revisionism.
> Linus:
> Revisionism it is indeed! Please see the fun and twisted tale of the
> five official GPL texts below.
>>> It used to be called "Library" over "Lesser", in the original GPL2.
>>> I suspect your other issues are similar "there's been different
>>> versions over time" things. the address being one of them.
>>> We've actually taken some of the FSF updates over the years ("19yy" ->
>>> "<year>", and the address change) but the main COPYING file still
>>> calls the LGPL the "GNU Library General Public License".
>>> I refuse to change the original copyright wording due to idiotic
>>> internal FSF politics that tried to change history.
>> Do we have any files which had the later LGPL text attached to them - if
>> so then they should be keeping that header.
>> Which raises another question. If there are multiple GPL 2.0 texts which
>> are *supposedly* legally identical but this has never been tested in law
>> -that implies SPDX is wrong in tagging them identically in case they turn
>> out not to be...
> Alan:
> This last comment rings as a red herring to me. There are many minute
> variations of the GPL around and these are unlikely relevant.
> No sane judge would consider any of these variations material IMHO and
> should fine and throw in jail for contempt anyone arguing that this is
> important.
> Now, on the fun side, I discovered a while back through fixing a bug
> in scancode-toolkit that there are FIVE versions of the official GPL
> 2.0 texts published by the FSF over the years. I am ashamed that I end
> up doing this research and I would never thought I would need to
> rummage through this pile.... but that came up while reviewing kernel
> license scans and a few other scans to support Thomas and Greg
> licensing clarification efforts.
> Shocking, isn't it?
> Let me call these GPL versions the GPL-2.0.0, GPL-2.0.1, GPL-2.0.2,
> GPL-2.0.3 and GPL-2.0.4 :D
> (but please this one time only!, let's forget about these afterwards)
> GPL-2.0.4 v5. The most recent one was published after the GPL 3.0
> publication [1] [2]. It refers to the `Franklin Street` address and to
> the `GNU Lesser General Public License` top and bottom
> GPL-2.0.3 v4. Slightly after the HTML publication of the new address
> in v3, the address was changed in the text version [3]: It refers to
> the `Franklin Street` address and to the `GNU Library General Public
> License` top and bottom.
> GPL-2.0.2 v3. The previous one in force before the publication of the
> GPL 3.0 came about the time of the FSF office move on May 1, 2005 to
> Franklin Street [4] In this HTML version, it refers to the `Franklin
> St` address and uses the `GNU Library General Public License` at the
> top and `GNU Lesser General Public License` at the bottom with a
> conflicted opinion on which one of the LGPL 2 or 2.1 version to use.
> GPL-2.0.1 v2. Around December 2003, a variation was published [5]. It
> also predates the move to Franklin and it refers to the `Temple Place`
> address and the `GNU Library General Public License` at the top and
> `GNU Lesser General Public License` at the bottom. Still split on
> confused about which LGPL version to recommend.
> GPL-2.0.1 v1. The one true and only original GPL 2.0.... the oldest
> cached version [6] predates the move and it refers to the `Temple
> Place` address and the `GNU Library General Public License`
> throughout.
> FWIW, I made sure I have all these texts as scancode detection rules
> so I would get 100% exact hash matches on these oddities.
> Now you will surely agree with me that the sole sane conclusion of
> studying this mess is that there must some unhappy ghost that
> triggered these text changes when the FSF moved from Temple Place to
> Franklin Street in protest for the move. The only other possible
> explanation I could fathom would be a bug in their teletype [7].
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
> [7]

Now in earnest here is the situation: There is NO trustworthy version
of an official GPL 2.0 text: the FSF official texts are all fubar (if
only in small and subtle ways). The FSF texts should be authoritative,
but then which one? they published more GPL 2.0 versions than most. So
we would be hard pressed to blame SPDX or the OSI for having their own
minor variant.

Then in digging further, I found the ONE true original GPL with a file
time stamp on June 2 1991, 01:50 (AM?, PM? unknown time zone?) ! in
an old GCC archive.

For the posterity and everyone's enjoyment I have built a git history
of GPL 2.0 Mark1 to Mark6


Each commit message has the link to the original page or
archive download.

For simplified diffs, the allvers/ dir contains all the versions of the texts.

Acks and reviews are welcomed, but not really.

I also added a shorter history of the Linux COPYING text. The first
version in Linus's git tree is based on the very fine and well tuned
GPL 2 Mark4, the first fully Y2K compliant version of the GPL 2, as
you can see from the diffs with the former Mark3: that was dangerously
stuck in the last century.

The current version in is based on a rare GPL 2.0 Mark5.1 aka
"Franklin St", that I do not have in my history yet and spells
"Franklin St." rather than "Franklin Street."
Therefore there is likely another GPL 2.0 version between Mark4 and
Mark5 that I have yet to find and may not have been caught by the spiders. Here help and patches welcomed: this is likely
an important missing link.

I am rather sad to see that you never adopted the GPL 2.0 Mark6 ;)
aka. the "final frontier" or "graveyard" release that came after the
GPL 3 launch and when the GPL 2.0 was made an "old" license: this
latest version is the finest ever published and I am sure we are all
missing out something worthy!

I look forward to the future publication of Mark7 and all the fine GPL
2.0 versions to come that we should all long for.

Philippe Ombredanne aka. the unwelcomed GPL archeologist

 \ /
  Last update: 2017-11-21 18:56    [W:0.092 / U:0.940 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site