Jerry James writes:
While I think I understand the issues around GPLv2 versus GPLv3 for
XEmacs core, the corresponding issues with the packages are not so
clear to me. We have 3 packages in CVS right now that carry GPLv3
licenses: viper, ediff, and verilog-mode. Is that okay?
No. Besides what Steve Youngs mentioned (which I think is bogus, but
the FSF has free WMDs and we'd have to pay for ours), the package
infrastructure is GPLv2, and that's an open-and-shut case. The whole
package tree (as a collective work) must be license compatible with
each of the works in the collection, so if there are any GPLv3
packages, the whole thing must be GPLv3.
The committers of those packages should be informed, and we should
revert to the latest working GPLv2 versions. I don't think we need to
actually remove the GPLv3 code, but we should be prepared for such a
demand from the FSF and/or the authors.
I think we could probably convert the packages wholesale to GPLv3 even
if XEmacs itself is still GPLv2. We simply invite bug reports if they
don't work with GNU Emacs, and declare they're not part of (GPLv2)
XEmacs, but a separately maintained work. RMS and FSF would still
object, and if they decide to take us to court, we'd have to fold
unless somebody were willing to represent us pro bono. We'd also have
problems doing maintenance on them for XEmacs, I suspect. Ie, changes
in them to make them work better with GPLv2 XEmacs would undoubtedly
get a claim that these aren't separate works, but rather derivative of
We also need to coordinate the whole thing with SXEmacs.
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