POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.object-collection : License reassessment and other matters : Re: License reassessment and other matters Server Time
2 Jun 2023 17:01:57 EDT (-0400)
  Re: License reassessment and other matters  
From: Cousin Ricky
Date: 31 May 2021 18:29:36
Message: <60b56350$1@news.povray.org>
On 2021-05-10 6:50 PM (-4), Cousin Ricky wrote:
> The LGPL has been updated to version 3.0.  Should we switch to that as a
> collection?  Should we leave it up to the author of the module?
> The one liner required by the old Object Collection upload software does
> not include the LGPL version.  This seems potentially problematic.  A
> statement to the effect of "2.1 or later" or "3.0 or later" seems
> appropriate.  Or should we keep the required one liner as is, and leave
> it up to the author of the module to specify an LGPL version on a
> separate line of SDL comment?
> Can any lawyer among us explain in plain English the differences between
> v2.1 and v3.0?

I've been reading more commentary on the LGPL 3 vs. 2.1, well, as much
as a Web search can get you on such a narrow topic.  It seems that the
main rationale for the GPL/LGPL 3 was to prevent TiVo from de facto
mooting the right to modify its code.  In a nutshell, you are legally
permitted to modify TiVo's software, but then it will no longer work on
TiVo's hardware.

Richard Stallman, who created the GPL/LGPL as well as some of the
software utilized by TiVo, considers TiVo's action a violation of the
spirit of the GPL.  Linus Torvalds, who also wrote some of software the
utilized by TiVo says it's not his call.  Stallman acknowledged that
Torvalds was legally correct, and wrote GPL 3 to close that loophole.
The Linux kernel remains under GPL 2 with no license upgrade provision,
so there!

Other considerations were expanding license compatibility and preventing
patent restrictions.

Unless one of you is an attorney and sees weaknesses in the LGPL 2.1
that are relevant to SDL contributions, I see no compelling reason to
upgrade the license.  If 2.0 is good enough for Linus, then 2.1 is good
enough for me.  But I also see no reason to prevent a contributor from
writing "or later" into their SDL comments, though IANAL and I don't
know if "or later" clause would affect the legal interoperability of the
Collection in any way that would matter to a POV-Ray user.

However, now that there is at least one Object Collection repo (Le
Forgeron's) that is not on an official POV-Ray server--and is therefore
separated from the website explications and README files--I think it
would be *prudent* to write the LGPL version, the LGPL URL, and the
warranty disclaimer directly into all SDL files submitted to the Collection.

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