[Mimedefang] GPLv3

Jeff Rife mimedefang at nabs.net
Sat Jun 30 10:15:21 EDT 2007

On 29 Jun 2007 at 21:28, David F. Skoll wrote:

> MIMEDefang is currently licensed under the GPL v2 (only).  I am
> considering making the next release GPL v3; I'm trying to absorb
> the GPL3 text now.
> Any comments/concerns/questions/objections?

The biggest thing to figure out (and I'm afraid only a laywer could 
follow the GPL3 enough to know the answer) is if using GPL3 on 
MIMEDefang would essentially require you to give away CanIt with no 
limitations on its use.  Of course, I'm assuming you use at least some 
of the MIMEDefang code in CanIt.

The thrust of GPL3 is supposed to be that you can't take GPL3 code from 
somebody else, use it, modify it, etc., and then be slapped upside the 
head with a patent lawsuit.  The intent was to prevent companies from 
distributing "freely copyable" code that was covered by one of their 
own patents, and then waiting for the best time to sue.  Whether the 
GPL3 accomplishes this goal is, again, unknown without a lawyer handy.

But, I could see how there might be something in there that has an 
intent based on patents for the specific code that was released under 
GPL3, but ends up being overly broad to the point that anything with 
any bit of that GPL3 code *and* any other patents you may have are now 
not protected from infringement.

Honestly, if you don't have any software patents and don't forsee 
anyone with patents using a modified version of MIMEDefang as their own 
product and including patented code, then staying at GPL2 won't harm 
your business at all.  Moving to GPL3 will only protect against the 
second issue, and *only* for a patent-predator company...i.e., one that 
essentially distributes patent-encumbered code with intent trap at the 
most opportune moment.

Jeff Rife |  
          | http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/Dilbert/SalesToFriends.gif 

More information about the MIMEDefang mailing list