Talk:GNU General Public License

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for GNU General Public License:
  • Mention Anti-copyright AKA Kopimi (complete or partial opposition to copyright) as another view point in addressing the woes of copyright. Kopimi and GNU both attempt to offer two very different stances on dealing with copyright; a fair comparison of the two is important for a more complete view on the issue of copyright. Examples of differences and similarities include: GNU- predominately developer side systematic approach , Kopimi- ideological approach predominately used through user side advocacy <Registratum> 09:52, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

GNU/Linux or linux[edit]

I am a strong beliver one should use the language that is used in the context of the article subject, and which are commonly used by the cited sources in the article. Unsupriseingly, WP:Article titles#Treatment of alternative names agree with this in the section Treatment of alternative names by stateing: ... There is also no reason why alternative names cannot be used in article text, in contexts where they are more appropriate than the name used as the title of the article. Linux is the more common name used in general, but in the context of GNU General Public License then GNU/Linux is more common and thus the appropriate title. Belorn (talk) 17:50, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Ironically, the sources in the article that mention it commonly use Linux, not GNU/Linux. Furthermore, the consensus at Talk:Linux/Name is that GNU/Linux is not appropriate when referring to that subject, as not everything based on the Linux kernel uses GNU, and that GNU/Linux is an WP:NPOV term. Therefore GNU/Linux, while it may or may not be accurate or appropriate in referring to the desktop operating systems, is not an all inclusive term. For example, Android "uses Linux" but to refer to it as GNU/Linux is inaccurate, as it doesn't use anything from GNU.
For that reason, I don't think it's appropriate to say "It's believed that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of GNU/Linux" as opposed to "...crucial to the success of Linux" when that not only narrows it down to an overly specific definition, thereby unnecessarily excluding a lot of software, but the source itself uses the term Linux. - SudoGhost 18:12, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
By very longstanding consensus on Wikipedia the term GNU/Linux is considered a POV term. See Talk:Linux and all its archives along with Talk:Linux/Name for a complete explanation of why this is the case. The only time that it is appropriate to use this term is when a distribution calls itself that, such as Parabola GNU/Linux, but even then it is not described as a GNU/Linux distribution, but as a Linux distribution and GNU/Linux is only used in the title. - Ahunt (talk) 20:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The Talk:Linux is about the linux article, in the linux article context and this is the GNU General Public article. The context of this article need/should to be viewed independendly of the linux article, as they are not the same. A dicussion in one article does not mean the result is applicable on a other article, through it is an indication. Anyway, the talk page did give some interesting viewpoints. Sometimes people say "distributors of Linux", when they mean distributors of free and open source software in general. Fixing those to remove missleading statements (which are also unsupported by their sources) should resolve any issue I had with the previous language. Belorn (talk) 23:34, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
It is stated in the article that Linksys WRT54G firmware uses linux, but the source does not directly support this claim. The wikipedia article on WRT54G does not mention what type of firmware WRT54G uses, but the related router WRT54GL is mentioned to have used linux previously, but is also unsourced. My Google searches did not find any supporting statement so if someone can find one, please add it. it sounds plausable that WRT54G is linux, or is linux-based, so I will leave it alone for a while in hope someone adds a source. Belorn (talk) 00:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
We don't have consensuses of this nature for one article and not others as it would make a mess of the encyclopedia. The reason that the discussion is on Talk:Linux is that is the parent article for the whole encyclopedia on this particular issue. Basically if you want to change the consensus then that is the place to go to get a new global consensus on it and not try to just piecemeal gain consensus one article at a time. - Ahunt (talk) 01:01, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

As justification to use the term "Linux", some use the argument that not everything that uses the Linux kernel also uses the GNU operating system. Android is perhaps the most notable example of this, although there are others. While that is correct, it is also irrelevant because no one is calling for those types of systems to be called GNU/Linux. The reverse of this arugment is also true, however: The GNU Operating System can also be used with kernels other than Linux. No one is calling for those systems to be called GNU/Linux either. There is a situation where calling the system GNU/Linux is appropriate: For distributions that take the GNU Operating System and replace the GNU kernel with the kernel called Linux. That is perhaps the most common situation that people encounter, at least with distributions that target laptop and desktop computers. Even though those distributions might (incorrectly) refer to themselves as a "Linux distribution" they are in fact a distribution of the GNU Operating System, with Linux added.

Another justification that's used to call the GNU Operating System "Linux" is that it's common among people, but repeating something that's basically wrong doesn't make it correct: I might be able to convince people to start referring to their chair as a closet, but that doesn't mean it's the correct term for it. If repeated often enough perhaps it might even catch on, just like saying that the combination of the GNU Operating System with the kernel called Linux is entirely "Linux" caught on. Perhaps Wikipedia would then adopt a policy that all chairs should be referred to as closets because that's what so many chair owners (and chair distributors) do, despite any confusion that it might cause. (See the fifth paragraph of for an example of such confusion.)

Finally, an edit was made to remove "GNU/" from the statement that "it's believed that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of GNU/Linux". It is appropriate to mention GNU in this context for the reasons mentioned at Jxself (talk) 05:14, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Linux is the least common denominator for all of these projects, and if the reliable sources in the article didn't exclude projects that had nothing to do with GNU, there is no reason for this article to do so either. This is in addition to WP:COMMONNAME, which I highly suggest you read, as it is a Wikipedia policy that runs opposite to most of what you said above.
However, with that said, GNU/Linux is not the "official, correct" name either. Is it a name promoted by the FSF, a group which is basically, to use your metaphor, trying to call chairs "Closet/Chairs", because those chairs were made with tools from the closet. If you'll excuse me turning your words around on you, "I might be able to convince people to start referring to their chair as a closet/chair, but that doesn't mean it's the correct term for it." It's six one way, half a dozen on the other. There's no "this name is right, this name is wrong", therefore we go by the WP:COMMONNAME, which is Linux. - SudoGhost 06:03, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
That policy you mention has a clear exception to it, mentioned at top of this dicussion. Ignoring the exception does not remove it from the policy. Second, the source cited for the statement "it's believed that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux" talk specificly of the Linux kernel development. I made changes to the article to relfect this, which also makes the discussion about "linux" or "gnu/linux" irrelevant. Hopefully everyone can live with that and simply let the discussion die.Belorn (talk) 07:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The exception you noted does not apply, as was overwhelmingly demonstrated by the sources in the article. However, the edits you made do make this irrelevant, so that solves that. - SudoGhost 07:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
SudoGhost it is obvious that you are biased in a negative way towards the FSF and you will do anything in your power to stop people from finding out about anything related to the FSF or GNU. Wikipedia is not a place for being biased it is a free encyclopedia for all. In this case the article is about the FSF so the article should use GNU/Linux in this context.Sonic12228 (talk) 01:36, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Given your editing history, I would not be so quick to claim bias in others. You were told that wild speculation about others does not help you; if you have an issue address the issue, do not attack those that disagree with you. You are absolutely correct, however, that Wikipedia is not a place for being biased; that's why we use reliable sources instead of attacking one another. It is not "bias" to follow Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia. You are more than welcome to discuss the title of the Linux article at Talk:Linux, but calling those that disagree with you "biased" just because they disagree with your POV is less than helpful to what you're trying to achieve. - SudoGhost 02:03, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
You are just one person why should your needs affect everyone. I support GNU/Linux because it is more accurate. You support the use of just Linux because that is your opinion. All you do is say reliable sources without actually posting any. WP:COMMONNAME common name is a reliable source about Wikipedia's policy it is not a good place to find history and information on the naming controversy of GNU/Linux. I have provided you with links that support and explain why GNU/Linux is better.
Wikipedia policy is what affects everyone, not "one person" (which is both inaccurate and misses the point entirely). I support the use of Linux because that is the WP:COMMONNAME for the subject. If you are interested in very, very detailed discussions about the reliable sources, I have explained multiple times that such discussions can be found in the Talk:Linux archives. Unless you present some new argument that dozens of people have not previously tried and failed to use, then I will point you to those discussions as they answer the concerns you have regarding the subject. - SudoGhost 02:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
SudoGhost Can you directly link to a reliable source that supports the use of just linux without prefixing it with GNU. What I have been trying to tell you is that I have provided you with direct links to relible sources that support the use of GNU/Linux and you have not provided me with direct links that support the use of Linux without the GNU prefix. Here is a good article that I would recomend you read I feel that is free of bias and is very detailed and I hate to admit but I feel that it is better than wikipedia's article about GNU/Linux as it tells all the history not just what Linus Torvalds did. is a reliable source. What operating system do you know of that is named after the kernel and only the kernel. I never hear Mac OS X being called XNU. Some versions of Windows do something similar to GNU/Linux. Windows NT has the kernel name in there but it is not just called NT without windows prefixing it.Sonic12228 (talk) 05:29, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is not just one editor's opinion, this is a very long standing and broadly-supported consensus on Wikipedia. That consensus is that"GNU/Linux" is considered a minority POV term used by the FSF and its supporters. On Wikipedia the term is only used to describe distros when the distro itself is called "GNU/Linux" and then only when referring to the distro itself. If you want to change this consensus then the way to go about is not by trying to insert the term GNU/Linux into individual articles like this one. You should read Talk:Linux including all the archives of that page, to get the history of the problem as well as Talk:Linux/Name as this is where past consensuses have been formed. You will also want to read GNU/Linux naming controversy and its talk page as background as well. When you have the history of the consensus read then you can present your case at Talk:Linux to try to convince the other editors that all references "Linux" other than to the kernel itself in Wikipedia should be changed to "GNU/Linux". Be advised that this has been brought up dozens of times there, including recently and has always been soundly and conclusively opposed. - Ahunt (talk) 12:14, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Dubious statement about legal precedent[edit]

Germany is not a common law country, so legal precedent doesn't apply there as far as I'm aware. CodeCat (talk) 17:22, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

According to what I found about German law, you're correct that Germany does not have legal precedents (aside from EU court precedents, which don't apply in this situation). However, I'm not a lawyer in any form or fashion and know nothing about the topic other than what I just found by searching online, so take that with appropriate weight, if you find a reliable source to the contrary. - SudoGhost 17:29, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I suspect the issue here is the wording. As I understand it Germany do not use legal precedent, but do use case law (mostly around IP laws). as a quick fix, would using the wording that FSF used ("that the case confirmed the validity of the GPL under German law") fix the issue? Belorn (talk) 09:16, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Update. Found and added this review about a earlier 2004 case, which also claim to confirm the validity of the GPL under German law. Given that this was 2 years earlier, I am not sure the validity to of the claim that the 2006 case caused legal precedence/case law for gpl. To me it seems that the only half notable attribute about the 2006 case is that the defendant claimed that GPL was not legally binding, a claim that the court specifically turned down. I think a rewrite is in order to combine the two court cases in a cohesive statement, maybe under a "In Germany" subtitle. Suggestions/Opinion?Belorn (talk) 18:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

POV in the section on GPL as virus/spider plant[edit]

I've tagged said section for a POV check, as at present it reads as Wikipedia endorsing the spider plant metaphor; it needs to be clarified (using the sources) that this is the metaphor preferred by Stallman and/or the other cited references, not the one Wikipedia stands behind. It should either be a quote or at least generally attributed to someone rather than being set out as a rebuttal to the "virus" talk. - Vague | Rant 09:52, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Rewrote the whole section. Hope this version is clearer on who say's what. As it stand, the section is a comment by Mundie, and then stallmans response to Mundie's statement. Belorn (talk) 15:55, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Looks good to me. - SudoGhost 16:03, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Does the GPL allow "software as a service"?[edit]

Assume a program is developed based on GPL-code. Can you embed that program in a public website without releasing it under GPL-terms? (talk) 11:20, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Seeking legal advice on Wikipedia might not be the best place to do so, and I would suggest putting the question to [1] as they are more likely to give a better advice. But to try to answer the question, Yes, you can develop a public website using GPL without releasing the server code, but there are a few exceptions. 1) you can not sell copies of the server code to others without releasing it under GPL-terms and thus give out source, 2) the website can not include GPL'ed Javascript (or other client side code) or images. Belorn (talk) 15:24, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to second the fact that Wikipedia does not give legal advice. Even the most educated opinion here is still an opinion. If you are going to ask this question online, I would recommend asking here, since they would be the ones to know. When the answer to a question affects the legality of an answer, I would strongly recommend against following the advice of anyone on the internet if you aren't absolutely sure that they are a licensed professional in a relevant field (e.g. a lawyer). - SudoGhost 17:11, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
Belorn, "2) the website can not include GPL'ed Javascript (or other client side code) or images" – this seems just plain wrong or at least in question (shouldn't be for e.g. images). The GPL doesn't work across process boundaries, or other well defined boundaries, such as, seemingly, client vs. server side (I'm am not a lawyer, this is just my reading of the GPL, the server and client might be regarded close-knit). Nothing disallows GPL on the client side. The question was: Does the GPL allow "software as a service"? I certainly does. Counterargument might be you are not releasing the full "corresponding source"? If you have GPLed client code it must say that way, just as with the server-side, but you need not publish that part if it is deemed "mere aggregation" (making the client code in isolation, almost useless?), while the Affero General Public License (APGL) was made for disallowing reusing server-side code and not releasing it. comp.arch (talk) 22:58, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Can non human-readable sourcecode be GPL?[edit]

Issue we've seen cropping up recently is that of projects claiming to be GPL but publishing code in a compressed or encrypted format which makes it barely human readable, if readable at all. Typically such code has line breaks stripped, and variables replaced with a, b, etc. The GPL itself is none to clear on the legitimacy of this. Though, I think we can safely assume that the authors did not use the published version of the code to develop the project, therefore by definition the project has not published its sourcecode. --Anteaus (talk) 15:25, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

If the code that was published is not the same code that was used to make the program, then that is a violation of the GPL. On the other hand, in a language like JavaScript where the source code is the program, there is no such restriction. In that case, receiving badly-written code is not really different from receiving a program with good code but a terrible user interface. There is nothing in the GPL as far as I know, that says the source code has to be useful to whoever receives it, only that it is the same as the program. CodeCat (talk) 16:10, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
First off, Wikipedia is not the place to get legal advice. My suggest is to ask this question on sites like stackoverflow and look through the existing Q&A about code obscuration and GPL. But, to answer the question, the GPL license family do explicitly require source code in an human-readable form if such form exist. To be exact, GPLv3 define the source code requirement as: The “source code” for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. GPLv2 has a similar requirement, and so does LGPL but under a limited and specific context (linking). So to answer the question about compression and variable name obscuration, that would indeed be be violation of the GPL. It doesn't matter that its a javascript library or that they commonly are distributed in an obscured and compress form. If a preferred form exist, then when you distribute copies of the compressed version, the license require the the preferred version is also made available. Belorn (talk) 08:19, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

"Points of view" list[edit]

I moved the points of view back to where they had been taken from. It said "The following points of view exist:" and then instead of listing anything, moved on to a different paragraph, so it was quite obvious. I'm not sure why they were moved to the bottom of the article, but they're extremely long and break the flow, so perhaps they could be moved to a separate page? I'm sure enough has been written about them to make them notable. --4368 (talk) 13:50, 9 May 2013 (UTC)


The sections involving Microsoft reek of bias. The idea that GPL is viral being treated as a negative connotation is not as black-and-white as this article (and the FSF's reaction to the comment) makes it seem.

1. The GPL CAN be seen as an infectious/viral thing to laymen. Yes the analogy does break down after further scrutiny, but no one ever said it was a perfect analogy; and, as an imperfect analogy it DOES help laymen understand it.

2. The idea that viral is a negative context is an emotional reaction more than one of based on facts. How are "viral videos" and "viral marketing" somehow the new "it" thing, which are positive connotations, and GPL being viral a negative one? In the context of the aforementioned topics, viral would imply that GPL catches on like wildfire and that everyone who sees it loves it and shares it.

3. Perhaps Steve Ballmer's opinion was, in fact, very anti-Linux/OSS/FSF/whatever. But perhaps it wasn't? In today's "post-2001's Microsoft VS Linux calling each other the devil" flamewars, I don't automatically know if I can interpret Steve Ballmer (and other Microsoft initiatives) as automatically evil. Just because Microsoft may have been against Linux doesn't necessarily mean everything they say concerning it should be contributed to malice. Especially since today, by the article's own admission, Microsoft is occasionally releasing GPL projects.

4. Lastly, before someone attempts to attack my character or intentions, I use both operating systems for both work and home.

Novous (talk) 20:10, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

To start with, do you have a verifiable source that support the claim that calling GPL a viral license is positive rather than pejorative? The basis for any changes need to always start from what can be found in sources. As for the question regarding general bias, are there any "significant views that have been published by reliable sources" (WP:NPOV) that is missing from the article regarding Microsoft and the GPL? Belorn (talk) 07:10, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Community split by the GPLv3[edit]

Section was heavily POV based, so I tried to rewrite it. However, in the process of doing so, I noticed that all the major statements was from blogs. What was left was a synthesis conclusions based on Black Duck Software statistics, and a misquote from the datamation magazine. Their article states that the new version of GPL has caused a increased split between "open source" community and "free software" community. Belorn (talk) 15:05, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

As author of this section I object your complete removal. First, the main statement is backed by an article (the Bruce Byfield article), and second as criticism is voiced often by individuals it must be "POV" and therefore backed sometimes by primary sources (often then blogs, whcih are OK therefore for direct critcism). The formulation was very carefully formulated, in the way that "some specific people", backed by refs, (and not the "general perception") interprete the situation and objective numbers (backed by refs) a specific way. I'm open for re-formulation and enhancement proposals.
  • Main source: 5. The GPL Version Split Bryce Byfield: At the time, the decision seemed sensible in the face of a deadlock. But now, GPLv2 is used for 42.5% of free software, and GPLv3 for less than 6.5%, according to Black Duck Software. Before the license revision, the GPL helped to unify the community, and the FSF, as the creator and enforcer of the GPL, had a strong presence in the community. Now, GPLv2 is viewed as the version favored by open source supporters, GPLv3 as the version for free software advocates -- and not only does the whole free software philosophy looks weaker, but the split between open source and free software is wider than ever. Shaddim (talk) 18:07, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
  • GPL 3 not expected to split free-software world Palmer said some developers may decide to license their projects only under versions 2 or 3 of the GPL, while others may choose to license under multiple versions of the license. This could result in "license-incompatible forks," according to Palmer.
  • Linux Creator Calls GPLv3 Authors 'Hypocrites' As Open Source Debate Turns Nasty the latest sign of a growing schism in the open source community between business-minded developers like Torvalds and free software purists.
  • Torvalds Still Keen On GPLv2 "In some ways, Linux was the project that really made the split clear between what the FSF is pushing which is very different from what open source and Linux has always been about, which is more of a technical superiority instead of a -- this religious belief in freedom," Torvalds told Zemlin. So, the GPL Version 3 reflects the FSF's goals and the GPL Version 2 pretty closely matches what I think a license should do and so right now, Version 2 is where the kernel is." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shaddim (talkcontribs)
  • The original edit wrote that gplv3 has caused a "perceived split of the community". The source (as you quoted above) state that "the split between open source and free software is wider than ever". The first imply a new split has accured inside "the community". The second state that the already existing split between the two communities open source and free software has increase. Use the second, not the first.
While I would consider this aminor issue ("wording"), I will reflect that in the fomulation.
  • Criticism on wikipedia need to follow the rules regarding sources and NPOV as any other. If all the criticism is done through personal blogs, then it won't have a place in a Wikipedia article. Primary sources can only be used to make non-interpreted statements such as "Linus Torvald said ...", if such statement itself is balanced compare to the article itself. Do not make implied statements such as "developers, like Linus Torvald have said ...". Rewrite that to: "Linus Torvald, developer of the linux kernel said ..."
This is in this strictness not true. While we have an policy which states that articles should "ususally" rely on secondary sources, this is the rare non-usual case were primary sources are acceptable. The notability of this topic needs to be referenced by secondry sources what was done with the Byfield article, the verifiability of thes specific criticisms with the primary sources. On the formulation aspect I will update the formulation to make it more accurate in the sense you indicated.
  • When editing wikipedia, do not try to backup statements found by sources. Thats original research. If Black Duck Software statistics are used to back up a conclusion, that process need to first have been done by a reliable source. Only editing wikipedia based on what a source has said, rather than any conclusion you yourself makes.
This OR accusation I oppose, the good objective black duck numbers were given without further interpretation (the main point was already backed by the article), leaving it to the reader. They were not meant and required as further backup, just as additional objective dataset of good quality (best available) for the reader.
  • last, just as an suggestion, I would be careful with using statistics in controversial statements. For example, many sources has published different numbers to that of black duck, like who says that adoption rate for gplv3 reached 50% in 2009. Other articles like John Sullivan study showned that in Debian 2009 had 630 GPLv3 packages, and in February 2011 that number was 3154 (12.5%). One such article mention that projects rarely change license, so new licenses mostly only get adapted by new projects. Belorn (talk) 19:24, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
The Black duck data seems to represents the biggest data set, debian is just a specific subcommunity (with specifc policies and goals untypical for the whole community) and the google data is based also on a specific community subset (while with a broader scope then the debian subset, could be worth to add) Also, other good objective refs can be added anytime. Thanks for feedback, will update accordingly Shaddim (talk) 23:57, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Address Space Linking Restriction?[edit]

I am wondering if the following quote from the main page is in fact valid or not? "If modules are designed to run linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means combining them into one program." Does that mean for example it's actually impossible to have a GPL'd plugin for a Commodore 64 application or in any other SASOS? (talk) 07:23, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Legal theory can̈́'t be distilled into absolute facts. Judges can decide on matter of facts inside a area where they have the power to do so, but then we have left theory and talk about specific cases. What you get from reading this quote from FSF is their written down opinion on what qualify as a Derivative work, where linking is a bright line that non-lawyers can use to simplify the legal theory and precedences that actually defines derivative work. Belorn (talk) 15:03, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

can copyright holder cancel usage rights (of people in the world) on copies previously copied with gpl?[edit]

though this is "copyleft", "copyright" is still used. if a person or a company buys all copyrights from all project developers (contributors) or a person /company develops a project only by itself from the start and so holds all copyrights, it can continue development of the project with any other license it wants (but that is allowed by laws) , for example it can hide source code etc. but it is not clear whether it can also cancel right to use the previously copied copies of the project that were copied with gpl license (and that copies are spread all over the world at different persons). --Qdinar (talk) 16:14, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

proof that cancel/revoking is not possible: :
preambule :
" Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.
To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it."
terms ... :
"1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it ..."
--Qdinar (talk) 17:55, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
My understanding is that a software version released under an GPL cannot have that licence revoked, however a future version could be released under a new licence, such as "all rights reserved". What is your point in asking about this? Should this be covered in the article? - Ahunt (talk) 18:18, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
i mean this :
Article 1229. Exclusive Right
1. ...
The rightholder may at his discretion permit or prohibit other persons to use the result of intellectual activity or means of individualization. Absence of a prohibition shall not be considered to be consent (or permission).
Other persons may not use the corresponding result of intellectual activity or means of individualization without the consent of the rightholder, with the exception of cases provided by the present Code. ....
( but "with the exception of cases provided by the present Code" means licences etc so if license allows usage it is allowed... but... --Qdinar (talk) 19:41, 5 November 2014 (UTC) )
Article 1235. License Contract
4. In the case when the time period of effectiveness of the license contract is not defined in the license contract, the contract shall be considered to be concluded for five years, unless provided otherwise by the present Code.
Article 1269. Right to Recall
The author shall have the right to rescind a previously adopted decision to make a work public (the right to recall) on the condition of compensation for damages caused by such a decision, to the person to whom the exclusive right to the work was alienated or to whom the right of the use of the work was granted. If the work has already been made public the author shall also have the duty to give public notice of its recall. In such a case the author shall have the right to take out of circulation the previously released copies of the work, having compensated for damages caused by this.
this paragraph changed very much in new version of the law --Qdinar (talk) 19:56, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Статья 1269. Право на отзыв (в ред. Федерального закона от 12.03.2014 N 35-ФЗ)
1. Автор имеет право до фактического обнародования произведения отказаться от ранее принятого решения о его обнародовании (право на отзыв) при условии возмещения лицу, которому отчуждено исключительное право на произведение или предоставлено право использования произведения, причиненных таким решением убытков.
--Qdinar (talk) 20:00, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
it says, author can recall only before work is published and he must compensate losses --Qdinar (talk) 14:22, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
The rules of the present Article shall not be applied to computer programs, to employment works and to works that have entered into a complex object (Article 1240).
so if it is not computer program, what wins, right to recall or the license text?
--Qdinar (talk) 19:41, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I would think that local laws would trump the licence terms, you can't enforce a licence that is illegal in the jurisdiction under question. But I come back to my original question - is your point here to add something to the article or are you just asking a question about the license? - Ahunt (talk) 17:35, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
both , it is interesting for me and something about this can be added , i think . it is local law but similar laws might be in other countries . is it absolutly , generally clear that copy right do not include right to prohibit usage of work (product) ? i have looked in berne and Universal Copyright Convention and hav not found such thing but have found in russia law. --Qdinar (talk) 18:24, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Well as I said I would think national laws would supersede licenses, but I am not a lawyer. To add information on this we would need to be able to cite some sort of ref that discusses the subject. - Ahunt (talk) 21:49, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
National copyright law dictate the scope of copyright licenses, but general limitations of copyright is likely better added to the Copyright article than this article. People have discussed the revocability of the GPL in places like groklaw, but it really comes down to specific discussions about the US copyright law and in particular USC 17 203. Under that local law, authors can terminate licenses if the work is between 35 and 40 years old, but GPL as a license is not that old yet. Even if it were, USC 17 203 do not cover derivative works, which after 35 years, any software still runnable on current hardware is likely to have been modified once or twice in that time span. People could then use those derivative works, using the terms of the revoked license, and continue on as normal. Belorn (talk) 10:18, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
What do you proprose for the article and based on which sources? - Ahunt (talk) 13:46, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
If the question is directed at me, I would propose to find a reliable source that describe the case of revokability in the context of software licenses before adding anything. The groklaw article above could be used, if done with care, but beyond that I do not know. Belorn (talk) 17:20, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
"but GPL as a license is not that old yet" - do age of text of the license have any effect?! you said "if the work is between 35 and 40 years old" - it is about age of work, not about age of text of license.--Qdinar (talk) 14:11, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
I was not fully clear in that above statement, but the linked sourced spelled it out. 35->40 is about the age of the licensing of a work, not the age of the work. So you have to have licensed a work under GPL for 35 years before you can cancel that specific licensing of that specific work under that specific rule. The age of the work itself is not relevant so long its not past the date in which copyright falls into public domain. Belorn (talk) 17:20, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
and i think some people look in talk page for informal addition to main text.--Qdinar (talk) 14:11, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
proof for gpl3: "2. Basic Permissions.
All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met. ..."--Qdinar (talk) 15:58, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

The talk page is not the place to make "informal additions" to the article, either it is sourced and added to the article or not. Also please keep in mind that talk pages are here solely to discuss improving the article not as a forum to discuss the topic of the article. - Ahunt (talk) 23:50, 10 November 2014 (UTC)


I think the Adoption section could do with an update. This is the adoption rate page that's referenced in the article:

The percentages for GPL have all fallen somewhat.

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GA quick fail based on banner?[edit]

@EndThisEntropy: and anyone else interested: I'm not an expert in the GA review process by any means, but I suspect this should be immediately failed because of the banner in Section 9. Without commenting on the quality of the section, does someone here who is more familiar with the article and the history of that section want to take a pass on taking the necessary steps to improve that section and remove that banner? Thanks. —Luis (talk) 04:45, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

the content of the reception section is a controversial issue as the gpl is in general received controversial. Some vision remarks, recommendation on this section? I could even believe that the impact and reception is taken out and expanded to an own article. Cheers Shaddim (talk) 10:17, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Actually having read the section I think it has been improved enough over the years since that banner was tagged that it can just be removed.  Done - Ahunt (talk) 12:32, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
There's still a [citation needed] tag dating from 2011. Maybe a quick fail for having only one such tag would be excessive, but it needs to be fixed before this can be GA. The existence of multiple completely-unsourced paragraphs is also a problem. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:50, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


FYI, because of possible perceived conflicts (mostly that I was on one of the expert committees for the drafting of GPL v3) I will not do a formal GA review. But I'm starting to draft an informal one here. Other GA reviewers may want to wait until I'm done with that, and/or editors of this article may want to follow along as I draft there. —Luis (talk) 18:13, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

I've commented on the first two sections. Short version is that I don't think this is GA quality yet, but I'll continue looking at the other sections. —Luis (talk) 22:43, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I think many of your remarks could be directly resolved by you, as they are uncontroversial, I don't see an conflict of interest here. Shaddim (talk) 23:53, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
My past experiences editing articles on licenses are not terribly pleasant - life is too short to argue about GNU/Linux and free v. open yet again. And many of the issues aren't just stylistic- I have no energy to do the research necessary to bring sections 2 and 3 up to GA level, so mostly I'd just be adding cn templates left and right there. So I've not really wanted to edit this directly. But I'll consider doing a pass at some point if no one else takes it on. —Luis (talk) 05:14, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It would be appreciated, as abyone is kind of scared at working of such high profile and controversial article. thank you for the effort Shaddim (talk) 10:24, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:GNU General Public License/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: ProgrammingGeek (talk · contribs) 15:35, 3 May 2017 (UTC)



  1. Well written:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (prose) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (b) (MoS) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (references) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (b) (citations to reliable sources) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (c) (original research) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (d) (copyvio and plagiarism) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (major aspects) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (b) (focused) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
    Notes Result
    The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
    Notes Result
    The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined
    (b) (appropriate use with suitable captions) The reviewer has no notes here. Neutral Undetermined


Result Notes
Neutral Undetermined The reviewer has no notes here.


Please add any related discussion here.

@EndThisEntropy: ProgrammingGeek is on an extended wikibreak, and as such is unlikely to complete this review. I've reset the status for this review and the bot will relist it on the nominations page. TheDragonFire (talk) 08:54, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Additional notes[edit]

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  2. ^ Either parenthetical references or footnotes can be used for in-line citations, but not both in the same article.
  3. ^ This requirement is significantly weaker than the "comprehensiveness" required of featured articles; it allows shorter articles, articles that do not cover every major fact or detail, and overviews of large topics.
  4. ^ Vandalism reversions, proposals to split or merge content, good faith improvements to the page (such as copy editing), and changes based on reviewers' suggestions do not apply. Nominations for articles that are unstable because of unconstructive editing should be placed on hold.
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  6. ^ The presence of images is not, in itself, a requirement. However, if images (or other media) with acceptable copyright status are appropriate and readily available, then some such images should be provided.

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:GNU General Public License/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Numbermaniac (talk · contribs) 02:01, 24 June 2017 (UTC)


Wow, this is quite a long article! Looks good to start with, but the first thing I do notice is perhaps a bit of citation overkill in the second paragraph. -- numbermaniac (talk) 02:01, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, spelling, and grammar): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    • I've made a number of changes to the wording in several places. Grammar has needed editing in some places.
    • What is the purpose of the italics in "ASP loophole in the GPL", under History/Version 3? Is that intentional, or a mistake?
    • I'm not 100% sure about the usage of parts such as "For more information, see <article>" since I don't see that much elsewhere on the wiki, but I'll leave those as they are for now.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR): d (copyvio and plagiarism):
    • References 109, 149 and 163 are dead links. Please check the Wayback Machine and other archiving websites to see if they can be found. I checked the Wayback Machine for link 109 and most of them seem to return a 404 Not Found.
      • If you can't find any, let me know. Since full citations were used instead of bare URLs, they are still considered verifiable.
      • (163 is now fixed, thanks bot!)
    • On the other hand, I think there's a bit of citation overkill going on in the first sentence of the second paragraph. Please fix that.
    • I notice a citation needed tag in the Copyleft section, and I've also included one of my own in the Derivations section. Please provide citations for those statements.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    • The article is quite large, however there is a lot covered in this article, especially considering all the legal issues around such a popular license.
    • Under the section "Open-source criticism", a summary should be included of the "Labyrinth of Software Freedom" analysis if possible. Currently, the article doesn't say anything about what this analysis states.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    • I do like the idea of the "Point of view" section, describing and extending the different points of view on the linking issue.
    • Quite a lot of negative opinions are presented, but perhaps not as many positives. However, both sides of opinions are still shown, so this shouldn't be a problem.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Please fix the issues mentioned above (italics, citation issues, and the summary of that analysis). Overall, this is pretty good.

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Added Tags Which Were Long Overdue[edit]

Factually Misleading: Fact - Over 50% decline of GPL usage in one decade. A tremendous rejection. See Adoption section. Any truthful analysis of these facts would be prefaced in the introduction by noting a precipitous decline, not "remains one of the most popular".

Unbalanced: Disasterous consequences and costs. Case in point.

Essay Style: Is verbose, self-promoting, and trivial in detail. Simply look at the tone, which is consistently sophomoric thoughout the entire bloated and disorganized treatment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Guy Macon. Please follow the Wikipedia tag rules. There are good reasons to counter this FUD page of the Free Software Foundation. If you simply read the blog post referenced above, and again referenced here: you will see that the FSF and their licenses which are not "open source" are both fading in to history at the same time leaving a lot of collateral damage. Please read this post: There are many others like it. Please explain why you cannot accommodate an NPOV in wikipedia. Please do not act like a wikipedia god. I read your resume. You may have strong opinions and believe you have some kind of insight which is superior to other wikipedians. But you are not the final word on anything in this universe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
Guy Macon. Try this article on for size. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
You appear to be misunderstanding how Wikipedia works, and to be misunderstanding my motives for reverting your edit. First of all, I would have no problem at all if this article contained more material criticizing GPL. My problems with your edits are:
  1. They contain no specific suggestions for improving the article,
  2. There appears to be extensive criticism in the article already (see the "Reception" section), and
  3. You appear to have come here to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS in direct violation of WP:NOTSOAPBOX and WP:ADVOCACY.
Your over-the-top comments bordering on personal attacks do not strengthen you argument. Rather the opposite, actually. This isn't some blog where whoever is the most aggressive in attacking his opponent "wins". This is an online encyclopedia where we work together as colleagues to improve articles. Please tell us exactly how you would like to change this article, giving us the parts you would delete, any new material you would add, and the citations that you believe support your additions. Once you do that we can discuss your proposed changes in a calm, rational manner.
And please, read and follow the instructions at WP:SIGNATURE. Doing so will demonstrate that you are willing to understand follow Wikipedia's rules. Failure to do so will be strong evidence that further discussion with you will be pointless and that we may have to block you from editing Wikipedia. That may seem harsh, but as a new editor we simply do not know whether you are an asshole or someone we can work with. I am hoping for the latter; we need more editors in technical areas such as this. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:11, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
You lose the argument so you change the subject. And you accuse me of adding nothing. You have an article here that is one-sided. Open your eyes. And as for being a sissy, well that's not my problem, it's yours. And if you consider this to be a personal attack, tough luck. You were the one who cavalierly removed the tags. Why don't you look at your own conduct. I've come up against a lot of editors in the past like you. It didn't end well for them, because they were always lazy and short-tempered, while on the side of being wrong. You don't need to tell me how Wikipedia works. Just because I don't have a signin, doesn't mean I'm a newbie. Maybe you need to take a short wiki-break, Guy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 5 July 2017 (UTC) blocked for 60 hours. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:14, 5 July 2017 (UTC)