"Francesco Poli" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote in message news:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Hi all,
a new "Last Call Draft" of the GNU GPL v3 has been published on 31 May
2007 by the FSF.
The full text of this fourth draft can be read at

My comments on the draft follow.
I will send them to the FSF public consultation system RSN (since they
are accepting comments for only 30 days, starting on 31 May).

The usual disclaimers: IANAL, IANADD.


:::: Bad: too restrictive

Clause 5d is now simpler and clearer than in the previous drafts: as a
consequences, its issues are more apparent!  ;-)

This clause is worse than the corresponding clause 2c in GPLv2... :-(


I would like to see clause 5d dropped entirely.

Or, at least, it could be modified so that it only applies to cases
where the original Program is also interactive.
Something like:

| d) If the Program has interactive user interfaces which display
| Appropriate Legal Notices, this feature must be preserved in each
| interactive interface that is also present in the work.

It is one thing to require preservation of the Appropriate legal notices feature in existing interactive user interfaces. It is entirely different to compel users to include such a feature in any newly created interactive interfaces. This is far worse than the equivalent clause in GPL v2. People WILL ignore this requirement, and assume it merely mandates preservation of the feature in existing interfaces. This is a *critical* problem with the license IMHO.

Further there is no exception for interactive user interfaces where it is *impossible* to meet the definition of "displays 'Appropriate Legal Notices'". Cases like an audio-only interactive interface could not possibly include "a convenient and prominently *visible* feature", and might not be able to tell "the user [..] how to view a copy of this License". It might not be possible to tell the user how to view the licence. Especially if the device has no means of visual output, in which case there is no way to "view" the licence. The program could perhaps give instructions on how to request to have the licence read to them, but that is not what is required.

:::: Kills copyleft: are these the cousins of GFDL's Invariant Sections?

What exactly is a "reasonable legal notice"?  What exactly is an "author
attribution"?  It seems that these terms are not defined anywhere in the
license.  I'm concerned that they could be interpreted in a broad sense
and allow people to take a GPLv3'd work and add some sort of invariant
long text that nobody will ever be able to remove or modify...  This
option could make a work include unmodifiable & unremovable parts and
thus fail to fully grant the freedom to modify.  I would rather avoid
introducing such options in the GPLv3!

===> this option could make the work fail DFSG#3, when exercised

Hmm... reasonable legal notice will at least include a copyright statement.
Some further guidence could be useful. Can a mandate to include an entire
licence (talking abiout one of the short licences, like BSD, Expat, etc. [obviously a modified version of the licence,
with a mandate to include the licence text in the Appropriate Legal
Notice]) be considered a resonable notice? It almost seems reasonable,
but on the other hand it is somewhat long, which may be unreasonable, especially in certain types of interactive interfaces.

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