[ubuntu-uk] Microsoft Releases Linux Device Drivers as GPL

James Westby jw+debian at jameswestby.net
Tue Jul 21 16:55:09 BST 2009

Dave Walker wrote:
> Rob Beard wrote:
>> Chris Rowson wrote:
>>> Interesting little story found on /.
>>> http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/07/20/1643251/Microsoft-Releases-Linux-Device-Drivers-As-GPL
>>> Chris
>> Anyone known the URL for the weather in Hell on the Met Office web site? :-)
>> Still, sounds good that they are releasing something under the GPL, 
>> funny how they didn't release it under GPL 3.
>> Rob
> Hi Rob:
> Well part of the standard clause of GPLv2 states:
> "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
> under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
> Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
> option) any later version." [0]
> IANAL, but to me that states that anything released under GPLv2 is
> automatically compatible with GPLv3, and any later license if it suits me.

That text is in a suggestion for how you declare your code to be covered
by the GPL-2. Whether the "any later version" applies to a bit of code
is at the discretion of the copyright holder.

There is nothing in the GPL itself that states that anything licensed
under one version of the GPL can be distributed under a later version.
That is just a fairly common practice that the FSF encourages.



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