On Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 3:55 PM, Tyler Romeo <tylerromeo(a)gmail.com> wrote:
The GPLv3 is not more restrictive.
As I mentioned, if anything it’s more permissive, since it is compatible with more
licenses, and because it allows distributors to add some certain additional clauses to the
license at their discretion.
Our code is "GPLv2 or later", which is the functional equivalent of
being multi-licensed under GPLv2 and GPLv3 (and all later versions of
the GPL) Therefore, the set of licenses that "GPLv2 or later" is
compatible with is a strict superset of the licenses that "GPLv3 or
later" is compatible with.
If a developer wants to release their personal code
under the Apache 2.0 license, they can do so and still contribute to MediaWiki. Or if a
distributor wants to offer their own warranty on MediaWiki, they can.
Maybe it was a little presumptuous of me to bring up AGPL, because I’ll admit I even have
bad feelings about it, especially considering the whole security patch issue.
However, if somebody would like to offer up an actual reason for why upgrading from v2 to
v3 is a bad idea, I’m all ears.
1. Because that makes our code incompatible with any GPLv2-only code out there.
2. Why is it a good idea?
In general, our licensing choices should be driven by goals, and it's
unclear what goals are met by moving to GPLv3. It's also unclear what
goals any version of the GPL is actually serving in this particular
context (due to the nature of PHP server side code) but relicensing
MediaWiki at this late stage (beyond v2->later version) is not really
a practical option, so I don't feel the need to belabor this
(Also, some relevant links, it seems RESTBase is
currently under AGPL, so we may eventually be enveloped by it anyway:
That decision isn't final, and in fact, as Gabriel noted on that bug,
he's working with the other contributors to relicense it under the
Apache 2.0 license, per a conversation that a bunch of us had at WMF.
In general, we should think about what goal we're trying to address by
using GPLv2+ or GPLv3+ or any other license for that matter. My
personal experience has been that any contribution that has been
compelled by license rather than given of enlightened self interest is
done grudgingly and in a rather useless fashion. There are certainly
copyleft success stories (e.g.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenWrt>), but for MediaWiki, it's
unclear under what possible scenario we'd want to compel GPL
compliance from anyone that wasn't already motivated to work with us
as an upstream.
In general, I believe we should move more of our licensing toward
Apache 2.0. It seems to provide a nice tradeoff between simplicity
and providing some basic legal protections for the projects.