[Foundation-l] Projects without >FDL1.2 migration clause

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 07:04:10 UTC 2008

On Sun, Apr 6, 2008 at 11:26 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> While I am able to read a very basic French [1] (text of GFDL with
> mentioning of terms of use at the beginning), it looks to me that
> there is an explicitly written that texts may be used under GFDLv1.2,
> nothing else. However, at the other place [2] (article about Wikipedia
> copyrights) there is no mentioning of the version.
> According to my amateur knowledge of law, it seems that there are
> serious problems with the clause "... or any later version..." in the
> continental law system.
> [1] -
> http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Licence_de_documentation_libre_GNU
> [2] - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Droit_d%27auteur

The concept that a third party (e.g. the FSF, Creative Commons, etc.) could
unilaterally alter an agreement between an author and those reusing his work
is sufficiently novel that there isn't a lot of precedent for "or later
versions" in any jurisdiction.

There has been a variety of speculation on the legitimacy of such terms both
in America and other places.  I know some Europeans have expressed a
strong opinion that it can't work at all in their particular jurisdiction.

Ultimately I don't think we will really know how well those clauses work
until it is brought to court, though an abundance of caution suggests we
shouldn't keep in the back of our minds that "or later versions" might fail
entirely (at least in some places).

-Robert Rohde

More information about the foundation-l mailing list