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  • In asserting a license you are asserting permission from the copyright holders. But you don't know whether you have that permission. And if you don't, then you are putting people in potential violation of the rights of people who are copyright holders.

    In particular I happen to know that Tom Christiansen has been consistently vocal in his dislike of all things FSF, including the GPL. He takes extreme objection to the viral nature of the GPL, and even stronger objection to then calling the result "free".
    • I agree that discussing it with Tom would have been the polite thing to do, but I don't think it's a legal requirement.

      I could understand the concern if the original were GPL'd - a key point of the GPL is that it doesn't allow relicensing.

      But, the Artistic license allows one to "place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise make them Freely Available" (Conditions 3.a), where Freely Available is defined in part as meaning "... that no fee is charged for the item itself, though there may be fees involved in handling the item. It also means that recipients of the item may redistribute it under the same conditions they received it."

      Note the word "may" in the above, rather than "must." That's more or less the point of the Artistic, BSD, MIT, and many other non-GPL licenses - they're specifically non-viral, and allow derived works may be released under different licenses.

      Given that permission isn't legally required, I could maybe understand not talking to him about it. He's not going to change his mind about the GPL, so if you're going to relicense anyway, there's not much point in adding insult to injury by starting an argument about it too. It could be argued that doing it quietly, without rubbing his nose in it too much, was actually the polite thing to do.

      • Unfortunately the Artistic License is not compatible with the GPL. The Artistic License says in item 5 that, You may not charge a fee for this Package itself. This is not compatible with the GPL because the GPL allows that. Similarly if you look at item 3 of the Artistic License you'll find that with the Artistic License you are not allowed to make a modification and distribute it to a third party without making your modification public. The GPL allows that.

        Consult with a lawyer. But by my reading if s
        • Well, frankly, I can't imagine Tom making a stink over this. The clear distinction between the GPL and BSD-style licenses like the Artistic is the right to relicense vs. the lack of it. Pretty much by definition, the right to relicense includes licenses that the original author dislikes. That's the whole point of the BSD-style position, that someone who reuses the code should be able to choose their own license.

          It's like free speech in a way; it means that we all hear things said that we don't like or agree