Additional Companies Join Red Hat’s GPLv3 Termination Policy for GPLv2 Programs

By Eben Moglen | March 20, 2018

Yesterday additional companies—including CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, Microsoft SAP, SUSE—joined Red Hat, Facebook, Google and IBM in agreeing to use GPLv3 “cure period” termination provisions with respect to their own GPLv2-licensed works, and as an additional permission on their contributions to other GPLv2-licensed programs. We at SFLC welcome this step, and we hope that other licensors will join the approach Red Hat has so successfully pioneered.

Ever since Richard Stallman and I decided to alter the “automatic termination” approach to GPL violation in the drafting of GPLv3, back in 2005, we at SFLC have seen that the provision of a “cure period” for first-time infringers makes securing respect for GPL easier rather than harder.

The software developers and distributors who have backed the “first-time cure period” approach of GPLv3 for use with GPLv2 programs are, as they have stated, improving certainty for users and redistriubutors everywhere. So far as our experience shows, this occurs at no expense to the legitimate interest of free software programmers who want their license terms respected by redistributors downstream. Everyone wins, except trolls. We hope more developers and companies will climb aboard this bandwagon.

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