Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Fireside Chat on Further Restrictions, Imposed Downstream on Copyleft, Wreaking Havoc

There are some great features in GPLv3/AGPLv3 Section 7, including the ability to create Additional Permissions — this allows licensors to use the v3 licenses to create fine-tuned weaker copylefts: even LGPLv3 itself is an Additional Permission set applied to GPLv3.  The licenses also permit removal of “further restrictions” that take away users' rights.

We've faced however a complex confluence of events related to Section 7. The community of copyleft experts are discussing and considering what to do.  Specifically, we have seen more than once vendors confusing their users: by adding further restrictions to GPLv3/AGPLv3 in a way that confuses users about their right to remove those “further restrictions” and the right to exercise their full software freedom.

This panel discussion will investigate the various different nuances of the issue, including some examples. The panel includes Bradley M. Kuhn, who authored an expert report in support of PureThink and John Mark Suhy in the Neo4j v. PureThink legal case, and Krzysztof Siewicz, the Free Software Foundation's licensing and compliance manager who will be presenting the FSF's stewardship of the GPL work to prevent confusing licensing.


Photo of Bradley M. Kuhn Bradley M. Kuhn
Krzysztof Siewicz