GPL v3, not later

So you wrote a piece of software. And you want to open its source. And being a good lad, caring about software freedom, you choose (probably the most well-known) open source license, GPL.

But, being lazy (like a good developer normally is), you specify it as “GPLv3 or later”. This seems efficient… takes away the burden of re-licensing it later, when a new GPL version is released.

Stop. Think about it again:

  1. What is GPL? It’s a software license.
  2. What’s a software license? A form of contract between copyright holder (in this case you, software author) and the user of the software.
  3. Who “owns” it? Who gets to say what is GPL and what it isn’t? Who releases new versions? That’d be FSF.
  4. What’s FSF? Or, better to say, who is FSF? …

Not sure about you, but I don’t know the answer to the last question. Being more precise, no longer know. As Richard Stallman resigned from the organization.