Without an attached interest you can very well revoke the license and prevent all further distribution of your code, and further use of it in future versions.
Date: Tue Jan 01 2019 - 15:03:44 EST
The GPL is not revocable despite not being a contract. It is a license
to distribute software and you cannot revoke the license on already
existing publications. All you can do is revoke the license on future
Without an attached interest you can very well revoke the license and
prevent all further distribution of your code, and further use of it in
You can revoke the license.
What you are thinking about is the normal case of commercial
distribution licenses - which have an attached interest (they were paid
for, the licensor received consideration).
Almost all court cases involve such issues. Not bare licenses.
Additionally you are thinking about consumer protection statutes that
would run against the property owner successfully suing for the
destruction of all current now-unlicensed copies in existence.
Once the license is revoked the linux team may no-longer use the revoked
code in future versions. They no longer have permission - the license
they were given ceases to exist.
Normally the copyright owner then has the option to pray to the court
that all unlicensed copys be destroyed. The court, as you put, is
unlikely to grant this form of relief regarding existing copys that
existed prior to the revocation.
That does not mean that Linux Team still is licensed to modify or
distribute the code: they are not. The license does not survive the