Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Feb 2006 23:54 UTC, submitted by sean batten
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Linus Torvalds doesn't want to change the Linux kernel's software license, and he said so again last week. For good measure this time, he threw in some inflammatory remarks. "I literally feel," wrote Torvalds, "that we do not, as software developers, have the moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers. We are not crusaders, trying to force people to bow to our superior God." Since the crusades were a foreign adventure responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, that's not the most diplomatic response, and FSF counsel Eben Moglen refused to be drawn into retaliation when we contacted him for comment."
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No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:16 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

Tidbits I dont like in the article :

"The Linux kernel which Torvalds controls"

The Linux kernel which Torvalds maintains.

"Torvalds also owns the Linux trademark"

Depends on the country , all due to Linus Thorvalds problem with facing reality when laws are concerned.

Like I previously said versioning UP , forking and relicensing are all possible.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No
by rm6990 on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:32 UTC in reply to "No"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

Like I previously said versioning UP , forking and relicensing are all possible.

Yes, if all the GPL v2 only code is rewritten it is possible. That could be a very large amount of code though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 01:31 UTC in reply to "RE: No"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Yes, if all the GPL v2 only code is rewritten it is possible."

I have to agree , its one of the possibility , but the real point here , and that a certified doctorate teacher of law such as yourself forget is that your wrong in thinking its the only way.

Now lets proove your point :

Versionning up : Please find me the exact line that forbide the versionning up of the GPL in the GPL license ?

Forking : Please find me the exact line that forbide the forking of the GPL for the GPL license in the GPL license ?

Relicensing : there is a good chunk that is already dual licensed to other traitor license ( BSD come to mind ). Your falsely arguing GPL to GPL is relicensing when its versionning , I whas talking derivative BSD to GPL V3.

Now the interesting question why Moglen and Stallman refusing to discuss anything politcs with LT , because its law and licensing.

Open Source and free software are different , if you dont care about free software dont use them or there license. LT is not asked to make the fork , versionning up or to relicense. Its just availaible to all.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: No
by CrLf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

"Please find me the exact line that forbide the versionning up of the GPL in the GPL license ?"

Huh?! The whole license forbids it! If a piece of code is licensed under the GPLv2, you have to follow its terms. The terms of the GPLv2.

The exception is on the boilerplate text that it's added to every source file, where it states that you can choose any later version, if you wish. But if that boilerplate text doesn't state that, you can't use any version other than the version that has been chosen by the author.

One doesn't have to be a lawyer to understand such a simple concept.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[4]: No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No"
RE[5]: No
by Spectre on Wed 8th Feb 2006 03:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No"
Spectre Member since:
2006-02-08

From the GPL version 2

4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.

And

9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will
be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions
either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of
this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software
Foundation.

Thus, if the original author specifies a GPL version, the software is licensed under that version and no other. That's it. End of story. Thank you for playing.

If english is not your native language, please take a look at one of the localized versions listed here:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/translations.html

Edited 2006-02-08 04:03

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

The GPL version 2 :

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

You seem to need English reading class and a lawyer to explain it to you , I am sure that an english teacher and copyrights lawyer in your location can solve both of the problem you seem to have.

"Thus, if the original author specifies a GPL version"

If he enforce it : He loose the right to use any GPL software and loose is right given by the GPL. He may release under a lesser version but may not stop other from versionning up :

"you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation."


" the software is licensed under that version and no other. "

No , not at all , its clearly written in the license that you may not stop others from having the same rights you received or you again loose the right to legally use all GPL software.

"That's it. End of story."

Its not a story , it whas finished the day you started using the GPL , you cant pick what you like in it and remove the rest and you cant rewrite the license , only the FSF can.

"Thank you for playing."

Its not a game , thats the problem you have here , its Law , you disagree with the GPL dont use it , really simple as a license , when you follow and understand it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: No
by flav2000 on Wed 8th Feb 2006 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

Please don't quote just a portion:

The part right before "you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation."


says: If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version".

Since LT never placed the "any later version" clause in the kernel (as he says on the LKML already) it in effect (by what you just conveniently omitted to quote) prevents versionning up

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: No
by Spectre on Wed 8th Feb 2006 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No"
Spectre Member since:
2006-02-08

I'm delighted to see you've responded with such enthusiasm. Let's take a look at a couple of the issues at hand, shall we?

"If he enforce it : He loose the right to use any GPL software and loose is right given by the GPL. He may release under a lesser version but may not stop other from versionning up :"

I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here, and your use of punctuation is dizzying to say the least. From what I gather, though, you are displaying a general misunderstanding of both the GPL and the nature of copyright law as it exists in the United States and the signatory nations of the Berne Convention.

The person who originates a work is the sole copyright owner of his original work. He is able to license his works under any license he so chooses, and is able to rerelease that work under a different license at will.

It should be noted that the author effectively gives away certain controls of a work when he releases it with a GPL license. That copy will always be GPL. That does not prevent him, however, from releasing another copy under a different license.

The original copyright owner cannot lose his copyrights, except in the event that it is proven that his work is in fact not an original creation, or perhaps if the government claims Eminent Domain. His copyright can, however, be given, sold or otherwise transferred to other individuals at his discretion.

No person can ever lose their right to use all GPL software as you so eloquently put it. That is the single most preposterous thing I've read in weeks, and I thank you for that. Use of any GPL licensed piece of software is restricted by the terms of the GPL, but in order to breach those terms, the offender would (in almost all cases) need to be using and/or distributing that software, so their rights may only be revoked retroactively. In effect, one can use GPL licensed software until he is found to be in breach of the license, at which point he is then infringing the original author's copyright, and subject to civil litigation. That would not prevent him from using GPL licensed software in the future, assuming he abides by the stipulations of the license.

"No , not at all , its clearly written in the license that you may not stop others from having the same rights you received or you again loose the right to legally use all GPL software."

Please slap yourself. Did it hurt? Not enough, I'm afraid.

The original author of a work retains the sole right to license his work as he sees fit, including the ability to relicense and sublicense that work, to his heart's content. I will also reiterate, in bold face just for clarity's sake, no one can ever lose their right to use all GPL software... Except perhaps by specific court injunction, but I don't believe there's any precedent for that.

"Its not a story , it whas finished the day you started using the GPL , you cant pick what you like in it and remove the rest and you cant rewrite the license , only the FSF can."

Yes, yes. Your stinging rhetoric wounds me and all that jazz. I do wonder how it can at once not be a story, and also be finished, but I digress.

The truth is that as an original author of a work, I can pick and choose what I want out of the GPL and discard the rest. This falls under my rights as the sole copyright owner of my original creations. I am 100% free to license that work however I see fit, even under cobbled together licenses of my own construction. I might run afoul of the the FSF in calling my modified license the GPL, and I might be creating a license with new flaws not found in the GPL, but that doesn't prevent me from making those modifications.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL

I'll also have you know that I quite strongly agree with the GPL, and that's a large part of the reason I'm so disappointed at posts such as yours here, that misrepresent not only the license but also the laws that govern it. I have licensed work under the GPL and used GPL licensed software, and will continue to do both, regardless of your insane rantings.

So, to sum up... I can license any work I create under any license I choose. If I specifically license a work under the GPL version 2, and do not indicate that a licensee may relicense the work under later versions of the GPL, that work is licensed under the GPL version 2 only. I may choose at a later date to relicense the work under a later revision of the GPL, but that is the only case in which its license will be changed.

The GPL never, ever, ever states otherwise. If I choose to license the work with the caveat "either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version." then a licensee may relicense the work under a later version. That is the only case in which that may be done. Otherwise, by the explicit statement of the GPL itself, licensees are not allowed to alter the license of the work, or rerelease under a different license.

I don't expect that your erroneous views of copyright law and the GPL will change anytime soon, and I'm alright with that. I do hope that this longwinded rant will help other, more able minded folks understand the GNU GPL, though.

Please feel free to continue making your nonsensical arguments. They will doubtlessly do wonders to help illlustrate my points.

Edited 2006-02-08 08:33

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: No
by CrLf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 13:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

The simple fact you are still refusing to accept what the license itself says in very clear terms, makes you a troll (nobody is that ignorant).

Please go away.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: No
by CrLf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

You seem to have a amazing capacity to give lengthy and informative arguments...

When an author chooses a particular license to some piece of software, he is choosing it for its terms. Every user of the software then has to either follow those terms or rafrain from using the software completely. The user can't choose another version because the terms of the new version aren't the terms that the author chose, other wise what would stop the user from choosing a completely different license which happens to be called GPLv4 (George's Private License v4)?

The thing is, if an author states that the software is licensed under the "GNU General Public License, as published by the Free Software Foundation", the user can choose between any available version of the license, because he isn't given explicit information about which version the author refers to.

That's why the FSF boilerplate text states "any later version" (to prevent users from choosing an obsolete version of the GPL).

However, a fair amount of code in Linux is licensed under "GPL version 2", not "GPL", and not "GPL version 2, or any later version".

You don't seem to grasp that the license is whatever the author chooses, so the boilerplate text actually adds to the licensing terms (while not adding to the GPL per se), and if whatever the author states there, is to be followed.

This is clear as water, and if you don't grasp this simple concept, then you are just one of the may GPL (potential) violators out there (there always seems to exist some people that just don't know how to read the GPL FAQ).

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"give lengthy and informative arguments... "

I dont need to discuss again what I already explained in this very thread.

"When an author chooses a particular license to some piece of software, he is choosing it for its terms."

Ok ... ( could be arguing that one but I dont see the need here )

"Every user of the software ... software completely."

Ok ...

"The user can't choose another version because the terms of the new version aren't the terms that the author chose"

Unless the license the original author carefully choosed allow it.

"other wise what would stop the user from choosing a completely different license which happens to be called GPLv4 (George's Private License v4)? "

The term and name of GPLv4 (George's Private License v4) , you really think some bozo did not try that one. Think again.

"The thing is, if ... refers to. "

Ok , thats one of my point and its not what your arguing.

"That's why the FSF boilerplate text states "any later version""

There is no boilerplate clause in the GPL.

9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it >>> and <<< "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

"However, a fair ... later version". "

What you dont get is the clause is not a with or exclusive its an inclusive clause :

The word which is there is an *and*

My point :

Blue key V2 >> and << blue key *any later version* open the door.

Your point :

Blue key V2 >> with << Blue key any later version open the door.

"You don't seem to grasp that the license is whatever the author chooses"

No , what I grasp is if someone whant total control of the license and the code after theyve give a copy to another they better not use the GPL.

"so the boilerplate text actually adds to the licensing terms (while not adding to the GPL per se), and if whatever the author states there, is to be followed. "

There is no *Boilerplate* clause in the GPL V2. You can set it on automatic upgrade or manual upgrade. One means you allow people to take advanatge of it because of new law or the user as the right to upgrade to newer version , or the other is your automatically going up a notch and protected.

"This is clear as water"

Yes , I know , why dont you get it is beyond me.

"and if you don't grasp this simple concept"

Judging by the number of false reply , I think we can safely say its not a simple concept , you still dont get it.

"then you are just one of the may GPL (potential) violators out there"

No because , I am the one who is right. Sorry to burst your little bubble but the right I discuss are granted by the GPL V2 , Linus as the copyright holder and original author cant do anything about it its the license. All he can do is make the next derivative he make under another license and only that license or just not release it under the GPL as is is right and see if other people follow him very long.

"(there always seems to exist some people that just don't know how to read the GPL FAQ)."

The GPL FAQ is NOT PART OF THE LICENSE , there is also no boilerplate clause in the GPL.

Get it now ? NO ? Dont worry Its intentionnal , the GPL whas not written by thief , liar and traitor , its whas written by Doctorate of law and freedom people who whant the code to be always open and availaible to all. Get it ? NO ? Dont worry it never whas meant to be discussed by you and your alterego and other personnality.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No
by massa on Wed 8th Feb 2006 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No"
massa Member since:
2005-08-22

1. versioning up: the original kernel parts are licensed by Linus under the terms of the GPLv2 only. The terms of the GPLv2 dictate that any derivative work can be distributed: (a) under the terms of the GPLv2 if they accompany the whole work or (b) under any more-liberal license (GPL section 6), if it's distributed without the original bits (as a diff file, for example). The GPLv3 will be LESS liberal than the GPLv2 (adding restrictions on dealing with DRM and patents), so... If Linus says "my code will not be GPLv3", in principle, as _much_ of the kernel is a derivative work on his initial work, one would have to start practically from the scratch to fork the kernel.

2. Forking: forking of the GPL does NOT imply that the GPL fork is automagically applicable to code originally GPLed.

3. Relicensing: see #1. I estimate (and I have a good idea of what I am talking about) that at least 80% of the LOCs in the kernel are derivative works on the original Linus-only linux kernel. It's not enough to remove code Linus himself wrote, but one must apply the principles of abstraction, filtration and comparison to determine what is a derivative work on what and remove that, too. The remaining 20% (by my estimate) can be used to construct a new kernel from scratch.

So, no, things are not "just available to all". There are REAL strings attached.

BTW, IANAL, but I have legal training (3 years), and I worked for two years as a paralegal in a DA's office, and I made a lot of research on Brasilian copyright laws (actually, Authors' Rights down here) AND on 17USC (for international comparison) to prosecute cases. So, yes, I know what I'm talking about.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: No
by Moulinneuf on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"1. versioning up: the original kernel parts are licensed by Linus under the terms of the GPLv2 only. The terms of the GPLv2 dictate that any derivative work can be distributed: (a) under the terms of the GPLv2 if they accompany the whole work or (b) under any more-liberal license "

Thats where I know your wrong , V2 and the GPL allow it , someone can take V1 , V2 and upgrade there copy to the next version. Its not an automatic as in V2 + or V1 + , you have to make the decision and change. Because the V3 you make is still the GPL and your not claiming copyright either on Kernel code , just working from it.

"2. Forking: forking of the GPL"

You cant fork the GPL , You can fork the Linux kernel. all GPL software can be forked or make derivative of them as long as you put them under a license that dont remove protected rights and freedom.

"3."that at least 80% of the LOCs in the kernel are derivative works on the original Linus-only linux kernel."

I dont know where you get your numbers but the kernel is modular , also most of the code did not come from the original kernel AND most of it is dual licensed to be able to include it in the kernel ( read GPL and something else , mostly BSD ).

"It's not enough to remove code Linus himself wrote"

Why would I need to remove LT code ? Its not two different license its the same license different version. But then again I spoke of relicensing , Which is avalaible if the new license grant the same right as the one in the GPL ( There whas no real reason until now to relicense anything or make the exact same given right and protection license ). I dont touch Linus kernel , I only transfer the code to a new license that is offering the same rights and protection as the GPL V2.

"things are not "just available to all""

Its called rights. Sorry but they are clearly written in the GPL V2 License.

"There are REAL strings attached."

Yes , thats the problem others have with it they whant to remove rights and protection and close it to all.

"BTW, IANAL, ... talking about."

You worked on any GPL case ? Defended the GPL as a particpating member of the defense team ?

So to be clear and not be insulting you know law , you know copyright law , you just dont know and understand the GPL and are using whats the usual copyright norm to it , the GPL aint a normal copyright license.

SCO did not go near it ( The GPL ) in there attack of IBM , and you have some wacky tester of law there , Thats why IBM in there counter attack and defensive argument are using the GPL.

Everyone one I have seen attack the integrity of the GPL as settled or dropped there case or made the modification wanted after the FSF shown them what they where up against.

Microsoft and Apple are not even trying to take code directly from it and they take code from every Open source license that existed before.

If Linus ( expert teacher and doctorate of law ) and is defense teams ( the best in the human world ) ( I whas cynical here thats what there facing) got money to loose on a already lost cause ... It will be one more proof that The GPL is an unbeatable license in court.

BTW :

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS3301105877.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No
by ma_d on Wed 8th Feb 2006 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: No"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

It doesn't have to be rewritten. But those using the gpl2 fork would have to rewrite what the 3 forkers write.

Anyway, it's not that big of a deal IMO. Just more licensing crap, get back to the technology!

Actually, I think that's wrong, I think you can version up and down the GPL.

Edited 2006-02-08 02:08

Reply Score: 1

you can't fork to a different license
by Dinadan on Wed 8th Feb 2006 10:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No"
Dinadan Member since:
2005-10-11

Sorry, you can't. I would be glad to "fork" all this GPL'd stuff to the BSD-license, but unfortunately that is not allowed by the license.

Reply Score: 1

Cheap shots
by moleskine on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:20 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It's not much of an article, and the personal criticism of LT is too cheap and unpleasant to be worth taking seriously. Besides, my understanding is that the present wording of the GPLv3 is a draft up for discussion. From the FSF's own website:

The first draft of the revised GNU General Public License has been released for comment.

Isn't this clear?. LT doesn't need to justify himself. He is free to say whatever he wants about the GPLv3, just like anyone else. The folks who need to justify themselves are the ones who are attacking LT because he hasn't instantly agreed to every word in a draft document that will be up for intense debate for many months.

In addition, the talk about morality is pretty sick-making. I resent being told that by running Linux I have signed up for the moral superiority club. I can't think of anything more awful.

Over the next few weeks/months, I think it will start to sink in that the FSF's proposals to reject DRM totally are over the top. The FSF needs support and so does Linux. If the FSF succeeds in alienating a lot of people including a lot of *nix businesses then it will end up marginalized, which is no contribution to any kind of debate. Perhaps in this regard LT has a better understanding of the realities than some of his "colleagues" who apparently can't handle the news that LT has a mind of his own and is nobody's puppet.

Edited 2006-02-08 00:22

Reply Score: 5

RE: Cheap shots
by skeezix on Wed 8th Feb 2006 04:11 UTC in reply to "Cheap shots"
skeezix Member since:
2006-02-06

In addition, the talk about morality is pretty sick-making. I resent being told that by running Linux I have signed up for the moral superiority club. I can't think of anything more awful.

Bringing up issues of ethics and ideology doesn't necessarily mean someone is trying to be elitist. Through our whole lives we're faced with questions of whether something is bad, neutral, good, or great. Now, I will concede that people do pull issues into the moral arena just so they can feel better than others (and this especially happens with FSF-type folks), but I don't think moral questions should be completely anathema.

Personally, I think the moral debate around intellectual property, especially software, is exciting and intriguing. In fact, this was one of the things that drew me to open-source software in the first place. And I think there's lots of room for debate: this isn't an issue that has no room for questioning like murder, theft, or rape; this is just software. So let's have fun prognosticating, and keep in mind that we may not have all the answers, so that we avoid the 'moral superiority club' mentality.

Reply Score: 1

Don't link to Andrew Orlowski
by JoeBuck on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:24 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

The guy is all heat, no light, and he serves the Register's business model by getting lots of people to link to and argue about his content-free flames.

If Linus doesn't accept GPLv3, then he will continue to use GPLv2. However, others are likely to dual-license their code (GPLv2 + GPLv3), and because other free software licenses (Apache, IBM) will be compatible with GPLv3 but not GPLv2. The world will not end.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Don't link to Andrew Orlowski
by skeezix on Wed 8th Feb 2006 04:14 UTC in reply to "Don't link to Andrew Orlowski"
skeezix Member since:
2006-02-06

ah, but isn't that why we love the Register? Utter polemic, without apology. Like Howard Stern for nerds. It's about time someone threw out political correctness and had some fun, even if it means being a total fool with marginal credibility ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Don't link to Andrew Orlowski
by mario on Wed 8th Feb 2006 12:17 UTC in reply to "Don't link to Andrew Orlowski"
mario Member since:
2005-07-06

"Don't link to ...."

OSNews has the right and obligation to link and publish all sorts of opinions, articles, op-eds, across the spectrum. If you don't like it, tough it up, comment on it, give your point of view etc. but do never expect to censor anything.

Reply Score: 1

Pure nonsens
by Morty on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:24 UTC
Morty
Member since:
2005-07-06

The whole article are pure nonsens. Why would anything be affected by Linus not wanting to change the license of the kernel? Seriously, it's not like the GPL 2 stops to work or something. And why should he change it, when the current version does what he wants without clauses he disagrees with. What if FSF reconsider, and don't release the new version, will that be it for open source too? Pure nonsens.

And there is nothing inflammatory about the use of the word crusaders, as it's a widely used term not directly linking to the actual crusades. A figure of speech if you will. It's fairly common to refer to people as crusader of this and that, without actually mean that they creates murder and mayhem. Another attempt of the article writer to make up something that does not exist.

Besides Linus tends to get rather blunt and undiplomatic when people don't get it, and make him repeatedly explain himself.

Reply Score: 5

...
by Mitarai on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:52 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

I muts agree with Linus, using the FSF as a tool to fight DRM is like bite the hand that feeds you.

Edited 2006-02-08 00:54

Reply Score: 1

Bah
by Milo_Hoffman on Wed 8th Feb 2006 00:55 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Whoever wrote this:

a) does not have a clue that you can't just "RE-LICENSE" the whole Linux kernel because every contributer still holds the copyright to their own contributions.

b) is a tard because they have no clue about (a) and are opening their pie hole.

Reply Score: 2

Crusades
by AnonaMoose on Wed 8th Feb 2006 01:02 UTC
AnonaMoose
Member since:
2005-08-11

Howdy

I can see where LT is comming from as RS IS on a crusade, he beleives that ALL software must be totally free in everyway and anything less is a failure on behalf of humanity.
It has been stated in many many flames in the past that Linus sees the GPLv2 as reasonable, it basically keeps the whole kernel free and available and that is all.
The FSF and Stallman have an agenda and it`s about as utopian as it gets, GPLv3 is not about being reasonable it is about forcing everyone to live their utopian dream where umpa lumpas write code and we all sail down a chocolate river and suck on everlasting gobstoppers.
You can go read about Stallman if anyone doesn`t beleive me, I personally wish people would see the middle ground between the two camps something simmilar too LGPL seems sane.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Crusades
by Mitarai on Wed 8th Feb 2006 01:06 UTC in reply to "Crusades"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

The FSF and Stallman have an agenda and it`s about as utopian as it gets, GPLv3 is not about being reasonable it is about forcing everyone to live their utopian dream where umpa lumpas write code and we all sail down a chocolate river and suck on everlasting gobstoppers.

That was so deep yet funny.

Edited 2006-02-08 01:06

Reply Score: 2

RE: Crusades
by nzjrs on Wed 8th Feb 2006 07:06 UTC in reply to "Crusades"
nzjrs Member since:
2006-01-02

RMS has been on a crusade his whole life. There is nothing wrong with that. We should be as grateful to RMS as we should be to Linus. They both bring different things to the table.

You should think harder about what you say - if you believe that all RMS believes in is that "all software should be free" then you have missed the point. Look between the lines, erosion of freedom and all that.

Reply Score: 1

Insightful
by gpierce on Wed 8th Feb 2006 01:37 UTC
gpierce
Member since:
2005-07-07

I see all the posters thus far have disliked the article which makes me wish I could post anonymously, since this is going to require more courage than I think I have :-)

I, actually, agree entirely with the author's core argument,

"if software libre isn't a moral crusade, what the heck is it?"

Stripped of its ethics, embodied in the GPL, Linux is just another operating system, and as the author points out a copy of a system which dates back more than thirty years--updated with modern drivers and features, perhaps, but essentially an old OS. Now, for many kernel hackers, technology enthusiasts, and software enthusiasts the moral sheen may not mean very much, and may be "sickening" as one writer stated, but for a number of GNU/Linux users the principles behind free software defined in the GPL are what made the OS so attractive to begin with. I wonder how many other free software engineers have also been inspired by the idealism of Free Software. I do not know. I do know that of the few peole in my social circle who know of Linux and use it, the majority are young idealistic men and women who may not parade their beliefs but are nevertheless proud to be participating in whatever small way in this adventure.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Insightful
by AdrianRyan on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "Insightful"
AdrianRyan Member since:
2005-07-02

Well.... While to some extent you are right, the software libre movement could be classified as a "moral crusade," I would say that classifying it as first a business structure (keep the code free so that it stays alive), secondly a political movement (keep the code free so that everyone can use it and make it as they see fit), and lastly a moral crusade (keep the code free because that is the way it should be). Personally, I would find the moral crusade bit of that the part with the least grounding in real life. Sure, DRM sucks for the user, but it does protect the rights of the copyright holder. There is DRM that works (somewhat) fairly, and as long as it can be circumvented, the user can exercise his rights as well (I know this begs the question that DRM be circumventable, but that isn't really the point). And while many Linux users are idealistic young'uns, without proof of otherwise I would doubt they are the majority, and would hazard a guess that the majority of Linux users are people working in a corporate environment that uses Linux. And in that case, making the moral crusade part of the GNU GPL the top priority in v3 could only hurt GNU on the other two parts, which I think are more important.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Insightful
by harcalion on Wed 8th Feb 2006 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Insightful"
harcalion Member since:
2005-07-12

Linux is not GNU, so, the death of Linux (as it remains in GPL2) would possibly impact the widespread of the GNU operating environment, but surely they'll choose another GPL3 kernel, like OpenSolaris or maybe the Hurd has been released by then (lol).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Insightful
by Lumbergh on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "Insightful"
Lumbergh Member since:
2005-06-29

Stripped of its ethics, embodied in the GPL, Linux is just another operating system...

Hehe, it is just another operating system no matter what the GPL jihadists would like you to believe.

but for a number of GNU/Linux users the principles behind free software defined in the GPL are what made the OS so attractive to begin with.

Ooops, too bad, they are the very, very small minority.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Insightful
by youknowmewell on Wed 8th Feb 2006 04:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Insightful"
youknowmewell Member since:
2005-07-08

Ooops, too bad, they are the very, very small minority.

I'd love to see some numbers to prove that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Insightful
by Lumbergh on Wed 8th Feb 2006 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Insightful"
Lumbergh Member since:
2005-06-29

Ooops, too bad, they are the very, very small minority.

I'd love to see some numbers to prove that.


Easy, just go look at Hurd.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Insightful
by AnonaMoose on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:14 UTC in reply to "Insightful"
AnonaMoose Member since:
2005-08-11

Howdy

I, actually, agree entirely with the author's core argument

Well done, I like to see people stand up for what they believe ;)

Stripped of its ethics, embodied in the GPL, Linux is just another operating system ...

So true, this is one of the few situations where the "grey area" happens to suit both sides as one side sees derivitive protecting viral license and the other a self propagating ehtical enforcement regeime (beer does not take the place of spellcheck!).
Now one side doesn`t want the heavy rhetorical baggage and the other doesn`t believe it can exist without it, for a cookie you can decide which side you belong to.
But both basically have the right idea, but enforcing either side with contempt for the other makes both wrong(no cookie!).

Edited 2006-02-08 02:17

Reply Score: 1

Hehe, the register..
by Lumbergh on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:04 UTC
Lumbergh
Member since:
2005-06-29

Always trying to fan the flames with no substance or style. Ooooohhhh...the death of open source because linus won't change the license.

Reply Score: 1

The Hurd
by ozonehole on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:08 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

If Stallman & friends feel so passionately about GPL v3, then they can release their own kernel (The Hurd) under it. In fact, I'm sure that they will do this. So if the "free world" thinks that GPL v3 is so important, they can migrate to The Hurd. Let's have some competition here, Linux GPL v2 vs. The Hurd GPL v3. The world will decide which is better. Info about The Hurd can be found here:

http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hurd.html

Personally, I wouldn't bet my lunch on The Hurd, but we'll see.

It would be nice if this GPL debate could be discussed in a civilized manner. Like most of the other posters here, I found the original article to be offensive, especially the remark about "crusaders." That was a very cheap shot, and tarnishes the author's argument to such an extent that even if he's right, people are going to dismiss him as a loonie.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The Hurd
by gpierce on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:21 UTC in reply to "The Hurd"
gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

The "crusader" label was applied by Linus Torvalds to the free software "fanatics", or "jihadists" as one poster here humorously put it. I had been expecting more commentary from the FSF and RMS upon LT's outbursts but they have been surprisingly quiet. If I remember correctly RMS said very recently that LT was entitled to do what he wanted to with his kernel, and that he did not want to engage LT in a public argument.

On the topic of the HURD, the project seems ambitious. It would be interesting to see if the availability of processors sporting more cores and faster speeds will make the microkernel design more practical in the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The Hurd
by sergio on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:23 UTC in reply to "The Hurd"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

"So if the "free world" thinks that GPL v3 is so important, they can migrate to The Hurd."

The Hurd... or The OpenSolaris. It will be GPL3'd too.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The Hurd
by AnonaMoose on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:23 UTC in reply to "The Hurd"
AnonaMoose Member since:
2005-08-11

Howdy

I found the original article to be offensive, especially the remark about "crusaders." That was a very cheap shot, and tarnishes the author's argument to such an extent that even if he's right, people are going to dismiss him as a loonie.

There isn`t much in the article that I do not see as "reality challenged", next we`ll be hearing about "day walkers" or "married people" perhaps even stranger concepts in an online society.

Reply Score: 1

opinion articles
by postmodern on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:27 UTC
postmodern
Member since:
2006-01-27

Do these authors even think about their arguments before writing it up? Why would the functioning GPLv2 kernel suddenly break down and drag all of the the BSD/Movzilla/Apache/MIT/GPL/etc community with it when a new controversial GPL version is written and a big star decides to hold off because of certain provisions that seem silly? Obviously the sky will not fall, maybe bumps in the road, but the kernel is still made of functional code and people will still write code for it. When a real serious problem develops that threatens the survival of the Linux Kernel project (i.e. SCO), that's when the editorials should start being published and serious questions asked.

Reply Score: 2

Free as in beer?
by werfu on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:29 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

Linus can do whatever he wants with Linux, I don't care. I dont like banning on media protection (DRM-like) that the GPLv3 suggest too. Being more saint than the pope itself has no utility and I always said that if GPL was there to protect free softwares and owners, not to tie them up to terms they are unwilling to apply.

Let's keep it Free as in beer, Free as in source code, FREE OF SPEECH

Reply Score: 0

"GPLv2 or later" vs "GPLv3 or later"
by erpa on Wed 8th Feb 2006 02:39 UTC
erpa
Member since:
2006-02-08

One question I would like to ask: for people who release their software using the "GPLxx or later" boilerplate, does "GPLv3 or later" offer any benefits over "GPLv2 or later"?

Reply Score: 1

BryanFeeney Member since:
2005-07-06

It's far better for web-applications (which aren't distributed in the normal sense) and web-application frameworks. It also features some tweaks to the wording so it works (or works better) in more jurisdictions.

More controversially, it tries to avoid situations where a DRM mechanism could be used to avoid disclosing the source of a program which uses GPL software. This appears to be a ban on DRM in general though, which is what is causing such a ruckus in some parts of the world...

...but not the kernel. The main problem there is figuring out how to relicense all the tens of thousands of contributions that have been made under the previous version. Linus isn't against open-source, or even free software, however he doesn't feel like he needs all the entitlements that the GPL provides to authors (such as forcing the writers of modules to reveal their source to him).

Reply Score: 1

I find it humorous...
by kernelpanicked on Wed 8th Feb 2006 03:53 UTC
kernelpanicked
Member since:
2006-02-01

I find it humorous how people assume that Linux==OpenSource. The BSDs were here long before Stallman and Torvalds, and will be here long after they're gone. Not that I'm arrogant enough to believe BSD==OpenSource but there is more than one open source solution.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I find it humorous...
by thebluesgnr on Wed 8th Feb 2006 08:02 UTC in reply to "I find it humorous..."
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

The BSD was not free software before Stallman started the GNU project. Had that been the case Stallman wouldn't start GNU in the first place. If you haven't yet you should read the announcement of the GNU project, and the first few words are "Free Unix!"[1].

In fact, the GNU project encouraged users of BSD to fight to make it free software:
"I think it's highly unlikely that we ever would have gone as strongly as we did without the
GNU influence," says Bostic, looking back. "It was clearly something where they were
pushing hard and we liked the idea."

(Bostic is one of those responsible for free BSD).

What I find humorous (well, sad actually) is how people assume Open Source==Free Software, specially considering "open source" was created as late as 1998 and doesn't reflect the ideas of Free software at all.

1. http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html
The quote is from the book "Free as in Freedom".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I find it humorous...
by kernelpanicked on Wed 8th Feb 2006 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE: I find it humorous..."
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

You are very confused. 1BSD was released in 1977 and despite the lawsuit that came much later (and was completely obsurd) it was a free distribution. The GPL was first released in 1989, and at that point had very little code to be used for, much less an entire OS. Stallman is not responsible for BSD being free in any way. You sir, need to slow down with drinking Stallman's kool-aid.

Reply Score: 1

Hooray for backbones!
by skeezix on Wed 8th Feb 2006 04:21 UTC
skeezix
Member since:
2006-02-06

I love how Linus Torvalds doesn't give a rat's arse about what people think. That's a hallmark of a very strong, self-possessed person. I will say I was very incensed at one of his recent comments -- the one about GNOME sucking and KDE being lovely -- because I'm rather fond of GNOME myself, and find KDE a bit too configurable. But I admired the fact that Torvalds was so brutally frank and free with his opinion. After all, this is just software; we're not talking about stabbing babies here. So why not be bold and have some violent, flame-igniting fun? You only live once.

Reply Score: 5

We want (NEED!) debate, not innuendo
by boots on Wed 8th Feb 2006 07:43 UTC
boots
Member since:
2005-07-06

People who use colorful language may as well just utter blatant profanities. It is already assured that they don't have a real proposition to stake their argument in. Linus is showing his failings here -- and it seems some posters here are doing the same. I could only shake my head when I read the comment that likened GPL supporters to jihadists. Absurd, scatalogical reference, indeed.

Debate and dialectic is exactly what is needed to make sure that the next version of the GPL will uphold the guiding principles of free software. Colorful taunts -- not so much.

Edited 2006-02-08 07:58

Reply Score: 0

mcklaw Member since:
2006-01-26

I wish there were ten LT for every RS, so we could have ten OS or applications to play with instead of waste all our energies speaking about how beautifull or free GNU/Hurd will be.

The beatifull of the software is not its freedom, it's software itself.

RS will be remembered by his crusaders, no one else. The rest of the humanity will remember the person who brought them the OS that they USE. Do you remember the person who made the license of Windows(c)? ;)

Reply Score: 2

Boooh
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Feb 2006 07:51 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

It doesn't matter whether the kernel stays with GPL v2 or switches to v3.

If it stays with GPL v2 then everything is unchanged. If it switches to GPL v3 it's changed, but it's not.

So who cares? It'll still be freedomware no matter what happens.

Reply Score: 1

Linux is obsolete...
by stew on Wed 8th Feb 2006 11:05 UTC
stew
Member since:
2005-07-06

...because the HURD will be licensed under GPL3 and take over the world, right?


"I like the product, but not the license. So I'm gonna write the entire thing again, just with a different license attached, even if it takes me years to get to the point where the original is at - still better than using software with the BSD advertising clause." Ah, isn't this what Free software really is about?

Reply Score: 1

I disagree with Linus
by Windlord on Wed 8th Feb 2006 11:44 UTC
Windlord
Member since:
2006-01-07

Everyone's entitled to their opinions, specially Linus whom with I often agree on many issues as he's a pragmatic technical thinker. But not this time, the position he's taking regarding DRM, can be assimilated to the position most western countries took when Germany began anexioning territories, "It's not our problem nor our obligation" until it was too late. Of course software developers are not hardware ones and should not take position whenever possible with hardware decisions whenever we're not affected by those decisions. DRM is such a technology that will affect us all, it's not a technology made to protect anyone's rights, but to control legit users (a pirate wouldn't be affected 'cos his files will be undrmed) and as software developers, our activity could be controlled and difficulted that way. Recently, microsoft showed his plans to erradicate hobbyists from their consoles and how it's drm licensing was specifically designed to keep them and small developers out of field. If LT thinks linux won't be affected he's simply, and plainly nuts.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I disagree with Linus
by baad_to_The_bone on Wed 8th Feb 2006 17:59 UTC in reply to "I disagree with Linus"
baad_to_The_bone Member since:
2006-02-08

Hey! I invoke Goodwin's law on that!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Reply Score: 1

Update
by moleskine on Wed 8th Feb 2006 15:40 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has just posted a much better article (imho) with more information here:

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS3301105877.html

For me anyway, this makes it more clear where the parties stand, what LT's own thoughts are, and what the core of the argument seems to be. How much nicer to read something that has no personal animosity in it.

Reply Score: 1

Go Linus!
by Smartpatrol on Wed 8th Feb 2006 15:58 UTC
Smartpatrol
Member since:
2005-07-06

"I literally feel," wrote Torvalds, "that we do not, as software developers, have the moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers. We are not crusaders, trying to force people to bow to our superior God."

So very well stated! FOSS needs to focus on gaining proven technical superiority over commercial offerings. Linusís statements emphasize the technical side of things and abandons the political crusade many in the FSF and other FOSS fundamentalists purvey.
This will ultimately provide for FOSSís success. GO LINUS!

Reply Score: 3

Linus' rights
by AlexandreAM on Wed 8th Feb 2006 17:06 UTC
AlexandreAM
Member since:
2006-02-06

I am not a lawyer and I don't know for sure if I'm speaking something completely stupid, but... does Linus have the rights to change the GPL version under which the software is licensed ?

I mean, there are tons of developpers out there who contributed their code to the Linux kernel codebase and only contributed it in the GPLv2 terms.

Who is to say anyone can change the GPL version ? is there any GPL clause or Copyright Law that applies here ?

with all that said (asked) I would like to leave my R$0,02 (2 cents of Real, Brazillian currency): If Linus has the right to change the GPL Version applied to the code, then he has a damn sure right to keep the version to whatever he likes better.

He's a software programmer, not a priest or a doctor, bound by some ethics code. HE chose the license which gave him the best business model (in his mind, at least). Some may argue he did it in behalf of a community, or with some bigger moral intent but, Come on if it is "his" software (questions above) it is HIS software.

The whinners should just look to another kernel and stop complaining or (as I think would work just as well) use Linux Kernel code and release the system software that surrounds it in GPLv3... is it possible ? or does it fall it into 'derivative work' ? I know it would be possible with LGPL but not really sure about GPL in this situation.

Please forgive any mispelling and the bad structure of the text. I'm working and not with much time to pass it through the processes to check it nor to review it much.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linus' rights
by Fred on Wed 8th Feb 2006 17:43 UTC in reply to "Linus' rights"
Fred Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, but he has to consult each and every contributor (copyright holder) to the whole kernel source before he can. So he's not only against the GPLv3 draft in its current wording, but it's also an impossible task to even attempt to get everyone to agree to a license change.

Of course he's free to relicense his own tidbits of code if he wants to ;)

Reply Score: 1

The GPL is not a magic wand
by baad_to_The_bone on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:07 UTC
baad_to_The_bone
Member since:
2006-02-08

Moulinneuf you just don't get it.

You can use the program provided you agree to a bunch of rules that were set by the copyright holder. In this case, the program is linux and the license is the linux license.

It just so happens this license is very similiar to some other generic license, one which is commonly known as GPL.

But it's still the linux license.

Now, the question is, does the linux license say you can fork linux and relicense it as you please?

Everybody, everywhere, they all seem to think it doesn't. But you.. oh, you know better. Right.

Reply Score: 1