Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Jan 2008 23:18 UTC
Linux Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux operating system, still has no plans to license the Linux kernel under version three of the GNU GPL anytime soon. Torvalds, a vocal critic of GPL v3 while it was being drafted, prefers GPL v2, he told Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, Jan. 8 in the first in a series of podcasts titled 'Open Voices', which will feature the industry's top open source and Linux leaders. Torvalds also said Linux was the project that made the split clear between the religious belief in freedom advocated by the Free Software Foundation and the technical superiority that open source and Linux have always been about.
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Right on!
by WereCatf on Tue 8th Jan 2008 23:36 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Torvalds also said Linux was the project that made the split clear between the religious belief in freedom advocated by the Free Software Foundation and the technical superiority that open source and Linux have always been about.

I am all for Linus's beliefs, he is a very practical guy and always thinks about the real-world solutions instead of pursuing FSF's beliefs. Good thing ;)

Reply Score: 11

RE: Right on!
by coolvibe on Tue 8th Jan 2008 23:57 UTC in reply to "Right on!"
coolvibe Member since:
2007-08-16

I have to agree. I remember the earlier flamewar on the linux lists about this. Linus made his point well and sticks by it (as he should). GPLv2 does *exactly* what linux intends.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Right on!
by evangs on Wed 9th Jan 2008 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Right on!"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Exactly. Why fix something that ain't broke?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Right on!
by wirespot on Wed 9th Jan 2008 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Right on!"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Exactly. Why fix something that ain't broke?


But it is broken. GPLv3 fixes loopholes in v2 that can be used to escape both the letter and the spirit of the license by preventing people from sharing alike.

I fail to see how this can be seen as a bad thing, except by those who like the ability to circumvent v2.

So I'm not sure what Linus's objections to v2 are. I understand the practical difficulties of making all copyright holders for the kernel agree on the change, but he says they'll do it if Sun does it for Open Solaris. So it appears it's not such a big hurdle after all, and it can't be ideological since he's willing to be swayed by another's example.

Come to think about it, I wonder what makes Open Solaris so special that Linus is willing to follow it and only it on the GPLv3 issue. Why Open Solaris? How is it and Sun's stance relevant for Linux? I would've understood if he said "I'll do it if enough other big FOSS projects do it". Or "I'll ask the opinion of major Linux distro makers". But Open Solaris and Sun? Why? Because he thinks they'll never do it and thinks of it as an excuse along the lines of "when I see pigs fly"?

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: Right on!
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Jan 2008 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right on!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Come to think about it, I wonder what makes Open Solaris so special that Linus is willing to follow it and only it on the GPLv3 issue. Why Open Solaris? How is it and Sun's stance relevant for Linux?


Open Solaris (or more completely, GNU/Solaris)
http://www.gnusolaris.org/gswiki

... is the only viable direct competitor to GNU/Linux if it were to be licensed under the GPL. It is not a competitor right now because the OpenSolaris kernel is licensed under the CCDL.

BSD is not a competitor because it is too susceptible to just being taken by some commercial entity with no "give back" obligation (*cough* darwin *cough*) ... so developers are not keen to see their supposed-to-be-open-code being used to rip people off.

There are, apparently by some estimates, the approximate equivalent of 1.5 million FOSS developers. Something over 60% of these release their code as GPL code ... there is a reason for this.

Anyway, if it were to be licensed under GPLv3, then OpenSolaris could include drivers from the Linux kernel project ... but the Linux kernel project under GPLv2 could not use anything back from OpenSolaris. That is probably the driver for Sun considering the GPLv3 in the first place. In order to remain competitive, Linus would have to move the Linux kernel to GPLv3.

Also, AFAIK, OpenSolaris is the only project that Linux actually wants something from. I think it is "zones" that he wants.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Right on!
by wirespot on Wed 9th Jan 2008 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Right on!"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

I'm not sure that "taking" code is, or should be, the main driver behind a decision such as this. GPLv3 should, IMHO, be considered on its merits first, not because it gives access to a wider pool of code. So basically it comes out that Linus is less interested in the ideology and merits of v3 and more in code this would make accessible. Which is ironic, perhaps hypocritical, and not what he has been saying all along. IIRC, his main objection was the tivoization clause, but now he appears to be singing a different tune.

I'm all for Linux switching to GPL v3, but I think HOW the switch is made is important just as much. Doing it to get more code is whory, IMHO. Doing it by "force", as Bruce Perens suggests, is immoral.

I have to be practical and say that I don't think Linux will be switched to v3 anytime soon. Short of doing it for the wrong reasons and with the wrong methods, there's just no way that all the contributors will agree, and that those that don't will have their code easily replaced. No way.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
So basically it comes out that Linus is less interested in the ideology and merits of v3 and more in code
"

Wait a minute! Linus is less interested in ideology?



hehe.. I couldn't resist being that everything I've read indicates that Linus is more interested in the development methodology and less interested in the ideology. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Right on!
by Steven on Fri 11th Jan 2008 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Right on!"
Steven Member since:
2005-07-20

It's funny how people talk about that as if it's so horrible.

You know, Linux originally took the BSD network stack, right? No BSD community was able to get their work back, since GPL is incompatible with so many other existing licenses, but you don't see BSD projects jumping ship to GPL just to get at Linux code, do you?

I think it's pretty childish to upgrade just so you can steal someone else's code. I use the word "steal" here because they can currently view the code and implement their own from scratch implementation if they really want to, just like the BSD guys do, but instead Linus is openly saying "I'll abandon my moral standing on this if it lets me get a hold of their code!" which is, in my opinion, a despicable statement.

And how does being given away freely (without strange use and distrobution clauses) make BSD less of a competitor? It's not as if people choose not to use FreeBSD because someone else might take some of the code. There are several companies that directly contribute to FreeBSD code. People like to say "yes, but more companies work on Linux!" as if it was a good thing that IBM hijacks the kernel for their own use all the time, causing the whole thing to become slower on desktop PCs as a result. Truly it is a wonder that more projects don't go out of their way to whore themselves out to big companies at the expense of the little users. I can't imagine why that doesn't happen?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Right on!
by evangs on Wed 9th Jan 2008 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right on!"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


Come to think about it, I wonder what makes Open Solaris so special that Linus is willing to follow it and only it on the GPLv3 issue. Why Open Solaris? How is it and Sun's stance relevant for Linux? I would've understood if he said "I'll do it if enough other big FOSS projects do it". Or "I'll ask the opinion of major Linux distro makers". But Open Solaris and Sun? Why? Because he thinks they'll never do it and thinks of it as an excuse along the lines of "when I see pigs fly"?


You're taking a highly cynical view with no basis whatsoever. Perhaps he's waiting for Sun to migrate Open Solaris to GPLv3 because if anyone is going to be encumbered by patents and copyrights, it's going to be Sun. Seeing how they make the move, learning from the difficulties they faced and perhaps seeing their motivation for such a move.

Fact of the matter is, GPLv2 works now. It's worked for the last 20 years or so. There is no reason to undertake a huge effort that will take hours of man power just to change something that has practically no visible benefit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Right on!
by dagw on Wed 9th Jan 2008 12:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right on!"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06


But it is broken. GPLv3 fixes loopholes in v2 that can be used to escape both the letter and the spirit of the license by preventing people from sharing alike.


Well no you can't escape the letter of GPLv2. Some people argue that you can escape the spirit the FSF intended for the GPLv2 and that v3 fixes that.

Linus' counter is that he signed up to the letter of GPLv2 and not necessarily the spirit of the FSF. He doesn't think it is broken, since it allowes people to do exactly what he thought it would allow people to do. Linus obviously read the GPLv2 before licensing his code under it and was happy with what it allowed and didn't allow people to do with his code.

but he (Linus) says they'll do it if Sun does it for Open Solaris.


Actually Linus said no such thing. What he has said is that if Sun releases ZFS under GPLv3 then
"yes, maybe ZFS is worthwhile enough that I'm willing to go to the effort of trying to relicense the kernel. But quite frankly, I can almost guarantee that Sun won't release ZFS under the GPLv3 even if they release other parts. Because if they did, they'd lose the patent protection." In the same message he also says
"I think the only really interesting thing they have is ZFS, and even there, I suspect we'd be better off talking to NetApp, and seeing if they are interested in releasing WAFL for Linux."

Basically the only bit of Open Solaris that he is interested enough in to even to consider re-licensing is ZFS and even there he's skeptical.

He also goes on to say
"I think a truly open-source GPLv3 Solaris would be a really really _good_ thing, even if it does end up being a one-way street (from Linux to OpenSolaris) as far as code is concerned!"

Perhaps you should try looking up what someone actually said before you start putting words in their mouth.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Right on!
by KugelKurt on Wed 9th Jan 2008 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Right on!"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

Well no you can't escape the letter of GPLv2.

If you read the GPL v2's preamble and you take today's software patents into consideration, then you can escape the GPL, because nobody except the patent holder can use the GPLed program.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Right on!
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Jan 2008 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right on!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

GPLv3 fixes loopholes in v2 that can be used to escape both the letter and the spirit of the license by preventing people from sharing alike.


They are only loopholes if you care about them being used. Obviously Linux doesn't and thus v2 is perfect for his needs.

So it appears it's not such a big hurdle after all, and it can't be ideological since he's willing to be swayed by another's example.


He's practical. If SUN used GPLv3 it would be worth all the troubles to switch.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Right on!
by KugelKurt on Wed 9th Jan 2008 15:39 UTC in reply to "Right on!"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

I am all for Linus's beliefs, he is a very practical guy and always thinks about the real-world solutions instead of pursuing FSF's beliefs. Good thing ;)

Oh, then DRM is no real-world problem? What TIVO does with the Linux kernel (-> making it impossible to run modified kernels) is not real-world? The SCO lawsuit is not real-world?

I'm sorry, but Linus seems to have a split personality. When it comes to drivers, he insists on free software principles. OTOH patent threats don't matter to him and neither does. http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2003042401126OSKNLL

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Right on!
by WereCatf on Wed 9th Jan 2008 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Right on!"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Oh, then DRM is no real-world problem?

Nope, not under Linux.

What TIVO does with the Linux kernel (-> making it impossible to run modified kernels) is not real-world?

That's their choice.

The SCO lawsuit is not real-world?

What does have anything to do with GPL2 vs GPL3 anyway?

When it comes to drivers, he insists on free software principles.

Actually no. He is the one who insists people should be allowed to use proprietary drivers et al. He just wants everything to work, even if you have to use something proprietary. That's exactly why I am saying he is practical: he thinks about what's best and most practical for the end-user.

OTOH patent threats don't matter to him

Again, what has that to do with anything? Of course patent threats matter to him, how could they not? If Linux did infringe on some patent then it is very much his concern!

I wonder where have you gotten your weird ideas from.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Right on!
by KugelKurt on Wed 9th Jan 2008 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Right on!"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

That's their choice.

And why is it TIVO's choice? After all, it's not TIVO's code, but the one from the Linux community. There are Linux developers who committed source code to Linux because it's GPL. And such developers take it seriously when companies try to undermine it. See Harald Welte's gplviolations.org. I don't see Linus Torvalds involved with it.

The GPL's preamble makes it very clear what this license is all about. Software patents and "Tivoization" are loopholes for the GPLv2, but they don't follow the GPL spirit that is explained in its preamble.

What does have anything to do with GPL2 vs GPL3 anyway?

AFAIK some of the modifications to v3 were made with the SCO experiences in mind.

Actually no. He is the one who insists people should be allowed to use proprietary drivers et al.

Then why's there no stable driver API/ABI in Linux? Older comments I read from Linus about this issue were (paraphrased): "I don't care about proprietary drivers by some company. Linux is open source and only open source drivers matter to me."

Again, what has that to do with anything? Of course patent threats matter to him, how could they not?

The GPLv3 fixes the software patent loophole. OTOH I read a LKML mail from Linus a few years ago (it was shortly after a new virtual memory system was implanted). Some guy mentioned that this new system might violate a certain patent -- IIRC a SGI patent. Linus reply was: Don't investigate any further. It's better not to know which patents we might violate.

If Linux was GPLv3, every SGI patent in Linux voids for the Linux code, because SGI distributes Linux.

Reply Score: 4

Might as well do one well.
by JMcCarthy on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:09 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

If you've listened to Mr. Cox, or looked at the number of vulnerabilities in the kernel, or the number of bugs that go unfixed, you'd know that while not horrible, technically superior is hardly a way to describe it.

Since technical superiority is no longer a defining aspect, freedom may as well be.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Might as well do one well.
by diegocg on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:42 UTC in reply to "Might as well do one well."
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

(duplicated commentary)

Edited 2008-01-09 00:50

Reply Score: 2

RE: Might as well do one well.
by diegocg on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:48 UTC in reply to "Might as well do one well."
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't think that the Linux bug rate is higher than other operative systems. If you look at the bug count of course its high - it has a huge amount of drivers and architectures, more than anyone else (yes, I included netbsd in the comparison). In fact, the big number of bugs fixed in 2.6.x.x releases are a proof that linux developers care about serious bugs like any other project, you would find few patches in those releases if developers didn't care.


In my experience, the main difference is that other operative systems love to tell the world how much serious and stable they are and how good their reputation is, to the point that many people blindly believes it no matter what. In the other hand, Linux developers don't seem to mind that much to accept that they're not perfect, and suggesting that linux is buggy will usually result in discussions about better development models that could be adopted to improve the quality, not in googling what's the machine with the highest uptime or whether your codebase is derived from a true Unix system or not.


I'm also a bit surprised that you seem to think that "technical superiority == stability". The most stable systems out there usually don't have "technical superiority" - quite the contrary, they're old codebases that are missing a lot of the new technology because the codebase is closed for everything except bug fixes (note that the contrary is not true, ie: a very buggy system is not neccesarily the most advanced system out there, but implementation of new technologies implies neccesarily -no matter what you do- new bugs.)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Might as well do one well.
by pixel8r on Wed 9th Jan 2008 01:52 UTC in reply to "Might as well do one well."
pixel8r Member since:
2007-08-11

If you've listened to Mr. Cox, or looked at the number of vulnerabilities in the kernel, or the number of bugs that go unfixed, you'd know that while not horrible, technically superior is hardly a way to describe it.

Since technical superiority is no longer a defining aspect, freedom may as well be.


This is hardly any measure of technical inferiority/superiority either. All software contains bugs.

Being "Technically Superior" has little to do with the bugs and more to do with its features, both core features and anything else it does particularly well.

As far as bugs are concerned, keep telling yourself that the number of reported bugs that are viewable to the public has some connection to software quality. People that use bug report counts to compare open source software with closed source software projects are really just showing that they dont understand either software model at all. With open source, EVERYTHING (including bugs) is usually all out in the open, for all to see, and the reverse is true for closed-source software. Any comparison can only be done based on actual current security risks or current working features...

...and IE just froze on me for no reason so there's my own personal conclusion right there. ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Might as well do one well.
by Oliver on Wed 9th Jan 2008 09:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Might as well do one well."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

>Being "Technically Superior" has little to do with the bugs and more to do with its features, both core features and anything else it does particularly well.

Of course it has something to do with bugs, foremost *less bugs*. It has something to do with reliability in the end. Nobody with a sane mind would use a nuclear reactor with a control system buggy as hell. So there would not be any new technology without proper use in the wild. If I'm able to use a software with as less bugs as possible and many features, than it is indeed technically superior. Otherwise it's just hype to sell some inferior 'crap'.

Reply Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

and linux have the benefit here in that you can compile the kernel with only the features your going to use, leave out the rest (thereby eliminating all potential bugs in those) and then test the hell out of it to shake any remaining bugs out of there...

hell, i have seen that there are linux based phone switches being offered these days, and i think thats one area where the requirements are down right anal...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Might as well do one well.
by dagw on Wed 9th Jan 2008 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Might as well do one well."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course it has something to do with bugs, foremost *less bugs*


Bugs are also inversly correlated with features. The less your software does the less bugs it potentially has and the easier it is to debug. You cannot reasonably compare number of bugs without at the same time talking about features.

Of course you could argue that Linux has too many features and tries to do too much and thus ends up buggy.

Also counting bugs is in the end pointless since the severity of the bugs is much more relevant than the quantity.

Reply Score: 2

'Superior' to what?
by renox on Wed 9th Jan 2008 06:13 UTC in reply to "Might as well do one well."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

You know when you say superior (or inferior) you have to say with what you're doing the comparison, otherwise it's meaningless..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Might as well do one well.
by evangs on Wed 9th Jan 2008 07:34 UTC in reply to "Might as well do one well."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Technical superiority is not only about how many bugs go unfixed. That's a very very narrow definition of the phrase.

Reply Score: 2

v dick or 'tard?
by JMcCarthy on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:18 UTC
v RE: dick or 'tard?
by marafaka on Wed 9th Jan 2008 10:41 UTC in reply to "dick or 'tard? "
v Misleading story title
by Moocha on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:21 UTC
RE: Misleading story title
by Spifmeister on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:39 UTC in reply to "Misleading story title"
Spifmeister Member since:
2006-03-20

While he does not control the kernel, his decisions hold weight in what happens to the kernel. If Linus wanted to go with the GPLv3, then it was more likely to happen. It would take someone like Linus to get permission from the other kernel developers to change the license of their code. Linus's decision makes it very unlikely that we will see the kernel being put under the GPLv3.

This does not prevent kernel developers from dual licensing their code as I understand it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Misleading story title
by flanque on Wed 9th Jan 2008 01:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Misleading story title"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I thought some people who contributed to the kernel have passed away and so without re-writing those components it'd be impossible to get all the necessary permissions..

At least that's what I read.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Misleading story title
by merkoth on Wed 9th Jan 2008 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Misleading story title"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

I thought some people who contributed to the kernel have passed away and so without re-writing those components it'd be impossible to get all the necessary permissions..

At least that's what I read.


Wow, never came to think about it. What happens to copyrights when the owner passes away? I'm a programmer, not a lawyer, would anyone like to enlighten me? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Misleading story title
by Almafeta on Wed 9th Jan 2008 02:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Misleading story title"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Wow, never came to think about it. What happens to copyrights when the owner passes away? I'm a programmer, not a lawyer, would anyone like to enlighten me? ;)


As far as I know, copyright ownership is considered part of a person's estate; and without any other will saying otherwise, the person's estate is handled by that country's law, which usually passes it on to the children and the widow(er).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Misleading story title
by Cloudy on Wed 9th Jan 2008 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Misleading story title"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

The copyright becomes the property of the individual's estate, and the clock starts on the 'years after death of the author' clause of the copyright duration.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Misleading story title
by ntl_ on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:40 UTC in reply to "Misleading story title"
ntl_ Member since:
2005-07-09

See Bruce Perens' comment on Slashdot: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=410364&cid=21955924

I think you may be wrong here, so I don't think any shame should be on Thom.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Misleading story title
by Moocha on Wed 9th Jan 2008 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Misleading story title"
Moocha Member since:
2005-07-06

Really now. I would like Mr. Bruce Perens to back up his claims. I also would like to see airborne porcines, but both are typically just as likely.

Linus could not change the kernel license whenever he pleases. If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe Mr. Torvalds himself - see for example here:

http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/1/27/339

Quoted from that email message:

Quite frankly, _if_ we ever change to GPLv3, it's going to be because somebody convinces me and other copyright holders to add the "or any later license" to all files

Just because it's Mr. Perens who has an opinion doesn't mean his opinion is even remotely correct.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Misleading story title
by Almafeta on Wed 9th Jan 2008 01:43 UTC in reply to "Misleading story title"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Linus owns the trademark to Linux. He has very effective control over what can and cannot be called "Linux."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Misleading story title
by Moocha on Wed 9th Jan 2008 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Misleading story title"
Moocha Member since:
2005-07-06

Linus owns the trademark to Linux. He has very effective control over what can and cannot be called "Linux."


True, of course, but we're not talking about trademarks here, we're talking about code copyright and licensing, so I don't really see how that was relevant.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Misleading story title
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Jan 2008 05:19 UTC in reply to "Misleading story title"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but one thing he cannot do is to decide the kernel license since the kernel does not belong to him alone


While it doesn't "belong to him alone" he has the ultimate word on what code is accepted into the official kernel. If Linux says no to GPLv3 code no such code will go into the official kernel.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Misleading story title
by Moocha on Wed 9th Jan 2008 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Misleading story title"
Moocha Member since:
2005-07-06

"but one thing he cannot do is to decide the kernel license since the kernel does not belong to him alone


While it doesn't "belong to him alone" he has the ultimate word on what code is accepted into the official kernel. If Linux says no to GPLv3 code no such code will go into the official kernel.
"

That's true and that's how it should be - Linus' opinion rightfully carries tremendous weight. But that wasn't what I argued. I argued that Linus cannot change the kernel license all by himself - or at least not without rewriting all of the code to which the original authors hold the copyright.

But apparently stating this rubs people the wrong way and causes relentless downmodding shrugs

Reply Score: 1

Not needed and not even possible
by siki_miki on Wed 9th Jan 2008 00:35 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

Why should a kernel be relicensed after all those years anyway? Because some committee of preachers decided to publish 3.0 and suddenly a very good license is not so good anyomre?

There is no more reason for Linux to move to GPL3 than to to any wannabe license written by high-school teenagers.

Licenses are not software upgrades. They don't grow old as fast. And if next version of software/license becomes bloated or degrades in quality (or sanity), I might still like the older one more.

Edited 2008-01-09 00:37

Reply Score: 4

fepede Member since:
2005-11-14

Why should a kernel be relicensed after all those years anyway? Because some committee of preachers decided to publish 3.0 and suddenly a very good license is not so good anyomre?


For example because time passes, and the world changes.

The world of software today is completely different from how it was 15 years ago and we may need different software licenses.

Just think about DRM and software patents: that are the point that GPL3 tries to cover and they didn't exists 15 years ago.

That said, I'm not sure that a license change in Linux would be good, still, discharge the idea just because "GPL2 has always been good enough" doesn't seems a good motivation to me.

Reply Score: 1

Shame, but not a problem.
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Jan 2008 02:57 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I think it is a shame that Linus apparently misunderstands the nature and intent of GPLv3, but there it is. Nor does he seem to realise that GPLv3 text is a "template" license, and if he doesn't like the TiVo clauses to apply to his kernel project he could just remove the problematic clauses.

As far as I can see it isn't really a problem, thankfully. There is significant GPLv3 software already entangled in Microsoft involvement through their offering of vouchers such that GNU/Linux OS distributions are effectively covered by the patent protection of GPLv3 even if the Linux kernel itself does not directly take advantage this protection.

Microsoft after all simply doesn't have the various author's permission to offer vouchers for anyone's GPLv2 or GPLv3 code other than via complying with the terms in those GPL licenses, which in turn requires that Microsoft does not sue.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Shame, but not a problem.
by elsewhere on Wed 9th Jan 2008 05:03 UTC in reply to "Shame, but not a problem."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I think it is a shame that Linus apparently misunderstands the nature and intent of GPLv3, but there it is. Nor does he seem to realise that GPLv3 text is a "template" license, and if he doesn't like the TiVo clauses to apply to his kernel project he could just remove the problematic clauses.


Er, no. He understands it perfectly, which is why he's stepping away. As to your point, Linus discussed this before in the context of v3 becoming unnecessarily complex. What's the point of a template license? It increases complexity because you're not sure exactly what you can or can't do without scrutinizing the specific text.

If you remove the Tivo clause from GPL v3, then really, it's not GPL v3, it's GPL v2. The bits about patent indemnity already existed in v2, they were just explicitly clarified for v3.

And then if you do decide to take the Tivo clause out, your "v3" license becomes incompatible with the guy that decides to keep it in. How does this clarify things?

As far as I can see it isn't really a problem, thankfully. There is significant GPLv3 software already entangled in Microsoft involvement through their offering of vouchers such that GNU/Linux OS distributions are effectively covered by the patent protection of GPLv3 even if the Linux kernel itself does not directly take advantage this protection.


This one has been debated ad nauseum to the point that I'm not even willing to comment.

Reply Score: 11

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You obviously know better than someone who's entire job is looking after the kernel project and knowing all licensing options available too it along with potential effect of those licenses.

Perhaps it's just that I'm not devoted to GPL2 or GPL3 (as long as they're FOSS, it's good) but I'm not quite ready to claim, with my humble opinion, that Mr Torvalds has no grasp of what you feel GPL3 is all about. The license does not give him any specific advantages that he does not already have through GPL2 and moving licenses may actually have negative legal implications for the project; who are we to say he knows nothing?

Personally, I think Tivo binding FOSS to there hardware is downright disapointing but Mr Torvalds is clueless? - me thinks the peanut gallery demonstraites delusions of grandeur.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You obviously know better than someone who's entire job is looking after the kernel project and knowing all licensing options available too it along with potential effect of those licenses.


Not I, but Eben Moglen, who wrote GPLv3. Eben certainly knows a lot more about law and licenses than Linus does. Eben is, after all, a highly-credentialled lawyer, while Linus is great at ... writing and reviewing software.

The stated intent of GPL2 and GPL3 is exactly the same. It is just that certain other parties managed to find a loophole in the text of GPLv2 and managed to evade its intent, and that work-around of the intent of the license has been fixed in GPLv3.

Perhaps it's just that I'm not devoted to GPL2 or GPL3 (as long as they're FOSS, it's good) but I'm not quite ready to claim, with my humble opinion, that Mr Torvalds has no grasp of what you feel GPL3 is all about.


Clearly Linus doesn't. GPL3 is all about exactly the same intent as GPL2. GPL3 is however less "broken" than GPL2. Some commercial interests have found ways around GPL2, which have been corrected by GPL3.

I give some links below so that you can read for yourself (in the words of the qualified people who wrote it) exactly what GPL3 is all about.

The license does not give him any specific advantages that he does not already have through GPL2


Your reason for thinking this is? GPL3 has protections against attack by patent trolls that GPL2 lacks entirely.

and moving licenses may actually have negative legal implications for the project; who are we to say he knows nothing? Personally, I think Tivo binding FOSS to there hardware is downright disapointing but Mr Torvalds is clueless? - me thinks the peanut gallery demonstraites delusions of grandeur.


Linus is clearly not clueless, but as a license lawyer he makes a great software architect.

Who are we to say? No-one.

Who is Eben Moglen?

http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen

... judge for yourself. Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University. One would think, then, that Eben might actually know a thing or two about law.

Here are some links and rationale for GPL3 that may help you.

http://gplv3.fsf.org/
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html

There is a great deal of thought and "weight" behind the GPL3 license that more than counterbalances Torvalds' opinion against it.

More on "the intent" of GPL3 (warning, pdf file):
http://www.uoc.edu/idp/4/dt/eng/moglen.pdf

Edited 2008-01-10 02:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
me: The license does not give him any specific advantages that he does not already have through GPL2


you: Your reason for thinking this is? GPL3 has protections against attack by patent trolls that GPL2 lacks entirely.
"

I should have included "from his responces" on the end of that. he states in the interview that gpl2 does everything he wants done. Hence, there is no advantage for him in moving to gpl3 at this time. Here you go, it was this line plus other interviews he's given:

"while GPL version 2 pretty closely matches what I think a license should do"

I'm still holding fast on the idea that I, You and most of the other readers do not have the credentials to claim that "Clearly Linus doesn't. GPL3 is all about exactly the same intent as GPL2."

You bring up Mr Moglen's name, that's just ducky but is he sitting beside you too confirm that he infact things Mr. Torvalds is clueless about copywrite law and the rights granting licenses?

I may be more interested in the development methodology than the ideology but don't make the mistake of thinking I'm bound to one petty camp and clueless about what doesn't conform to my preconcieved ideals.

My point is still that claiming Mr Torvalds has no idea about the license he has been working under and the potential licenses available to him is premature and probably not based on extensive knowledge of his personal thoughts (but if you have developed a mind reading machine; dude, you gotta release those blueprints like the 3d printer project).

Why so emotionally attached to the GPL? It's just one of many licenses out there. If you like it, release your own code under it but calling someone dim for feeling otherwise is a bit of a stretch.

Reply Score: 2

STILL, it begs the question
by deathshadow on Wed 9th Jan 2008 06:04 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Since linux is free to distribute and copy - why the **** does it NEED anything more for a license than a public domain blurb? When people try to sell you on a horde of rules and a bullshit license while touting the word 'freedom' - as I've said before does the term 'snake oil' ring a bell? The ONLY reason Linus chose it (by his own admission) in the first place was the compiler he was using to write it in was GPL - and I'd be willing to bet Linus would have jumped ship completely by now if in fact it was not a violation of the license to take a product OUT of GPL. (the excessively wordy rule 5 in GPL v3, section 2b under v2). Lock in? Thy name is FSF. Trying to shove social change down people's throats in the name of 'choice' - RIGHT. I swear, the folks at the FSF need to look up the word 'freedom' in the dictionary.

There is NO reason for any 'free as in beer' product (like the linux kernel) to EVER be released under a license like the GPL - it makes no sense. IF you want to do the crazy 'share' thing with restrictions because you are making money off the product itself, THEN the GPL would make sense - except the license itself PRECLUDES making money off the product itself (because the FSF doesn't want anyone thinking of a program as a product - EVER). Otherwise, it's attempting to put restrictions on something in the name of freedom... I smell a scam, or worse, a half-assed attempt at social engineering. There would be NOTHING wrong with public domain for something like Linux, or gecko, or a half dozen other programs that are BOTH types of 'free'... For **** sake if you are giving something away, JUST GIVE IT THE **** AWAY.

But, let's take a straightforward look at the history of the FSF - founded on the temper tantrum of someone who GAVE SOMETHING AWAY, then got his panties in a bunch when that TINY piece of code was used in a commercial product without his getting a cut. YOU GAVE IT AWAY DUMBASS.

THEN it was sustained for about a decade and a half on the sour grapes of back room server geeks who were left behind by the REAL computer revolution driven by NON UNIX commercial vendors like Microsoft, Apple, Commodore, Tandy, IBM, Borland, Lotus, Aldus, Adobe, etc, etc... and the efforts of hobbyists who had NOTHING to do with the unix world - like the Woz, Clive Sinclair, Wayne Green, Jay Miner, and even Bill Gates (how many of you that badmouth Bill can say that they've hand compiled 8k of Z80, 6502 and 6809 machine code and then entered it one byte at a time?)

It survived in the back room JUST long enough to develop the type of rheotoric that works best on impressionable young high school and college kids, the same type of naive idealistic rheotoric used by Greenpeace, PETA, Communism, and all the other 'feel good' bullshit you can afford delude yourself with during your time in school since at that point life is still usually paid for by mommy and daddy.

Sociological pipedreams and naive idealism at their worst.

Well, there goes my 1.92 rating... watch the OSS fanboys go nutzo modding this one down.

Edited 2008-01-09 06:10 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: STILL, it begs the question
by Almafeta on Wed 9th Jan 2008 06:53 UTC in reply to "STILL, it begs the question"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

I'd be willing to bet Linus would have jumped ship completely by now if in fact it was not a violation of the license to take a product OUT of GPL. (the excessively wordy rule 5 in GPL v3, section 2b under v2).


That only applies to work using IP "licensed" from others. You can always pull out your own work from being licensed under the GPL (unless v3 has something hidden in it to that effect).

There would be NOTHING wrong with public domain for something like Linux, or gecko, or a half dozen other programs that are BOTH types of 'free'... For **** sake if you are giving something away, JUST GIVE IT THE **** AWAY.


There is no requirement to use them; for any GPL program, there is a superior commercial alternative, and a superior alternative using a license no more restrictive than the BSD license.

And on a more positive note, virtually all programs (including such darling childs as GNU's toolchain) have been developed in the finite amount of time that modern personal computers have been around, usually under conditions much less conductive to programming than what modern programmers have today. There is no program so advanced that it can't be rewritten in a reasonable period of time and redistributed under, say, a less-restrictive variant of the MIT license. (Pure public domain is not quite yet feasable because some countries do not allow living authors to put their works into the public domain -- it's still considered copyrighted in those countries, which can be a legal headache.)

On a tangent, you used the words "both types of free." I hate how people try to argue "two types of freedom," or to equivilate copyleft (a state opposite of freedom) with speech (an innate inalienable human right). It's either free, or it's not free -- and if semantics are brought in to defend it, it's not free.

Edited 2008-01-09 07:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

That only applies to work using IP "licensed" from others. You can always pull out your own work from being licensed under the GPL (unless v3 has something hidden in it to that effect).

My bad. They just call it 'unethical', but legal. They were talking for a while about having the rights apply BOTH ways (to reciever AND sender) - guess that got the axe.

On a tangent, you used the words "both types of free."

Well, "free as in beer" and "free as in freedom" are two radically different things. One financial, one philosophical.

I don't have a lot of use for the philisophical since the words are usually thrown around by people who don't understand them, or are trying to use them to push and agenda that is the exact opposite.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't have a lot of use for the philisophical since the words are usually thrown around by people who don't understand them, or are trying to use them to push and agenda that is the exact opposite.


If I show you a couple of "free as in beer, and free as in freedom" product:
http://www.openoffice.org/
http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.jspa
http://www.centos.org/

... that is also available (in both cases, same product) as a "paid-for-support, free as in freedom" product:
http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/index.jsp
http://www.redhat.com/rhel/

... what does that do to your theory of not being able to charge for open source code?

Reply Score: 4

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Well, "free as in beer" and "free as in freedom" are two radically different things. One financial, one philosophical.

I don't have a lot of use for the philisophical since the words are usually thrown around by people who don't understand them, or are trying to use them to push and agenda that is the exact opposite.


You're a deluded moron and if anybody's juggling with words they can't understand, it's you.

"Free as in freedom" is an abstract concept with no applicability in real life. So we can chuck that aside.

"Free as in beer" is applicable only when you're talking about beer or other physical stuff. Because once you start talking about software, someone can come along and take your free stuff and make it non-free. And then you're screwed.

Finally, "free as in GPL" means freedom restricted to practical reasons. It says that someone CAN'T come along and make your free stuff non-free. And if you like this kind of protection then you have to agree to some rules.

Now, some people like the 3rd kind of freedom, and some like the 2nd. To each their choice, I say. The 2nd type will be easy to screw over, but, again, their choice. And then some people like the 1st kind of freedom, and those are deluded lunatics.

Reply Score: 3

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

It basically says the LABOR of writing the program has no value.


No.
Actually it says that the labor of writing the program is the value as opposed to the labor of copying the program.

That's why it works quite well in domains where the creation is being payed for by the customer, e.g. contract work, versus domains where the multiplication is being payed for, e.g. private end user consumer market.

Reply Score: 3

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

You keep on proving you're completely out of touch with reality. How exactly does writing FOSS software devalue the value of my labor? If anything, because the actual code is distributed as free software, the labor is all the more important. And it places emphasys on stuff that I consider more important: reputation, services (consultance, training, support, custom development), less stuff to worry about, open code and open standard.

I happen to make a quite confortable living in a FOSS world. I write on-demand customized Web applications and I insist on licensing them as FOSS. If the buyer doesn't like it they can go somewhere else. However, a lot of them see my point. Enough of them to make for that confortable living, as I was saying.

* They don't have to submit to certain licensing provisions (ie. show their source to third parties) as long as they don't redistribute (which they don't).
* It allows me to make use of other FOSS software and so I'm more productive and can create more complex solutions quicker, thus lowering my price.
* It allows them to consider me on merit alone, and should they ever be unhappy with me, or if I become unavailable, they can always find someone else to expand or maintain their code in my place.
* I don't have to worry about them reverse engineering the code or encrypting the source and so on.
* My clients get elevated rights to the code without having to enter complicated legal agreements with me. All it takes is a FOSS license and a simple sell-buy contract (which is mainly to justify the movement of money for tax purposes). No complicated contracts for maintenance, cession of rights, support and all that complex stuff.

I sell a product, we're all happy, I get payed on the job alone. If they're not happy, I don't get a second job. If they're happy, I do, and also get requests for upgrades and maintenance and training and so on.

It's a win-win situation and it obviously works for me, so don't tell me about minimum wage and how I can't make money like this.

Reply Score: 7

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

How exactly does writing FOSS software devalue the value of my labor? If anything, because the actual code is distributed as free software, the labor is all the more important. And it places emphasys on stuff that I consider more important: reputation, services (consultance, training, support, custom development), less stuff to worry about, open code and open standard.

Wait, you're about to prove his point in the next paragraph...

I happen to make a quite confortable living in a FOSS world. I write on-demand customized Web applications and I insist on licensing them as FOSS. If the buyer doesn't like it they can go somewhere else. However, a lot of them see my point. Enough of them to make for that confortable living, as I was saying.

Requiring FOSS licensing has necessarily devalued the value of your labor by artificially constraining (through your own admission) the marketplace that would find your terms acceptable. Whether or not you make a comfortable living is independent of the fact that you could have made a lot more by appealing to a wider range of clients. Thanks for proving his point.

Reply Score: 0

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Requiring FOSS licensing has necessarily devalued the value of your labor by artificially constraining (through your own admission) the marketplace that would find your terms acceptable. Whether or not you make a comfortable living is independent of the fact that you could have made a lot more by appealing to a wider range of clients. Thanks for proving his point.


I disagree. You assume a lot.

First, you assume that the dynamics of the software industry remain the same: proprietary and closed-source. But on a market that's starting to realise the benefits of FOSS, keeping the old approach may get you some extra cash in the short term, but may screw you big time in the long term.

Second, you assume that by keeping my work proprietary I'd automatically gain more cash, by having more clients and possibly charging them more. Neither of this should be taken for granted. But let's say it's true; have you considered the downsides? I'd have a lot of extra headache as well, which may well translate to extra time and money lost. And I'd also be a lot less productive, since I'd have to develop a lot of stuff in-house, clean-room style, instead of using FOSS software done by others.

So the bottomline may not be better, it can just as well be worse.

His original point was that doing FOSS automatically devalues the worth of my work. Which is simply not the case. You have to consider the circumstances and each particular case. His argument may have been true a decade ago, when FOSS was regarded as a hobby, but today it is an increasingly accepted business practice, with obvious benefits.

I'm not saying it works and should be used for everybody and everything, but for some businesses it works very well. You simply can't dismiss the whole concept out of hand anymore.

Edited 2008-01-11 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Which is one of those arguements you hear again and again, and anyone who's taken a single business math course is going to go "WHAT?!?". If they are able to charge for it, when it is known that there's a free version, then one of two things happened...

1) the person reselling got lucky and found some ignorant suckers... better than than falling for some sleazy pyramid scheme I guess...

2) They added something that MAKES it valuable, possibly through their own labor... or tied it into something of greater value like hardware or some sort of service.

You'll notice that wirespot touched the edge of this, and if you listen to a lot of OSS advocates you hear the exact same nonsense - not charging for the program itself. This should send up red flags to EVERY programmer - and why I CANNOT FATHOM why any programmer over the age of 22 would THINK of supporting that model... for one simple reason. It basically says the LABOR of writing the program has no value. "Oh, you can get paid in other ways" - Right, have fun with that minimum wage. It sounds like a great deal - for management, marketing and support... for the poor shlub programmer who buys into this nonsense, congratulations you just devalued your own worth. BRILLIANT.


OK then, if that is what you think, explain this:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/extendedplay/2008/01/radiohead-juno...

Radiohead, 'Juno' blast onto U.S. pop chart
Give some music away for free, and true fans will still buy it.

Radiohead's "In Rainbows" album topped the U.S. sales chart this week, selling 122,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It arrived in stores in CD format on New Year's Day, nearly three months after the artsy British rock group unleashed the album to the Web at a cost to be determined by the user -- whatever price fans chose to pay, including nothing at all.


Edited 2008-01-10 03:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They added something that MAKES it valuable, possibly through their own labor... or tied it into something of greater value like hardware or some sort of service


Like this, maybe?

http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1006049
http://wiki.neurostechnology.com/index.php/Developer_Welcome
http://wiki.neurostechnology.com/index.php/OSD_Projects

... what they add (in terms of consumer value) is that the code and the features are open.

Sure to be fantastic value for money, sure to be hugely popular, and all because of recognition by the manufacturer that the programming ... and the programmers ... are valuable, but their value multiplies if they collaborate rather than obscure their work.

As the collaboration features roll in, it will in fact be more work for the full-time programmers employed by the manufacturer, rather than ... OK, project is finished, product is on the shelves ... goodbye!

As for the "wider public" people who decide contribute ... their own purchased device gains functionality they wanted, and everyone else benefits as well!

It is a win-win for all concerned. Consumers win, manufacturer wins, company programmers win.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

someone can come along and take your free stuff and make it non-free.


Only if you have given up your rights as a copyright holder. Simply releasing something for free does not give that right up, you have to actively give it up.

[q]It says that someone CAN'T come along and make your free stuff non-free.[q/]

That's not at all what the GPL does.

Reply Score: 2

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

That only applies to work using IP "licensed" from others. You can always pull out your own work from being licensed under the GPL (unless v3 has something hidden in it to that effect).


Just for clarification: not for existing work. Once you released some software under the GPL, people who have copies of that particular version can continue to distribute it under the GPL. Of course, you can distribute a new version under a different license.

There is no requirement to use them; for any GPL program, there is a superior commercial alternative, and a superior alternative using a license no more restrictive than the BSD license.


Right. Just to name a random program: name me a superior replacement for Scribus "using a license no more restrictive than the BSD license". Although I personally prefer BSD/MIT-style licenses for most things, it is simply not true that there are BSDLed alternatives for most good GPLed applications.

There is no program so advanced that it can't be rewritten in a reasonable period of time and redistributed under, say, a less-restrictive variant of the MIT license.


What is a reasonable period of time? What's long enough to wear contributors out? There is no BSD licensed C/C+ compiler (after some attempts) that is on par with gcc. LLVM is coming close, but that took years.

Reply Score: 8

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

superior alternative using a license no more restrictive than the BSD license


As a BSDL proponent I really wish that was true but it simply isn't. Where's my functional, BSDL equivalents and superiors to GNOME, KDE or XFCE?

Reply Score: 9

marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

There are two licenses for a reason. Person who understands and takes them both gains over crybabies wanting everything stuffed up their asses for free in every possible meaning of the word.

Reply Score: 1

RE: STILL, it begs the question
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Jan 2008 10:35 UTC in reply to "STILL, it begs the question"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There is NO reason for any 'free as in beer' product (like the linux kernel) to EVER be released under a license like the GPL - it makes no sense.


It makes perfect sense ... you want your work to remain free (as in freedom) always. You don't want anyone being charged a fee for your work by some party that did not create your work, while other people enjoy your work for no charge. You don't want your work to be used to rip people off.

IF you want to do the crazy 'share' thing with restrictions because you are making money off the product itself, THEN the GPL would make sense - except the license itself PRECLUDES making money off the product itself.


No it doesn't. You simply charge people for your expertise in the code, rather than for the code itself.

Well, there goes my 1.92 rating... watch the OSS fanboys go nutzo modding this one down.


Why should you get modded down? You are on topic, and you do not insult other posters.

You do have a bit of a misguided rant, but that is no reason at all to mod you down ... you are quite within the OSNews posting rules.

Edited 2008-01-09 10:43 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: STILL, it begs the question
by acobar on Wed 9th Jan 2008 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE: STILL, it begs the question"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

No it doesn't. You simply charge people for your expertise in the code, rather than for the code itself.


I would only add: or expertise on the field. Besides that, a short, strict and nice answer.

Reply Score: 4

marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

"Why should you get modded down?"

1. display of US nationalism
2. disinformation
3. ego trip
4. insults

I did mod him down ;)

Edit: wow, what a nice smiley, this is an ├╝bersite.

Edited 2008-01-09 11:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: STILL, it begs the question
by dagw on Wed 9th Jan 2008 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE: STILL, it begs the question"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

No it doesn't. You simply charge people for your expertise in the code, rather than for the code itself.


You can also charge people to be able to use your code under different license. Both Trolltech and MySQL operate under this business model

Reply Score: 5

RE: STILL, it begs the question
by dagw on Wed 9th Jan 2008 13:12 UTC in reply to "STILL, it begs the question"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

and I'd be willing to bet Linus would have jumped ship completely by now if in fact it was not a violation of the license to take a product OUT of GPL.


Google for Mr Torvalds "An Ode to GPLv2". You'll see that he is very happy with the GPLv2 and what it does and doesn't allow. I see no indication that that Linus has any wish of taking Linux either BSD or Public Domain even if he could. I'd be interested to see how you came to your conclusion.

watch the OSS fanboys go nutzo modding this one down.


Personally I'm sorely tempted to mod you down for your stupid slashdot-like "I bet everybody will mod me down" bit at the end (however I won't). You're argument can stand or fall on its own. There is no need for that sort of childish reveres psycology.

Reply Score: 5

RE: STILL, it begs the question
by RandomGuy on Wed 9th Jan 2008 14:53 UTC in reply to "STILL, it begs the question"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Since you seem to think ethics and moral are just a pipe dream, I'll tell you why you're wrong based on a very practical example:

It is very important that the Linux kernel is licensed under the GPL because it allows a lot of different companies to participate in its development without the fear of being pushed aside by a bigger company.

If Linux was just public domain, some big company, say IBM, could take control of it by making a lot of useful changes and making these changes closed source. Maybe other, smaller companies could compete with them for some time but they'd ultimately lose because they were at a disadvantage:
The big company could leech off their code but its code would be closed for them.

The BSD license basically assumes that the majority of new code is contributed by friendly companies so that the evil company loses more than it gains by playing rough.
If this assumption is not true, however, the closed source version will gain features and therefore users faster than the free version will. In the end, the evil company can introduce incompatible changes and push the other players entirely out of the market.

The GPL doesn't need this assumption to work.
The cost for this is that the license is more verbose and restrictive.
It's a little like our legal system:
If everybody had at least some vestigial sense of moral, we wouldn't need so many laws.

Oh, and btw:
Your beloved status quo, especially money, is just a pipe dream. It only works because most people (including me) believe in it.

Well, there goes my 1.92 rating... watch the OSS fanboys go nutzo modding this one down.

Last time I checked, your post was at 6.
Not bad considering the number of curse words and insults in it.
You might want to reconsider your view of the people you just insulted.
And please don't insult our intelligence by doing such a weak attempt at reverse psychology ;-)

Reply Score: 7

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Actually it was a very good rant to read and I did like the first bit but you really had to play the "communism" card? You where throwing around propoganda; what stopped you from including some reference to Germany?

All that aside, the original reason for my reply:

I had read that it was a closed source printer driver that drove Mr. Stallman to the founding "temper tantrum" after he'd found the driver to be unusable or found a bug in it but could not get the closed driver's owner (HP.. gah.. it was some recognizable printer company) to fix it or give him the source so he could fix it.

While I read everything I can get my hands on, I don't claim to be a historian so I could be wrong there.

(Note: No mod down by me. I did like most of the rant except for the ending tangent.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: STILL, it begs the question
by Pfeifer on Thu 10th Jan 2008 07:35 UTC in reply to "STILL, it begs the question"
Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20

Its so amazingly obvious that you have no clue at all, its almost funny.

First of all; the FSF is not forcing anyone to adopt the GPL (be it version 2 or version 3). All the FSF does is creating the possibility to release your program code to the general public, without being exploitet. This has nothing to to with "Sociological pipedreams" or "naive idealism".

Quite the opposite; the GPL is about that unique ability of humans; cooperation. Indeed, the GPL is a very pragmatic piece of text, for it acknowledges that, no matter what you do, there is always someone (like you?) who doesn't play by the rules and tries to gain an unfair advantage.

The GPL forces people to play fair. Or more exact; the GPL gives the copyright holders the power to force people to play fair.

Playing the "Bad communists" card is not going to help, sorry. Neither is misguided nationalism.

Yes; there would be nothing wrong with Linux being release to the public domain. Then again; there would be nothing wrong with Microsoft Windows being released to the public domain. Or all music. And all movies. And the Washington Monument. And your car. Why not release everything to the public domain? Whoops?! Now who's the communist? ;)

By the way; Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Borland and Aldus; all of those companies had (or still have) Unix products. Indeed; any respectable computer company has some relations to Unix. Otherwise they wouldn't be respectable. ;)

To quote:
"Piece, Love, Linux"
- IBM, 2004

Reply Score: 2

Ok
by Duffman on Wed 9th Jan 2008 08:18 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

So nothing change since the last time. I don't see any need to make another news on it.

Waiting for "Torvalds Still Still Still Will Not License Linux Under GPL v3" in 3 months ...

Reply Score: 1

Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

Linus stated earlier that if Solaris will be GPLv3, then he might consider to switch too. He obviously wants ZFS, DTrace, etc. One problem with open sourcing Java to GPL, that SUN had - was that SUN had to prove for each line of code, that SUN had written it. That took long time, several years.

I dont understand why Linux users complains on Solaris not using GPL yet. Solaris IS open. Anyone can download ZFS. BSD uses it. Apple uses it. Should SUN release Solaris under each imaginable license there is? Satisfy Linux, BSD, QNX, AmigaOS, Plan9, etc??? Why? ZFS is open. Go and get it. SUN can not satisfy everyone. Why should they, it is already open.

Reply Score: 3

morons
by Redeeman on Wed 9th Jan 2008 18:05 UTC
Redeeman
Member since:
2006-03-23

whomever calls the FSF policies religious beliefs clearly does not know ANYTHING about what its all about, and frankly, they are so stupid that they shouldnt be allowed on the internet, or to even leave their house.

Reply Score: 1

Good for Linus
by tyrione on Wed 9th Jan 2008 19:27 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

I'll take Linus's pragmatism over Stallman's brand of vision.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good for Linus
by KugelKurt on Wed 9th Jan 2008 23:45 UTC in reply to "Good for Linus"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

The FSF is a political organisation (NGO). The GPL is a political license (see GPL preamble).
Don't like the politics behind FSF/GPL? Fine, don't use GPLed software then.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good for Linus
by Johann Chua on Thu 10th Jan 2008 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for Linus"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Not everyone who releases GPL'd software agrees with the FSF. You know, like Linus.

Reply Score: 3

Linux users don't exist?
by da_Chicken on Thu 10th Jan 2008 10:44 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

It's kind of telling that, from Linus's point of view, the Linux community (as far as such entity exists) consists only of kernel developers. If you're not a kernel developer, then you're not a part of the Linux community.

It looks like Linus has separated himself from actual Linux users almost entirely. Linus concentrates on the technical problems of kernel development and he doesn't need to think of people who use his kernel. In kernel programming, users are only important if they can solve technical problems and contribute patches. "The only thing that matters is code" -- but users apparently don't matter.

In fact, Linus doesn't even seem to believe in the existence of Linux users any more. From an atheist's point of view, religions seem futile because gods don't exist. From Linus's atheistic point of view, the FSF's concerns about users' freedom and user empowerment seem equally religious and futile because users don't exist in the Linux community. In Linus's small world only kernel developers exist and only code matters.

At least, this is the general impression I get after reading the transcript of the first part of the interview. Hopefully the second part will prove my impressions wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux users don't exist?
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Jan 2008 11:36 UTC in reply to "Linux users don't exist?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's kind of telling that, from Linus's point of view, the Linux community (as far as such entity exists) consists only of kernel developers. If you're not a kernel developer, then you're not a part of the Linux community.

It looks like Linus has separated himself from actual Linux users almost entirely. Linus concentrates on the technical problems of kernel development and he doesn't need to think of people who use his kernel. In kernel programming, users are only important if they can solve technical problems and contribute patches. "The only thing that matters is code" -- but users apparently don't matter.

In fact, Linus doesn't even seem to believe in the existence of Linux users any more. From an atheist's point of view, religions seem futile because gods don't exist. From Linus's atheistic point of view, the FSF's concerns about users' freedom and user empowerment seem equally religious and futile because users don't exist in the Linux community. In Linus's small world only kernel developers exist and only code matters.

At least, this is the general impression I get after reading the transcript of the first part of the interview. Hopefully the second part will prove my impressions wrong.


Perhaps a little harsh.

Linus professes to like the GPL2 license. The GPL2 license does identify the four freedoms as its main aim/purpose, and it does say that the code covered by this GPL2 license is "free to use" for ANY recipient.

Even not-a-lawyer Linus would have to recognise that that in turn means that users of Linux (other than other developers) could indeed conceivably exist.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux users don't exist?
by WereCatf on Thu 10th Jan 2008 12:51 UTC in reply to "Linux users don't exist?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

It looks like Linus has separated himself from actual Linux users almost entirely. Linus concentrates on the technical problems of kernel development and he doesn't need to think of people who use his kernel. In kernel programming, users are only important if they can solve technical problems and contribute patches. "The only thing that matters is code" -- but users apparently don't matter.

Umm, how did you come to that conclusion? I have never gotten any such image of Mr. Torvalds. Actually, I see him thinking exactly about the general end-users, like f.ex. he has more than once said it's perfectly fine by him to use proprietary drivers or software if it makes the end-users' lives easier!

Reply Score: 2