Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd May 2006 17:43 UTC, submitted by anonymous
GNU, GPL, Open Source After Kororaa announced its GPL problems and me writing a column about it, the people behind Kororaa have now posted an in-depth follow-up: "I have been receiving lots of information which I have been sorting through, thank you to everyone who has emailed me (although I would have also thanked you personally via email). I contacted both ATI and nVidia for some clarification on particular issues, however neither have answered my questions. Nevertheless, this is what I have found so far."
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RE[2]: Permission?
by Brendan on Mon 22nd May 2006 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Permission?"
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

The complete list of kernel contributors is unknown and some of them are dead. This makes it impossible to get permission to relicense things. I'm still waiting to see how Linus gets around that problem when considering the GPLv3.

If I took the source code for Linux, removed all of the copyrights and inserted my own commercial/proprietory copyright, then used search&replace to change every occurance of the word "Linux" to "Foo", and then started selling it as "Foo, the greatest OS on earth" (for $100 per copy) with large international advertising campaigns, would anyone be able to stop me?

It seems to me that if the copyright holders aren't organised enough to prevent this then Linux effectively has no enforcable copyright, and the only thing stopping GPL violations is "bad press".

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Permission?
by jonsmirl on Mon 22nd May 2006 20:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Permission?"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

If I took the source code for Linux, removed all of the copyrights and inserted my own commercial/proprietory copyright, then used search&replace to change every occurance of the word "Linux" to "Foo", and then started selling it as "Foo, the greatest OS on earth" (for $100 per copy) with large international advertising campaigns, would anyone be able to stop me?

It seems to me that if the copyright holders aren't organised enough to prevent this then Linux effectively has no enforcable copyright, and the only thing stopping GPL violations is "bad press".


You don't need all of the copyright holders to agree to pursure a violation suit, you only need one. The only time everyone must agree is when the Linux license is going to be changed. For example, the GPL is part of the mess between IBM and SCO.

Of course if you did this I doubt if anyone would waste money trying to stop you since they can download the maintained version for free.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Permission?
by Brendan on Mon 22nd May 2006 21:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Permission?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

You don't need all of the copyright holders to agree to pursure a violation suit, you only need one. The only time everyone must agree is when the Linux license is going to be changed. For example, the GPL is part of the mess between IBM and SCO.

Ahh - this would also mean that any kernel developer could initiate legal action against Kororaa (even when all other kernel developers don't agree to it).

I guess that it'd also be impossible for Kororaa to ask for an exemption (i.e. to get limited permission), as all copyright holders would need to agree.

Of course if you did this I doubt if anyone would waste money trying to stop you since they can download the maintained version for free.

If anyone tried to do what I described, then I sincerely hope that every Linux kernel developer takes action, one at a time, so that the person/s violating the copyright end up with hundreds of seperate court cases (if they ignore the hundreds of cease and desist orders).

Reply Parent Score: 1