Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Sep 2006 15:36 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
GNU, GPL, Open Source Friday Several kernel developers issued a position paper criticizing the GPLv3 drafts. That prompted Software Freedom Law Center chairman Eben Moglen to issue a 'renewed invitation' yesterday to kernel developers to participate in the GPLv3 process. Linus Torvalds responded to Moglen's statement by saying that his position on the license is clear and that he's "fed up" with the FSF.
Thread beginning with comment 166397
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Linus's position is clear
by Simba on Thu 28th Sep 2006 16:11 UTC in reply to "Linus's position is clear"
Simba
Member since:
2005-10-08

"And as the above poster pointed out, Linus wouldn't be in a legal position to simply change the license of the Linux kernel. Other developers worked on it in the past, and continue to work on it. Thus, they would all have to agree to any license change."

No, they wouldn't. Because GPL2 contains a clause that allows a third party to re-release the code under the current version, or at their option, and future version of the GPL license. So Torvalds could, if he wanted to, license all of the code in the Linux kernel under the GPL3 whether the original authors agreed to it or not.

That said, I'm glad Torvalds has taken a stand against the the FSF. The FSF is has gone from being an advocacy group for software rights, to becoming such an extremist group that it is now harmful rather then helpful to the free software movement.

Reply Parent Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

AFAIK that clause are removed from the kernel license.

Reply Parent Score: 5

davegetrag Member since:
2006-03-31

yep linus took it out - without consulting as he callsit "all the linux kernel devleopers in the universe dead or alive or in a different plane of existance" ;) Okay I might have made that up.

Each persons code stands on its own. The whole is supposedly licensed as v2 but each individuals code may be v2 or it may be 'v2 or later'

Alan Cox said years ago that any code he submitted should be v2 or later.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Linus's position is clear
by Morin on Thu 28th Sep 2006 16:50 in reply to "RE: Linus's position is clear"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> No, they wouldn't. Because GPL2 contains a clause that
> allows a third party to re-release the code under the
> current version, or at their option, and future version
> of the GPL license. So Torvalds could, if he wanted to,
> license all of the code in the Linux kernel under the
> GPL3 whether the original authors agreed to it or not.

Could you quote that clause? So far, I always thought the GPL (intentionally) doesn't contain such a clause, and that authors who want to allow switching have to explicitly allow it *outside* the GPL v2 (which was *not* done with many files in Linux).

Reply Parent Score: 1

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

"Could you quote that clause? So far, I always thought the GPL (intentionally) doesn't contain such a clause"

Paragraph 9 reads as follows:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Linus's position is clear
by chuck on Thu 28th Sep 2006 16:51 in reply to "RE: Linus's position is clear"
chuck Member since:
2006-03-20

Because GPL2 contains a clause that allows a third party to re-release the code under the current version, or at their option, and future version of the GPL license.

But this clause was removed from the kernel version of the license, so it doesn't apply. Why would a hard working developer want to turn over the future of his code to some FSF politician? They would have to be nuts! And Linus is far from nuts.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

"But this clause was removed from the kernel version of the license, so it doesn't apply."

Ah. I didn't know they had removed it from the kernel license.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Linus's position is clear
by CrLf on Thu 28th Sep 2006 18:01 in reply to "RE: Linus's position is clear"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

"Because GPL2 contains a clause that allows a third party to re-release the code under the current version, or at their option, and future version of the GPL license."

GPLv2 doesn't contain such a clause. That snippet is part of the boilerplate text that developers use to say which licence covers their work, which isn't the license itself, it is just a referral to the real licence (which can be, "v2 or later" or just v2 if the developer chooses so).

Reply Parent Score: 4