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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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 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 Parent Score: 1