Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Sep 28 2006 - 11:39:22 EST

On Thu, 28 Sep 2006, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> I wonder if perhaps the solution should be that the GPLv3 draft should
> be renamed to something else to allow RMS to create his new license that
> does exactly what he wants it to do, without hijacking existing GPLv2
> code using a license that in many people's opinion is NOT in the spirit
> of the GPLv2 (which it could be argued overrides the "or later" part of
> the license).

I've argued that in the past, and so have others.

I think the GPLv3 could well try to stand on its own, without being
propped up by a lot of code which was written by people who may or may not
agree with the changes.

The whole "in the spirit of" thing is very much debatable - the FSF will
claim that it's in _their_ spirit, but the whole point of the language is
not to re-assure _them_, but others, so the argument (which I've heard
over and over again) that _their_ spirit matters more is somewhat dubious.

I would personally think that a much less contentious thing would have
been to make a future "GPL" only happens if some court of law actually
struck down something, or some actual judge made it clear that something
could be problematic. In other words, it shouldn't extend on the meaning
of the license, it should be used to _fix_ actual problems. Not imagined

Instead, so far, every single lawsuit about the GPLv2 has instead
strengthened the thing. NONE of the worries that people have had
(language, translation, whatever) have actually been problems. The GPLv2
is stronger today than it was 15 years ago!

But there are certainly tons of non-legal reasons why the FSF doesn't want
to go that way.

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