Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Fri Sep 29 2006 - 02:23:14 EST

On Fri, 29 Sep 2006, Neil Brown wrote:
> On Thursday September 28, torvalds@xxxxxxxx wrote:
> >
> > Btw, it should be stated here: I'm not advocating either of the above. If
> > a license says "v2 or later", anybody who removes an explicit right
> > granted by the people who originally wrote and worked on the code is just
> > being a total a-hole.
> But isn't that the whole point - to replace v2 by v3?

I'm sure it's the point for the FSF. Is it really the point for anybody
else? Everybody else is better off with the more permissive license..

> Now I know that is what you would prefer, but it seems obvious that it
> isn't what the new FSF wants.
> I would be very surprised if new versions of any FSF-control code is
> available under v2 more than a few months after v3 becomes final.

I suspect the FSF might well be _very_ careful here. If they move to "v3
or later", they had better be damn sure somebody won't license-fork that
project, or they'll be left with nothing at all.

So I would not be entirely surprised if projects remain "v2 or later" just
because it's to nobodys advantage to play chicken.

But who knows..

> I don't see the urgency. Why are you "screwed forever"? You can
> always take the last version that was available under a suitable
> license and fork from there, just like OpenSSH did.
> Sure: the longer you leave it the harder it will be to get critical
> mass, but I don't see the need for it to be done immediately.

It obviously doesn't have to be, but it gets a lot harder to do later, if
the project has any appreciable amount of real development.

Of course, a lot of projects probably don't have that much. I haven't
followed, but I don't get the feeling that bash or fileutils have a huge
amount of constant changes..

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