Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Jeff Garzik
Date: Sat Sep 30 2006 - 08:04:54 EST

tridge@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
So when I saw Linus advocating forking programs that are currently "v2
or later" and making them "v2 only", then I asked that he clarify to
ensure that the major contributors to the project be consulted before
doing that. Whether it is legal is beside the point - it is good
manners to follow the ground rules of the people who write the code.

Thankfully Linus has clarified that now in a later posting. I was
already pretty sure he always intended for the major contributors to
be consulted before a fork was done, but I'm glad its on the record so
people don't start forking madly while flying a "Linus said its OK"
banner :)

It's good manners, but ultimately users vote with their feet.

If codebase A requires that modifications be given back (GPL v2), and codebase A' additionally requires embedded device makers to permit users to use modified code in all cases, which do you think device makers -- and ultimately users -- will choose?

For a lot of kernel devs who voted, I got the sense that the DRM clause was the big stopping point. I actually think the patent clauses might help things a bit, providing the "convey" language is cleared up. But the DRM clause is far from technology-neutral, and doesn't take into account useful DRM.

DRM is just a technology. It's not good or evil. It's a bit like bittorrent: arguably, the majority of BT usage is for copyright violations, but there are good uses for it too.

Further, the GPL v3 gets _too specific_ when it comes to talking about technological remedies. It gets into the same trouble that politicians get into, when they write technological remedies into law. Technology changes too rapidly to get specific. Pretty soon you'll find that a useful scenario was outlawed.

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