Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

From: Neil Brown
Date: Sat Jun 09 2007 - 01:58:18 EST

On Saturday June 9, tarkan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Hi,
> As we know the forthcoming GPL V3 will be not compatible with the GPL V2
> and Linux Kernel is GPL V2 only.
> So, another point is, which is previously mentioned by Linus and others,
> that if it is decided to upgrade the Linux Kernel's License to GPL V3,
> it is needed the permission of all the maintainers permission who
> contributed to the Linux Kernel and there are a lot of lost or dead
> maintainers. Which makes it impossible to get all the maintainers'
> permission.

You don't need the permission of maintainers. You need the permission
of copyright owners. The two groups overlap, but are not the same.
Dead people cannot own anything, even copyright. Their estate
probably can. I don't think it is theoretically impossible to get
everyone's permission, though it may be quite close to practically

> But; if the Linux kernel should Dual-Licensed (GPL V2 and GPL V3), it
> will allow us the both worlds' fruits like code exchanging from other
> Open Source Projects (OpenSolaris etc.) that is compatible with GPL V3
> and not with GPL V2 and of course the opposite is applicable,too.
> So;at this situation, what is possibility to make the Linux Kernel
> Dual-Licensed as I mentioned above and what is your opinions and
> suggestions about this idea ?

Dual licensing is no easier. It means it is licensed to be used under
either license. You already have permission to use it under GPLv2.
So to get a dual license, you precisely need to get access under GPLv3
i.e. to convince copyright owners to make that license grant. A thing
that we have already agreed is at least "hard".

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