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

From: Michael Gerdau
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 00:45:28 EST

> > > The fact is, Tivo didn't take those rights away from you, yet the FSF
> > > says that what Tivo did was "against the spirit". That's *bullshit*.
> >
> > Oh, good, let's take this one.
> >
> > if you distribute copies of such a program, [...]
> > you must give the recipients all the rights that you have
> >
> > So, TiVo includes a copy of Linux in its DVR.
> >
> And they give you the same right that they had, which is obtain free software
> that you can modify and redistribute. There's nothing in there that says they
> should give you the tools they used after they received the software, which
> is what you seem to be looking for.

IANAL so I won't comment on the legal aspects of TiVo's doing.

However it definitely is against _MY_ understanding of the spirit
of the GPL. At least to me that's quite obvious. I'm sure you all
know the story of the printer driver RMS couldn't fix that reportedly
made him start the whole FSF business.

Looking at what TiVo did I realize glaring similarities.

I'm in no way related with the FSF. I hereby state I'm not parroting
anyone's else position but have come to this conclusion solely on
my own.

> > TiVo retains the right to modify that copy of Linux as it sees fit.
> >
> > It doesn't give the recipients the same right.
> It does, can't you modify their kernel source? Where does it say you should be
> able to run you modifications on the same hardware?

Come on! The whole idea of software is to have it run on some HW.
Why would I want to change it in the first place if I can't run it ?

If what they did is actually allowed by the wording of the legal phrases
of the GPLv2 then that IMO is a loophole w/r to the spirit (as I understand)
it and IMO should be plugged.

> The only fear that I have with the whole Tivo saga, is that companies like
> Dell can use the same thing to say: "Our hardware will only run Company's X
> distribution of Linux".

Would not such a restriction voilate the spirit of the GPL ?

Anyway, my simplistic view is:
Once it is under the GPL I could change it and actually make the
changes work as I see fit.

That's what I think my freedom as of the GPL is about.

Now all that needs to be done is make sure the legal phrases are such
that they convince the judges they actually mean this in court too.

Best wishes,
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