Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 11:35:20 EST
On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> People don't get your copy, so they're not entitled to anything about
> When they download the software, they get another copy, and they have
> a right to modify that copy.
Umm. I notice how you must have known how *idiotic* your response was,
because you snipped away the part where I talked about Red Haty
In other words, Red Hat distributes copies (and yes, you *get* that copy),
and you cannot modify that copy that you got.
So the "right to make changes" _must_ be separate from the actual copy of
And don't get fooled by the "all the rights that you have". That
_obviously_ and clearly talks about "the program", which in turn
equally obviously and clearly has to be about something bigger than the
"one copy", since the GPLv2 requires you have the right to change it.
So you edited out the part where I talked about CD's. That's the proof
that your reading is untenable, because obviously you cannot change the
program on the CD: you got a copy, but the right to make modifications
wasn't ON THAT HARDWARE.
> > And here's a big clue for people: anybody who thinks that I'm violating
> > the GPLv2 by not giving out my private SSH key to master.kernel.org is a
> > f*cking moron!
> Agreed, except I'd probably use a lighter term.
Hey, I'm not exactly known for being polite. I tell it how I see it, and I
tend to be pretty damn blunt about it.
> > See any parallels here? Any parallel to a CD-ROM distribution, or a Tivo
> > distribution?
> Yes. You see how TiVO is different? It is modifyable, and I actually
> receive the copy that TiVO can still modify, but I can't.
You keep on harping on that "modifyable", but no-where in the GPLv2 is
that an issue. I claim that it *cannot* be an issue, since CD's are
So the "modifyable" part is a totally new thing to the GPLv3.
You cannot use that as an argument that the GPLv3 didn't change things,
that's a circular agument: "the GPLv3 says so, so thus the GPLv3 is in the
same spirit as the GPLv2". Doesn't make sense.
The fact is, the GPLv3 does fundamentally new things. Things I didn't sign
up for (and things that nobody _else_ signed up for either) when I chose
the GPLv2 for the kernel.
The fact that some people would like to change the kernel license to GPLv3
is no different from the fact that some other people would like to cgange
the kernel license to the BSD license.
Those people who have argued for using the BSD license, btw, argued so in
the name of "freedom". No different from you. Do you think they were
right? If so, why the hell do you think _you_ are right?
So here's what it fundamentally boils down to:
- do you admit that the GPLv3 is a new license that does new and
- do you admit that I chose the GPLv2, and have argued that I chose it
because I understood what it said?
- do you admit that authors have the right to choose their own licenses?
And here's the fundamental answer:
- if you answered "no" to any of the above questions, you're either
stupid (the first two questions) or a douche-bag (the third one)
- if you answered "yes" to all the above questions, HOW THE HELL can you
call me confused, and argue against me when I say that the GPLv2 is a
better license? It wasn't your choice.
It really is that easy.
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