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

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 12:02:49 EST

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> Here in Germany, the rules at court are roughly "the loser pays
> everything including the costs of the winner", so if a big company is
> sure they will win at court there's no reason not to go there.

Well, the thing is (and I've said this before), a lawsuit is (and _should_
be) very much a last resort.

I think that the Open Source community (and the FSF too) is much better
off *not* concentrating so much on "legal rules" of what can and cannot be
done, and instead spend much more effort on showing people why the whole
"Open Source" thing actually works.

And in fact, I think that's _exactly_ what Linux has been doing for the
last decade!

A lot of companies are actually doing the Right Thing (tm).

Not because of anybody "forcing" them, but because they have literally
bought into the whole "Open Source can do things better" mentality.

In fact, the whole "coercive" approach is counter-productive. It makes
people dislike you. It makes companies _resist_ open source, rather than
see it as a potential ally.

And no, I'm not speaking out of my *ss. Anybody who goes back fifteen
years and looks at how the FSF was acting wrt the GPL (v2, back then), and
how many friends - and enemies - they were making, should see that as a
big clue. Linux really *did* change the landscape - for the better (*). By
being much less contrary.

So look at Intel in the open source space. They're doing well. Look at
Sun. They aren't _forced_ to open-source, they see others open-sourcing,
and they see that it works damn well.

In the "Tivo space", look at Neuros.

In other words, we're just *much* better off with a friendly license and
not trying to force people to choose sides, than with the rabid idealism
that was - and still is - the FSF. The FSF always makes for this horrible
"you're with us, or you're against us" black-and-white mentality, where
there are "evil" companies (Tivo) and "good" companies (although I dunno
if the FSF really sees anybody as truly "good").

I'd much rather just see "individuals" and "companies". They're not evil
or good, they are all in it for their own reasons (and their reasons are
*NOT* the same reasons they are for me, you, or anybody else), and we
should show them that the whole "Open Source" approach really does work
for them.

It's totally pointless to try to "force" people to be good. That's like
"curing" gay people. Not going to happen.


(*) Not just Linux, of course, but I do claim that this is actually an
area where Linux was a big influence. Not the only one, but a major
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