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

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 12:33:17 EST

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Kevin Fox wrote:
> The hardware isn't directly covered by the GPL, correct. But, if they
> want to use the software on the hardware, they have to comply with the
> GPL.

Only with the GPLv3.

Again, don't confuse the *new* requirements in the GPLv3 with any "GPL
requirements". They didn't exist before. The kernel never signed up to
them. They are irrelevant for the discussion.

So hardware details have *nothing* to do with compying with the GPLv2.

Could you write *another* license that puts limitations on the hardware or
environment that you have to comply with? Sure can. And the GPLv3 does
that. But the GPLv2 does not, and that's a fundmanetal *improvement* over
the GPLv3 in my opinion.

Do you like licenses that force the licensee to give money back?

So why do you like licenses that force the licensee to give access to
hardware back? It's a form of "extra compensation" that the GPLv2 never
had. The GPLv2 talks about giving access to the *source* code. The GPLv3
talks about giving access to the *hardware*.

Can people really not see the difference, and why I might think it's a
fundamental difference, and why I might choose to say that the GPLv3 is a
worse license?

And *why* would I ever downgrade to a worse license? There had better be
some really pressing reason to choose the worse version of the GPL. And I
just don't find that reason in the GPLv3 itself - although, as mentioned,
the reason could become *external* (ie I might accept a worse license it
it comes with external code attached to it that I think makes up for the
license deficiency).

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