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

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 13:45:54 EST

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> I'm wondering more and more why you choose the GPL and not the BSD
> licence for the Linux kernel...

Why do people confuse "anti-GPLv3" with "pro-BSD"?

What's the logic?

The BSD license is not doing tit-for-tat. It doesn't give me anything
back. I don't believe in that kind of model. So I'd not use it for my

The GPLv2 has a good balance. It encourages tit-for-tat, and it makes sure
that the software is kept free. And it doesn't try to force anything else,
or play politics. The only thing you have to believe in is "tit-for-tat".

The GPLv3 goes too far. It's no longer "tit-for-tat", it's "our software
is worth _soo_ much, that we want to force you to behave well, or you
cannot use it".

I think one of the above licenses are good. The fact that I reject the
GPLv3 in _no_ way implies that I should like the BSD license. Both the BSD
license and the GPLv3 are flawed - they are just flawed in fundamentally
different ways.

So the whole question of "why don't you use he BSD license then" is just
fundamentally bogus. A license is about a *balance* of things. "Fairness"
is not about laissez-faire (BSD) or about total-control (GPLv3). To me,
It's about something in the middle, where people give back in kind.

And btw, that "to me" is important.

Different people have different opinions. That's _fine_. Use the GPLv3 for
your projects. Go wild. Use the BSD license. It's your choice.

But by the same token, it was _my_ choice (and it was an informed choice)
to use the GPLv2.

And to then come in fifteen years later and call me "confused" about a
license I've chosen is a damn affront to me. I'm not confused. Somebody
else may be, but it's not me.

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