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

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 14:14:59 EST

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > In other words, Red Hat distributes copies (and yes, you *get* that copy),
> > and you cannot modify that copy that you got.
> And Red Hat can't either. I thought that was quite obvious.


There is no language in the GPLv2 (only in the GPLv3 drafts) about "same
upgradability as third parties".

You're arguing a point that DOES NOT EXIST in the GPLv2.

The GPLv2 talks about specific rights, like the ability to make changes
and distribute things, and says that you have to give downstream all those
same rights.

And I've pointed out to you (now about five times) that those rights
CANNOT be able "in-place", since even Red Hat does not actually give you
the right to do in-place modification of the software they sell.

> The 'passing on the rights you have' makes it an issue.

No. It does not.

I have extra rights as a copyright holder, and that "the rights you have"
are as they pertain to the software under the GPLv2, not as it pertains to
the physical device, or outside the GPLv2.

For example, for any code that I have full copyright over, I have rights
that you DO NOT HAVE! I have the right to re-license it under some other
license. The fact that I pass on a copy of the software to you under the
GPLv2 does *not* give you those rights, but that's not even what the GPLv2
asks for!

The GPLv2, when it talks about "passing on the rights", talks about the
rights you got *per*the*GPLv2*.

Any other reading is nonsensical, since the copyrigth owner *always* has
more rights than a licensee! I legally literally *couldn't* pass over all
the rights I have to my software! If you read the GPLv2 as meaning that I
have to, you are mis-reading it. It's that simple.

Anyway, I'm not interested in continuing this flame war.

The fact is, the license for the kernel is the GPLv2. And I think it's a
superior license. As such, I'd be a total moron to relicense the kernel
under what I believe is a worse license.

So if you want to argue that I should re-license, you should argue that
the GPLv3 is better. And quite frankly, you haven't.

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