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

From: Daniel Hazelton
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 15:56:20 EST

On Thursday 14 June 2007 12:06:31 Kevin Fox wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 20:42 -0400, Daniel Hazelton wrote:
> <SNIP>
> > > Do you deny that TiVo prevents you (or at least a random customer)
> > > from modifying the copy of Linux that they ship in their DVR?
> >
> > Exactly. They don't. What TiVO prevents is using that modified version on
> > their hardware. And they have that right, because the Hardware *ISN'T*
> > covered by the GPL.
> 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. The software license can then influence hardware IF they want to
> use it badly enough.

Until GPLv3 there was no requirement that the modified code be able to operate
on any given device - even the one its designed for. Claiming otherwise seems
stupid to me, almost ridiculous.

> For example, the hardware is perfectly capable of being used to break
> the terms of the GPL by being used to distribute a modified binary
> without releasing the source. But the hardware's behavior is restricted
> by the software for the betterment of all.

But this can be done *NOW* - has been done by at least one company, IIRC.
(and, IIRC again, they didn't so much as "not release the modified version"
as "not release all tools/scripts/installation/build instructions")

> This whole argument is about the spirit of the GPL. Linus and others
> think the spirit is one thing, the FSF guys think its something else.
> Since the license is clearly owned by the FSF, I think they get the
> final vote on what they "intended" it to be when they wrote it, no? If
> they say they intended it to not allow Tivoization then believe them,
> because they are the only ones that know what they were thinking when
> they wrote it! The GPLv2 seems to allow it though. If Linus and friends
> want to allow it, then they can stay with the GPLv2. For those who want
> to disallow Tivoization, choose v3. No worries guys.
> > Do you understand that, or do I need to break out the finger-puppets next
> > ?
> Guys, we are all friends here. No reason to be so insulting. Its just a
> difference of opinion. People seem to be talking past each other instead
> of to one another. This usually happens when people are basing their
> underlying assumptions on different things and not listening to the
> other. Please take a step back and think about it.

I noticed that ten or twenty messages after I made that comment. In truth, the
reason I made it was, and is, because I am tired of explaining the fact that
there is no "one" interpretation of the GPLv2 - or any license - *UNLESS* it
has been ruled on by a court. And even then, the courts ruling only applies
to the parts of the license that were in contention before it.


> <SNIP>

Dialup is like pissing through a pipette. Slow and excruciatingly painful.
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