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

From: Daniel Hazelton
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 19:18:45 EST

On Thursday 14 June 2007 14:35:29 Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > So let's look at that "section 6" that you talk about, and quote the
> > relevant parts, will we:
> >
> > You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
> > exercise of the rights granted herein.
> >
> > and then let's look at Red Hat sending me a CD-ROM or a DVD.
> >
> > Now, Red Hat clearly *did* "further restrict" my rights as it pertains TO
> > THAT COPY ON THE CD-ROM! I cannot change it! Waa waa waa! I'll sue your
> > sorry ass off!
> Red Hat is not stopping you from making changes. The media is, and
> that's not something Red Hat can control.

TiVO isn't stopping you from making changes - the *media* is. (in this case
the "Media" isn't even doing as much as a CD-ROM does. The only thing a TiVO
box restricts is which binaries it will execute as the operating system)

> Compare this with the TiVO. TiVO *designs* the thing such that it can
> still make changes, but customers can't.
> That's the difference.

No, it isn't. Look at any motherboard. The Bios on the last three or four
motherboards I've purchased check for a digital signature on the Bios
updates. The motherboard manufacturer can make changes, but the customer
can't. Is there any difference? Nope.

> TiVO is using hardware to "impose further restrictions on the
> recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein", and this violates
> section 6 of GPLv2.

No, they don't. The GPLv2 makes no provisions for you being able to execute a
modified copy of the code on the same media or hardware that you received it
on. The fact is that claiming it was "the spirit" doesn't matter at all -
this isn't philosophy you're arguing, its *LAW*, and in law, if it isn't
clearly spelled out, it doesn't exist.

> > See the issue? You are continually making the mistake of thinking that
> > the GPLv2 talks about individual copies of software.
> It does. You're making the mistake of thinking that it doens't. And
> even in the legal terms that you claimed to have understood so
> thoroughly.
> > The rights granted are the rights to "distribute and modify the
> > software".
> More specifically, some of the rights are:
> copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as
> you receive it
> modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of it, thus
> forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute such
> modifications or work

And where does it say that you even have the right to run the "work based on
the Program", or even a self-compiled copy of the "verbatim copy of the code"
on any given piece of hardware?

> > But by "the software", the license is not talking about a particular
> > *copy* of the software, it's talking about the software IN THE ABSTRACT.
> Please read it again.

Done. Section 3 of GPLv2 covers the right to distribute "object code" forms of
a licensed work. At no point does it even *mention* that, if the object code
form comes on a device capable of executing it, you have to give the right to
execute a modified form of the work on the same platform. If this has been
the "intent and spirit" of the license from the beginning, it should be there


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