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

From: Jeremy Maitin-Shepard
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 20:17:29 EST

Carlo Wood <carlo@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> On Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 01:09:46PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>> I'm the original author, and I selected the GPLv2 for Linux.
> [...]
>> I'm not going to bother discussing this any more. You don't seem to
>> respect my right to choose the license for my own code.

> This is the main reason I dislike GPLwhatever: there is no notion
> of "orginal author". You might have written 99% of the code, that
> doesn't matter. You have no rights whatsoever once you release
> something under the GPL (no more than ANYOne else).

You retain the copyright, and in particular the right to relicense.
Only if you make the mistake of including the "or any later version"
phrase do you allow others to redistribute the work under a different
version of the GPL. Although this provision may seem slightly
convenient to authors, its effect is to grant a very large amount of
relicensing permission to the FSF. It almost certainly doesn't make
sense to place that much trust in a single organization.

> The GPL is nice for the community, and for the users - but very,
> very bad towards it's authors (taking all and every right you might
> have). If John Doe wants to re-release the whole kernel under
> GPLv3, then all he needs is a website and some bandwidth.

Well, he also needs one tiny little extra thing: the permission of every
copyright holder in Linux.

Jeremy Maitin-Shepard
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