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

From: Alexandre Oliva
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 22:22:42 EST

On Jun 14, 2007, Ingo Molnar <mingo@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> the GPLv2 license says no such thing, and you seem to be mighty confused
> about how software licenses work.

> the GPL applies to software. It is a software license.

> the Tivo box is a piece of hardware.

> a disk is put into it with software copied to it already: a bootloader,
> a Linux kernel plus a handful of applications. The free software bits
> are available for download.

> the Tivo box is another (copyrighted) work, a piece of hardware.

> so how can, in your opinion, the hardware that Tivo produces, "take
> away" some right that the user has to the GPL-ed software?

Consider egg yolk and egg shells.

I produce egg yolk. I give it to you under terms that say "if you
pass this on, you must do so in such a way that doesn't stop anyone
from eating it"

You produce egg shells. You carefully construct your shell around the
egg yolk and some white you got from a liberal third party.

Then you sell the egg shells, with white and yolk inside, under
contracts that specify "the shell must be kept intact, it can't be
broken or otherwise perforated".

Are you or are you not disrespecting the terms that apply to the yolk?

> by your argument, the user has some "right to modify the software", on
> that piece of hardware it bought which had free software on it, correct?

Yes. This means the hardware distributor who put the software in
there must not place roadblocks that impede the user to get where she
wants with the software, not that the vendor must offer the user a
sport car to take her there.

The goal is not to burden the vendor. The goal is to stop the vendor
from artificially burdening the user.

Alexandre Oliva
FSF Latin America Board Member
Red Hat Compiler Engineer aoliva@{,}
Free Software Evangelist oliva@{,}
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at