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

From: Alexandre Oliva
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 23:55:03 EST

On Jun 14, 2007, Daniel Hazelton <dhazelton@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On Thursday 14 June 2007 22:21:59 Alexandre Oliva wrote:

>> 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?

> Bad analogy.

It's just a very simple case in which an enclosure is being used to
disrespect the terms of something enclosed in it.

It's meant to show that the argument that "it's a software license, it
can't affect the hardware" is nonsense.

It's not meant to show whether TiVO is right or wrong. This would
depend on agreement that the GPL requirements are similar to the
requirements of the egg yolk manufacturer.

>> > 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.

> Okay. That means that if I ship Linux on a ROM chip I have to
> somehow make it so that the person purchasing the chip can modify
> the copy of Linux installed on the chip *if* I want to follow both
> the spirit and the letter of the GPLv2.

I thought we'd already cleared up the issue about ROMs, and why
they're different. Do I have to quote it again? Must I allude to
"passing on the rights" every time I mention "imposing further
restrictions"? :-(

Alexandre Oliva
FSF Latin America Board Member
Red Hat Compiler Engineer aoliva@{,}
Free Software Evangelist oliva@{,}
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