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

From: Daniel Hazelton
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 01:14:51 EST

On Thursday 14 June 2007 23:39:50 Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> On Jun 14, 2007, Daniel Hazelton <dhazelton@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > You're making an artificial distinction based on whether the
> > *SOFTWARE* has a certain license or not.
> What matters to me is that, when the GPL says you can't impose further
> restrictions, then you can't, no matter how convoluted your argument
> is

Convoluted? Not in the least. Every example I have given has been an example
of the application of your logic. If my examples are convoluted, then, QED,
so is your logic.

> >> That's exactly what makes for the difference between the spirit and
> >> the precise legal terms, and why GPLv3 is fixing these divergences.
> >
> > And the reason behind this is all "ethics and morals".
> There was never any attempt to hide that this was what the Free
> Software movement was about, and that the GPL was about defending
> these freedoms.
> Sure, it has other advantages. But the goal has always been the same,
> and it's not going to change.

I'm not trying to change that. My point in making that statement is to prove
that the FSF is doing exactly what the Spanish Inquisition did, what
every "Communist Revolution" has done and what Hitler did. Saying "My ethics
and morals are better than everyone else, so I'm going to force everyone else
to have my morals and ethics". That the FSF isn't doing this through force of
arms or threat of violence just shows how sophisticated people have really
become in the sixty years that have passed since Hitler - they now use threat
of legal action.

> > If the intent of a law (or license) is to do A but it doesn't say
> > that, then how is the intent to be known? Your answer: Ask the
> > author.
> No, you interpret based on what the author wrote then.

Really? Well I must say I'm surprised at the sudden change of heart. I have
several mails here in which you have either said "You ask the author" or that
line has been quoted.

> You read the preamble, and any other rationales associated with the
> license or law. I don't know how it's elsewhere, but in Brazil every
> law has a rationale, and that's often used to guide its interpretation
> in courts, even though the rationale is not part of the law.

Show me where in the preamble that this issue of "it must run on any given
piece of hardware" or even less generally, "it must run on the hardware it
came on" is even *hinted* at. You wont find it. Nor will you find any mention
of anything of the sort in the publicly available writings of RMS.

But let me go re-read the GPLv2 preamble again and see if it even hints at
this issue... oh, wait, I read it earlier and didn't see anything that hinted
at this. So I can safely conclude that no lawyer or judge would find it when
interpreting the license. QED: The Tivo clause of GPLv3 causes it to break
spirit with the GPLv2.

(And, by the way, if the FSF decided to release a GPLv4 that had an active
section that said "You must turn over all copyright rights to a work released
under this license to the FSF" it wouldn't "break spirit" with the GPL (v2 or
v3). Why? Because *both* contain the following paragraph:

"We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and
(2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy,
distribute and/or modify the software."

By your logic it is the *intent* of the FSF to hold copyright on all software
released under the GPL *and* only give the rights detailed in the license to
other people - including the person who has placed the work under the GPL.

Can you see the problem with your logic ?

> If the author realizes what he wrote was not enough, or it got
> misinterpreted, author his text, and then whoever feels like it and is
> entitled to adopts the revised version.
> In the GPLv2=>v3 case, all that needed revision was the legalese. The
> preamble has barely changed. This is a strong indication that the
> spirit remains the same, is it not?

If "tivoization" was against the spirit, then all that would have been needed
was one extra clause clearly explaining that. Instead there are more than 6
extra sections in the GPLv3.

If "DRM" was against the license then an extra section clearly explaining that
could have been added. (in the DRM case I actually understand the reasoning
and agree with it.)

> > Unless the intent is clearly spelled out at the time the law (or
> > license) is written, or is available in other writings by the author
> > of the law/license from the same time period as the law/license then
> > it is impossible.
> Is there anything not clear about freedom #0, in the free software
> definition, alluded to by the preamble that talks about free software
> in very similar terms?

0. ... Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of
running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).
Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

Note that it says, in very clear and simple English, that the scope of the
license is *ONLY* the activities of "copying, distribution and modification".
I must be an idiot, because I completely fail to see how an activity besides
one of the three that are mentioned as being the only ones in the scope of
the license is in the "spirit" of the license.


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