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

From: Bernd Paysan
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 04:07:25 EST

On Friday 15 June 2007 04:19, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> I will state one more time: I think that what Tivo did was and is:
>  (a) perfectly legal wrt the GPLv2 (and I have shown multiple times why
>      your arguments don't hold logical water - if you actually followed
>      them yourself, you wouldn't be using a email address!)

Linus, Harald Welte managed to get the keys from Siemens, which sold
a "tivoized" Linux router. As typical for German courts, he got the key in
a settlement, so there's no citable court verdict (totally, he AFAIK got
two court verdicts up to now). But the way settlements work in Germany
suggests that it's likely that the court would have decided that way*.

So there is no verdict on this question, but a strong hint that you are
wrong, at least under German law (which is not the best money can buy ;-).
And as Tivo doesn't sell their crap into Germany, we can't test it with

It's you who think the GPLv2 is tit-for-tat, not the FSF, and it's not in
the text of the GPLv2; this is your private misinterpretation. The GPLv2
is "transitive", i.e. everybody receives the same rights, nobody is
entitled to take rights from others (the only person to choose is the
author), and this certainly includes technical means (even if it does not
explicitely say so), and the GPLv3 is just the same (it's just more
readable). All arguments from your side put up are straw men like "hardware
vs. software" and such.

BTW: Hardware as it is done today (chips, printed circuit boards, etc.) is
copyrighted as well, as it is much cheaper to copy hardware than to develop

*) German judges want to resolve civil cases by settlements. They let the
parties pass a few arguments, and indicate which way the judge possibly
would decide to help them settle fast. Settlement is way cheaper than a
court verdict, so most sane people choose to settle (unfortunately it's
often the insane people who go to court ;-).

Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"

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