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

From: Carlo Wood
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 09:03:06 EST

On Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 06:33:51AM -0400, Daniel Hazelton wrote:
> Incorrect. Read section 9 of the GPLv2. It's pretty clear that the "any later
> version" clause is optional. Whats more is that since the modern linux kernel
> *IS* a "composite work" composed of Linus' original code with changes
> contributed by other people - Linus retains copyright to the work as a whole.

Huh - surely not to files added to the kernel that were written by
others from scratch!

> This means that he can license it in any manner he chooses, as long as it
> doesn't affect the copyrights (or licensing) of the people that have
> contributed changes. I don't have to go to the US copyright law for this -
> Linus released Linux under the GPL, others made changes and sent them back
> saying "You let me have access to your code under the GPL, I've made some
> changes that make it better. You can have my changes under the GPL." QED:
> Linus still holds copyright to Linux and can license it in any way he
> chooses.

This is totally new to me - if this is true - I'd really like to be sure!
I always thought that it would be necessary to get signatures of each
and every contributor before you can change a license of a file. Why do
you think that the FSF demands written copyright-transfers with
signatures before you are allowed to submit a patch to any of their
largers projects? If they - as original copyright holder - could do
what you claim - they wouldn't need those signatures.

Having signed a copyright transfer for 'future' changes for gprof,
libiberty, readline, zlib, gcc, gdb, libstdc++, bfd, dejagnu, gas,
and binutils,
Carlo Wood <carlo@xxxxxxxxxx>
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