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

From: Alan Cox
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 12:16:16 EST

On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 10:52:27 -0400
"Dmitry Torokhov" <dmitry.torokhov@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 6/15/07, Alan Cox <alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > But COPYING *is* the entire text and starts with: "
> > > Version 2, June 1991"
> > >
> > > so there is no confusion about the version.
> >
> > The version of the COPYING file (and the licence document), not of the
> > licence on the code.
> >
> Using this logic one can say that Linux kernel is BSD or even public
> domain and COPYING is there just for kicks.

Not really because
1. The file is called COPYING which rather suggests its purpose
2. There is a note at the top of it
3. Lots of the code contains GPL headers

Any sane Judge is going to come to the conclusion that this was the
intended licence of the code. The fact people have said so also settles
the matter pretty much.

One of the big differences between law (at least UK/US law) and code is
that the legal process seeks in part to figure out the intention of a
licence or contract. Civil law is a dispute resolution process. Not a
very good one, not a very cheap one, but as the previous system involved
sending large blokes around to the opponents HQ with swords and axes it
was found to have distinct benefit.

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