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

From: Alexandre Oliva
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 14:55:20 EST

On Jun 15, 2007, Ingo Molnar <mingo@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> it irreversibly cuts off certain people from being to distribute
> GPLv3-ed software alongside with certain types of hardware that the
> FSF's president does not like.

That's not true. They can just as well throw the key away and refrain
from modifying the installed software behind the users' back.

> The GPLv2 never did this kind of restriction _of other works_.

How about other works in which GPLed software is distributed?

I think your interpretation is mistaken or at least incomplete.

> Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> covered by this License; they are outside its scope.

> guess why this section has been completely removed from the GPLv3,
> without a replacement?

My guess:

First, because it was redundant, given that the license didn't quite
discuss other activities. Unless you count say "imposing restrictions
on the exercise of others' freedoms" as other activities, even though
these are associated with modification and distribution.

Second, because GPLv3 does indeed talk about other activities, such as
starting lawsuits on patent and pro-DRM grounds, or entering
agreements for distribution of software along with limited patent
licenses. All of these are still associated, at least to some extent,
with modification and distribution, but I guess it was worth
clarifying that claiming that such harmful activities are outside the
scope of the license isn't a valid excuse to escape the conditions
determined by the license.

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