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

From: Daniel Hazelton
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 16:52:23 EST

On Friday 15 June 2007 09:02:54 Carlo Wood wrote:
> 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!

Even those.

> > 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.

They don't. They demand the signature so that some contributor can't change
their mind at a later date or even be able to give a proprietary software
vendor the ability to use the GPL'd code in a non-GPL project.

> 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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