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

From: Daniel Hazelton
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 17:35:22 EST

On Friday 15 June 2007 15:49:00 Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> On Jun 15, 2007, Daniel Hazelton <dhazelton@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > On Thursday 14 June 2007 23:19:24 Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> >> IANAL, but AFAICT it doesn't. Still, encoded in the spirit (that
> >> refers to free software, bringing in the free software definition), is
> >> the notion of protecting users' freedoms, among them the freeom #0, to
> >> run the software for any purpose.
> >
> > And where in GPLv2 is "Freedom #0"?
> It may sound like thin evidence for someone arriving from Venus today,
> but the preamble talks about "free software", some passages clearly
> imply that software under this license is "free software", the license
> is published by the Free Software Foundation, and the Free Software
> Foundation has a published definition of Free Software that
> establishes the 4 freedoms.

And that doesn't matter. In the context of the GPLv2 the only legally active
parts *ARE* in the GPLv2, under this heading:


No other text published by the FSF has any legal bearing on the GPLv2 *except*
when it is the FSF that holds copyright to the work and has placed it under
the GPLv2. When I place a program under the GPL, it becomes *my*
interpretation of the license and those "published texts" I might have (that
are relevant to the situation) which have bearing on the license.

> The freedoms defined there resonate very strongly with the
> freedoms/rights that the license talks about. I hope this is enough
> evidence to convince you that this is the intent.

Nope. Because the intent of the author of the license is worth nothing. The
intent of the person who has placed the code under the GPL is, however, worth
quite a bit.

> The only of the freedoms that's not explicitly mentioned in the
> preamble, the freedom to run the software for any purpose, is
> mentioned in the legal terms as unrestricted, which is very much in
> line with freedom #0, but is outside the scope of a copyright license
> because running the program does not require copyright permission.

In the context of the license it means that the copyright holder is placing no
restrictions. And that is because they legally *cannot* - as you agreed. But
the copyright holder *can*, OTOH, make it clear that they wish for there to
be no limits, artificial or otherwise, placed on the code.

> I'll give you that the preamble doesn't make it clear that the license
> is purported to defend freedom #0 too.

And the preamble carries no legal weight.


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