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

From: Alexandre Oliva
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 19:22:42 EST

On Jun 15, 2007, "Scott Preece" <sepreece@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 6/15/07, Alexandre Oliva <aoliva@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> 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.

> This characterization misses something important. For many product
> devices, like cell phones, the modification is never "behind the
> user's back"

Okay, take out the "behind the users' back", it makes no difference.
That was just to highlight the frequent evil intentions behind keeping
the keys.

I wonder if giving half the key to the user and keeping the other half
would be enough to satisfy the GPLv3 language while still enabling the
vendor and user to update the software together.

> The FSF's approval of this distinction (ROM versus replaceable) places
> the FSF's particular principles over users interests, for no
> particular reason

Over *users* interest? How so?

> if the manufacturer believes that it cannot legally allow software
> modification, all the restriction does is force them either to make
> the software unmodifiable (which advances freedom not at all) or to
> use software under a different license (which advances freedom not
> at all).


But if the manufacturer believes that it can legally allow it, and
wants to be able to install, software modifications, then it must
decide between giving that up and letting the user do it as well. And
this is where the users interests may prevail.

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