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

From: Alexandre Oliva
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 21:39:43 EST

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

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

> Users benefit from the ability to get software updates, from the
> manufacturer, to resolve problems, fix security vulnerabilities, and
> provide updated functionality.

Which they could have the option to do themselves if the manufacturer
didn't prohibit them from doing 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).

>> Right.

>> 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.

> Whether it's a legal requirement or a business decision, the result is
> the same - neither forcing the manufacturer to make the device
> non-updatable nor forcing the manufacturer to use different software
> benefits anyone.

I agree. But that's an incomplete picture.

It's the other part of the picture, that you left out twice, that is
the case that is good for the users *and* for the community.

> I don't believe that the existence of this clause will lead to more
> manufacturers making their devices modifiable - there are too many
> other options if they think that non-modifiability is important to
> them.

> [Note that I *do* think it's perfectly appropriate that authors who
> feel that they don't want their work used in such devices should be
> able to license them in line with that belief. I just don't think it
> has any practical value aside from making them feel better.]

They can do that with GPLv3. And those who don't want to stop this
can then add a special permission. And then everybody wins.

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