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415 comments

What v3 does he mean? (3, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567364)

GPLv3 hasn't even been released yet. The public discussion on what it will be like only started a few days ago. And yet Linus seems to be categorically certain that he won't even consider using that license? There must be a lot of bad feelings between him and the FSF (not that I couldn't understand this from some of the recent events, but I always thought Linus was a very diplomatic and friendly character who would not be easily offended).

What is that thing about developers having to turn over their private keys? I don't think anything that stupid is even considered for GPLv3.

I wish there would be a rational and friendly discussion. Is that too much? Have we come thus far?

Re:What v3 does he mean? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567417)

Linux is licensed under GPL v2. In order to move to GPL v3, v4, v99 etc, EVERY SINGLE CONTRIBUTOR must accept this. Practically impossible.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567483)

Linux is licensed under GPL v2. In order to move to GPL v3, v4, v99 etc, EVERY SINGLE CONTRIBUTOR must accept this. Practically impossible.

Don't contributors assign copyright to some type of Linux foundation?

Re:What v3 does he mean? (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567536)

Nope! That's why copyright problems are so much more of a concern for the Linux kernel than they are for, say, HURD (because for HURD the copyright has to be assigned to the Free Software Foundation).

It's also why the Linux kernel is much more popular among developers than HURD (because people and companies can contribute to it and still keep their copyright).

Which is why HURD will never see the light of day (2, Insightful)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568243)

in any substantial fashion. Philosophy doesn't yield code.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (5, Informative)

Jon Pryor (118031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567561)

Don't contributors assign copyright to some type of Linux foundation?

No. Linux kernel contributors retain their own copyright. This is frequently considered to be a good thing, as it means that no single group has copyright over everything, which means that no single group can change the license to e.g. BSD and start selling a proprietary version of Linux.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567571)

No. The FSF does require that for its code, but Linux and a lot of other projects don't. It's not always bad, though. While it's harder to change the license, you don't have to trust whoever you're assigning the license to to not sell out.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (3, Interesting)

pthisis (27352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567914)

The FSF does require that for its code, but Linux and a lot of other projects don't. It's not always bad, though. While it's harder to change the license, you don't have to trust whoever you're assigning the license to to not sell out.

At least with the FSF model, it's not 100% trust based; at least last time I checked they do sign a contract with the assigner saying that they'll distribute the code under a free license or the copyright reverts, or something along those lines. I can't remember the exact wording.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568084)

Its also makes it really hard to enforce the license. Standing can become highly ambigious and since the burdon is on the plantif to prove standing no one can actually enforce the license. In practice this can turn GPLed software into MIT software.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (2, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567496)

Linux is licensed under GPL v2. In order to move to GPL v3, v4, v99 etc, EVERY SINGLE CONTRIBUTOR must accept this. Practically impossible.

Yeah but that is not the reason Linus is giving. He doesn't like it (and he mentions that bizarre private key issue as a reason for that), and so he doesn't even get to the point where he starts wondering whether it would be practically possible to change licenses. At least that's the way I read his post.

And, after all, HE can do that (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567961)

People shouldn't forget that most of the kernel code is a derivative work on Linus' original 0.01 kernel and, as such, he has the right to say how those parts can be licensed.

Re:And, after all, HE can do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568495)

Only in a metaphorical sense is much of the remaining kernel derivative of the original .01 kernel Linus made. It's part of the same family tree and it's been built to operate within the "same" framework, but many parts of what is there now has been wholesale replacement, not incremental modification.

If people want to argue that all kernel code is loosely derived from the original release, then one could argue that it's all derived from the Berkeley Tahoe and Renoe releases since it was Berkeley Standard Distribution Unix's that really paved the way for people to start understanding the concepts and ideas behind the TCP/IP stack, sockets, virtual memory, file systems, etc. Not to mention all of the other free software that started as modifications to preexisting free (free as in free, not free as in Chairman Mao) and evolved from there. And then there is X.Org's appropriation of the entirity of XFree86 because they didn't like the license.

However much Linuxophiles enjoy thinking that they have invented a lot the reality is that Linux has been a reimplementation of what has come before.

Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568182)

The GPL states: "If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation."

Usually GPLed code contains this statement: "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."

I bet this is true for linux source code as well.

Re:Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568287)

"Usually GPLed code contains this statement: "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."

I bet this is true for linux source code as well."
You bet wrong. The "or (at your option any later verion" part of the clause is not in any of the linux GPL files. It only specifies version 2.

Re:Wrong! (1)

ZorroXXX (610877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568331)

Usually GPLed code contains this statement: "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."

I bet this is true for linux source code as well.

No, this is not true for the linux source code. As pointed out several times already, linux has always been released under GPLv2 only. The following text is from the COPYING file:

Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated.

A quick check at http://lxr.linux.no/source/COPYING [linux.no] reveals that this was added sometime beween 2.2.26 and 2.4.18, i.e. this was decided a long time ago and is not just a reaction to the forthcomming version 3.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (2, Informative)

Orion (3967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567448)

His concern appears to be with a clause that would require publically releasing the keys that were used to sign-off sections of the code.

I'd have to look into it in more detail to figure out what keys he is referring to. Does anybody know? I could see the logic of GPLv3 requiring this, and I can also see Linus' objection.

In other words, this isn't a knee-jerk reaction.... there is logic to it. Now maybe what Linus should be doing is commenting on GPLv3 so that it gets changed, and for all we know he has.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (5, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567695)

He misinterpreted part of the GPLv3. The private key section says that if private keys are required for the code to function (in other words, your program will only load signed code) than you must make available a means to generate the signed code. The theory here is that certain hardware devices (*cough*TiVo*cough*) use GPLed software, but make it impossible to actually modify and run that software on their hardware device. In order to allow people to make changes and actually use those changes, you have to make available any private keys required to make the code actually run.

So if Mr. Torvalds has a private key that he uses to sign code, he is under no obligation to release that key to the public assuming that an end user can build and run the code without requiring the private key. You only have to release your private key if a third-party build of the software will not run without being signed by that key.

Now, another common misinterpretation that came up at the GPLv3 launch was that this meant that if you had set up your system to require signed code that you would have to make your private key available. This isn't the case. The only requirement is that a third party must be able to build and run the system without your private key. If this requires them to generate their own private key, that's perfectly acceptable.

If a GPLv3ed program cannot run without a specific private key, that private key must be made available. That's all the license says. Developers are not required to disclose private keys that they use to sign code.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567869)

Have you even bothered to read the GPLv3? Linus obviously has, you should too; it's public, you know. You can read it right here [fsf.org] . It says, right in the second section (labeled 1?):

The "Complete Corresponding Source Code" for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to understand, adapt, modify, compile, link, install, and run the work, excluding general-purpose tools used in performing those activities but which are not part of the work. For example, this includes any scripts used to control those activities, and any shared libraries and dynamically linked subprograms that the work is designed to require, such as by intimate data communication or control flow between those subprograms and other parts of the work, and interface definition files associated with the program source files.

Complete Corresponding Source Code also includes any encryption or authorization codes


Emphasis mine.

If you develop something under the GPLv3, be prepared to give up your private keys. That's just ridiculous, and it's not surprising that Linus would reject it.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (2, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567964)

If you develop something under the GPLv3, be prepared to give up your private keys.
But only if they're required to "understand, adapt, modify, compile, link, install, and run the work". The FSF has been quite clear on that point. It does not require you to hand over anything that is not needed for normal running of the code.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568114)

If our task is to discredit the FSF and mis-characterize the GPLv3 effort, it is important to blow off the spirit of the license, which is to protect freedom, users, and developers.
One great means of achieving this mis-characterization is to apply the old formula: "a text without a context is a pretext".

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568107)

Well, it's a draft, and that language could be tightened up, but I think the intent is quite clear. So mostly complaining about this as a reason to not adopt the license without some kind of acknowledgement that the wording is likely a mistake and needs to be fixed is FUD.

I think Linus is just looking for reasons to not adopt GPL v3 because of his rather ambivalent (tipping towards negative) feelings towards the FSF in general and Richard Stallman in particular.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567907)

"If a GPLv3ed program cannot run without a specific private key, that private key must be made available. That's all the license says. Developers are not required to disclose private keys that they use to sign code."

This simple, clear statement should be at the beginning. I think if you argue about this in the future, you would help your case to lead with this, and then back it up afterwards.

DRM, private keys (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567482)

Discussion over GPLv3 has been going on for quite some time now even though the draft has just now emerged. He has mentioned a few things, one is that he has no problem with DRM in the kernel [linuxtoday.com] , whereas GPLv3 is Anti-DRM [newsforge.com] . Also Linus opposed having his developers have to make their private keys available, which was stated in the article.

I think he's thought it though, and I think the decision makes sense. No one says you have to increment from GPLv2 to GPLv3, it is at your option. RMS make the license more restrictive, too restrictive, therefore Linus said no.

Re:DRM, private keys (0, Offtopic)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567800)

Unfortunately, I'm unable to mod your post up right now (and it deserves it).

Re:DRM, private keys (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568253)

RMS make the license more restrictive, too restrictive...
The fundamental intent of the license hasn't changed. The only thing this does is close the loophole whereby vendors could technically release source code that runs on their device, but if anyone actually tried to exercise their rights under the GPL by modifying the code (i.e. the entire point of it being Free Software in the first place) the device would refuse to run the code because the checksum/key wouldn't match. The GPL v.3 just adds text explicitly saying that device makers must allow this, where it was only implied (i.e. without legal weight) before.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (2, Informative)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567521)

Complete Corresponding Source Code also includes any encryption or authorization codes necessary to install and/or execute the source code of the work, perhaps modified by you, in the recommended or principal context of use, such that its functioning in all circumstances is identical to that of the work, except as altered by your modifications. It also includes any decryption codes necessary to access or unseal the work's output. Notwithstanding this, a code need not be included in cases where use of the work normally implies the user already has it.

I think that's what he's talking about, seeing as that's the only section I see having to do with encryption/private keys. I don't see how that requires developers to give out their private keys, but then again, I'm not privy to exactly how the Linux development process works.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567848)

I think that he is confusing the private keys used to prove authenticity of code (usually binary) or media for restrictive purposes (DRM) and keys that prove authenticity of code (source) to protect against modifications.

The lack of keys in the first case will cause the software to not work. The lack of keys in the second case would cause warnings at some point stating that there's no guarrantee that Linus actually wrote the code that you've just uploaded to an FTP site, whiich would be safely ignored by anyone who was expecting you to post a modified version of the code. In this case, there's nothing stopping you from signing it with your own keys to prove that this is the version you modified.

If the GPL v3 is vague between these two types, then it definately needs rewording.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567590)


I wish there would be a rational and friendly discussion. Is that too much? Have we come thus far?


Ummm... sure. Right after the rational/friendly discussion about the whol Linux GNU/Linux thing. (In other words: when pigs fly)

Uncompromizing in-your-face positioning is nothing new.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567719)

Ummm... sure. Right after the rational/friendly discussion about the whol Linux GNU/Linux thing. (In other words: when pigs fly)

That discussion was very friendly between the main opponents, Linus and RMS, if I remember it correctly at all. There is a degradation in style and quality when Linus says he won't use a document that hasn't even been written.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567995)


That discussion was very friendly between the main opponents, Linus and RMS, if I remember it correctly at all. There is a degradation in style and quality when Linus says he won't use a document that hasn't even been written.


You should see a doctor abot your memory problem. I wouldn't call RMS's refusal to speak to LUGs unless they renamed themselves GLUGs friendly.

I wouldn't even call it a discussion.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

c (8461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567703)

GPLv3 hasn't even been released yet. The public discussion on what it will be like only started a few days ago. And yet Linus seems to be categorically certain that he won't even consider using that license?

I seem to recall reading something from the FSF stating that even though it's not finalized, the draft will be the final license unless a serious problem is identified.

Linus refusing to support it might be enough of a problem. Certainly, I strongly suspect that the code signing issue will be largely mooted if the underlying free operating system doesn't support GPLv3.

c.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568204)

I wonder if this is intentional. The FSF, and Stallman in particular, never really liked Linux. I wonder if they will try using this to push L4 Hurd (GPLv3 compliant! L@@K R@RE!), as the official GNU kernel again.

Re:What v3 does he mean? (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568427)

The Bitkeeper story should tell any onlooker that Linus Torvalds is quite hostile to software freedom. Torvalds advocated against Andrew Tridgell who was working on a Free Software program to pull data from Bitkeeper repositories, thus allowing Linux kernel developers to not have to get a proprietary program to do that job.

To see Torvalds express such disdain for GPLv3 so early in its revision process is disappointing but not surprising.

It is my hope that other kernels (like the GNU variant with the BSD kernel Debian distributes) and the HURD (the official GNU kernel replacement) will pick up enough development in the years to come that we can move to a system that need not include the Linux kernel. A lot of people pay attention to what Torvalds says and he's willing to go along with whatever he thinks is the best technology with no regard for software freedom (two facets I don't agree with him on). In 20 years of the Free Software movement, I've come to appreciate the freedoms Free Software gives me in their own right. I've seen so many successes in this community that I'm convinced whatever jobs need doing can be done with Free Software.

Don't see how this is a story. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567373)

This comes as no great surprise. How could Linus convert it to v3, even if he wanted to? There are thousands of individual copyright holders to contact (not everyone released it under "any later version"). For some of them, that's going to require a seance and/or JLH, since they are dead now. I consider this a non-story, personally, we knew this was going to happen before v3 was even announced.

Re:Don't see how this is a story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567469)

In other words, the grapes are sour, anyway

Re:Don't see how this is a story. (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567740)

But will he allow others to release new modules under the GPLv3 and be included in the main kernel tree ? I also would like to know what he thinks of the changes. Why is he so much against the new revision ?

Re:Don't see how this is a story. (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567793)

The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.
I guess that answers one of my questions.

Re:Don't see how this is a story. (2, Interesting)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568499)

Clearly I can't speak for Linus. But I can float a couple of theories based on my own thoughts and the bits of the history that I know. Adn what is /. for if not wild and semi-random speculation on subjects about which we have no first hand knowledge!

IIRC Linus has said that back when he started coding Linux that he was not aware of the *BSD project (Free only at that point I think but am not sure) and that if he had known of it he would have simply used that. Also, and I'm going to just disclaim the rest of this post here and drop it as it is getting old, pretty much the only reason he GPLed it was because that was the only free license he knew of and to thank RMS for GCC. He has also *never* really been political, either way. And has always seemed to make choices based on the quality of code as he sees it (Bitkeeper, as an example but I am *not* making any statements about the quality of said code either way simply that he *thought* it as better and used it in spite of the license).

So having established that Linus seems to be pretty much a political agnostic (As a *BSD guy this is one of the many things I respect about the guy).

The new version of the GPL seems to me to be *very* political. In fact political almost to the point where I'm not sure it can really be called a free software license anymore. I mean *YES* the things it is against are evil evil evil and should be wiped from the face of the Earth. But a "free software" license is IMO, and given the history and what we are seeing now I think one could guess that Linus would agree, NOT the place to fight that battle. Use restrictions are *very* much against what many of us see as the whole point of free software. I think this starts us down a very bad slippery slope and one that the FSF is insane to step onto. I, for one, am glad to see Linus avoiding it.

Re:Don't see how this is a story. (1, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568147)

For some of them, that's going to require a seance and/or JLH, since they are dead now.

Whilst I wouldn't mind being the liason to contact Jennifer Love Hewitt for extended "meetings" and "negotiations," I don't believe she does much coding.

Huh (2, Insightful)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567396)

How can code released under the GPL be relicensed at all, even GPLv3? If it can be, why can't I take it and license it with a BSD-style or completely closed source license?

Well, this is how it goes: (3, Interesting)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567433)

Either, one entity holds the copyrights, and are free to change the license. Or, the copyright holders have agreed upon submitting their code, to allow the thing to be released as "GPL v2 or later".

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (1)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567500)

But can this be done with respect to companies like RedHat that make significant changes to the kernel. Code released under v2 would seem to be stuck as v2. How could someone make a retroactive license change on a released piece of software?

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (2, Informative)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567609)

No, the copyright holders can give permission to re-release it as GPLv3 or Carl and Jabbas Artistic Hut Licence. The 'problem' with the Linux kernel, is that there are an extreme amount of copyright holders, so even if RedHat gave permission to re-release their code as GPLv3, that would not be anywhere near the complete kernel source code.

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (2, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567639)

As the grandparent tried to put it, only the copyright holder can change the license on a piece of software.

If I create a program that counts to 100 and then exits, I can release it under any license(s) I want. If I release it GPL v2 and someone says, "Hey, Stine, management wants us to avoid GPL. Can we get it under BSD?", I can decide to release it under BSD if I so choose. You cannot decide to release my code under any other license than I have explicitly said that you can. If you want it under a different license, you have to ask my permission.

Actually, ... (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568327)

(ignoring the fact that the program you mentioned above is NOT eligible for copyright protection because of its obviety, non-intellectual-novelty and other similar factors)

If you distributed your code to me under the terms of the GPL, and I made a derivative work, and I distributed my derivative work (under the terms of the GPL also, because this would be mandatory), then a third work, derivative of my work, can only be licensed under the terms of the GPL regardless of any change in the license of the original code.

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567685)

Disclaimer: IANAL.

The owner of a software may choose its license.

The license is like an agreement about how you may make use of a software package. You may relicsnse the software if the current license of the software permits such an act. For instance, you can take code submitted in the public domain and release it under any new license you wish. (Public domain means that the original programmer asserts no ownership to the code, so you don't even have to ask anybody.)

Another good candidate for relicensing, if I remember correctly, is the BSD license, which allows code to be re-released under a different license. There is, however, no realistic way to retroactively change the license of a piece of software. You will need to find the owners of every line of code and ask them whether they consent to the license change, and for the parts which you receive no permission you are required to throw the code away and reimplement it.

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567747)

If you are the copyright holder, you can re-release your code any time under any license you want. Now if every kernel contributor re-releases his code under GPLv3, then the whole kernel is re-released under GPLv3. Of course, the code you received under v2 would remain under v2; and if you have an old kernel containing code which isn't in the current one, and isn't relicensed, then you couldn't redistribute it under v3 either. Also I think GPLv2 and GPLv3 are not compatible, because e.g. the GPLv3 DRM stuff is an extra restriction, and GPLv2 explicitly disallows any additional restrictions, therefore you couldn't add that v2 code to the hypothetical v3-licensed kernel and distribute it.

IANAL however, and the above is just my understanding.

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568267)

How could someone make a retroactive license change on a released piece of software?

They can't, unless the license contains provisions allowing this. However, they can grant additional permission to distribute the work under another license.

Re:Well, this is how it goes: (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567734)

Which would be the dumbest thing to do, ever. Who's to say whoever is in charge of 'making' the GPL vXXX doesn't add in all sorts of nasty things that an original author might not like. What if they release it as a horribly restrictive license? What if they open it up to being as open as the BSD license? Who knows what some other group might change the license to in the future. Licensing your code under a license another group could change at a whim is dumb. Really, really dumb.

Re:Huh (5, Informative)

k98sven (324383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567647)

How can code released under the GPL be relicensed at all, even GPLv3?

1) Because the GPL license can optionally include the statement that it's covered by the GPL and/or any later version.

2) Because a copyright holder can relicense, dual-license and in general put any conditions he or she wants on their copyrighted work, including multiple different sets of conditions (licenses).

What you are asking is akin to saying "If someone lends a book to me on a set of conditions, how can they be allowed to lend it to someone else on different ones?".

If it can be, why can't I take it and license it with a BSD-style or completely closed source license?

Because you don't own the copyright.

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568152)

My karma burns faster than the American flag at an ACLU meeting.

Now that's a troll of a signature. Is it supposed to be clever?

Re:Huh (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568239)

The author can relicense his own code under whatever license he wants.

It's trickier with Linux, however. Because of so many authors, who have independantly retained copyrights on their personal contributions, they would all have to agree on an alternative license scheme before it could be done. You can have the same problem when you have a compilation of works by many authors.

And as for obtaining permission from contributers that may no longer be with us, in the case of something like Linux, their permission would be implicit if all the other developers agreed to relicense... UNLESS the late developers had willed (implicitly or explicitly) control of their copyright to another party that was not in agreement.

slashy mc dotted (0, Offtopic)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567403)

dig the php db connect debug code at the top of that linked linus posting.
mirrored anyone?

Re:slashy mc dotted (2, Informative)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567546)

hmm, I guess I was lucky and got in before the ./-ing


Date Wed, 25 Jan 2006 17:39:16 -0500 (EST)
From Linus Torvalds
Subject Re: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Chase Venters wrote:
>
> This means that when the code went GPL v1 -> GPL v2, the transition was
> permissible. Linux v1.0 shipped with the GPL v2. It did not ship with a
> separate clause specifying that "You may only use *this* version of the GPL"
> as it now does. (I haven't done any research to find out when this clause was
> added, but it was after the transition to v2).

Bzzt. Look closer.

The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever
been valid.

The "version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version"
language in the GPL copying file is not - and has never been - part of the
actual License itself. It's part of the _explanatory_ text that talks
about how to apply the license to your program, and it says that _if_ you
want to accept any later versions of the GPL, you can state so in your
source code.
The Linux kernel has never stated that in general. Some authors have
chosen to use the suggested FSF boilerplate (including the "any later
version" language), but the kernel in general never has.

In other words: the _default_ license strategy is always just the
particular version of the GPL that accompanies a project. If you want to
license a program under _any_ later version of the GPL, you have to state
so explicitly. Linux never did.

So: the extra blurb at the top of the COPYING file in the kernel source
tree was added not to _change_ the license, but to _clarify_ these points
so that there wouldn't be any confusion.

The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some
individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.

And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to
require people to make their private signing keys available, for example.
I wouldn't do it. So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to
happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my
code.

> If a migration to v3 were to occur, the only potential hairball I see is if
> someone objected on the grounds that they contributed code to a version of the
> kernel Linus had marked as "GPLv2 Only". IANAL.

No. You think "v2 or later" is the default. It's not. The _default_ is to
not allow conversion.

Conversion isn't going to happen.

                Linus

I don't get it... (1, Redundant)

Concern (819622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567424)

Linus says:

And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to require people to make their private signing keys available, for example. I wouldn't do it.

Private signing keys? I must have missed that in the GPLv3 discussion so far. What on earth is he talking about?

Re:I don't get it... (4, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567526)

http://software.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/01 /17/1454213&from=rss [newsforge.com]

DRM clause I guess?

"Complete Corresponding Source Code also includes any encryption or authorization codes necessary to install and/or execute the source code of the work, perhaps modified by you, in the recommended or principal context of use, such that its functioning in all circumstances is identical to that of the work, except as altered by your modifications. It also includes any decryption codes necessary to access or unseal the work's output."

http://gplv3.fsf.org/draft [fsf.org]

Re:I don't get it... (3, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567628)

OK, I guess I see where the confusion comes from, but it still seems just like confusion. How on earth could this clause require Linus to release his private keys? There is no DRM in linux. No encryption or authorization codes are required to install and/or execute the work, and no decryption codes are necessary to access or unseal... you get the idea.

Is Linus on crack?

Wasn't this already covered? (1)

just fiddling around (636818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567996)

In the V2 of the GPL, there was an obligation of making the usable, human-readable version of the code avaliable. Ergo: we shouldn't need keys to read the code.

When you have the code, any "protection" of the executable generated can be easily stripped out, as can also be the case of output files of the app.

Case closed?

Linus does not trust Stallman (2, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567558)

To me this just reflects a deep distrust of Richard Stallman and his social agenda. Stallman has become an impatient utopianist an, like most utopianists, he's resorting to tyranny where his past attempts to win hearts and minds have failed. Linus may be paranoid in this example but that paranoia is grounded in a loathing of Stallman's fundamentalist thinking.

Re:Linus does not trust Stallman (2, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567673)

Tyranny? The guy doesn't have the greatest social skills around, but then again who does? Can we really say "Tyranny?"

I wasn't aware the FSF was a failure either.

Why on earth loathe the guy? I feel like I missed something.

George III does not trust Washington (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567841)

You sound like King George III talking about those uppity Americans.

Re:Linus does not trust Stallman (4, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567853)

I'm with you on this. I distruct Richard Stallman for the same reasons. I personally think he's gone off on a side road of his original mission. Originally, it was to provide a bunch of software that was open to all and protected by copyright. Now, it seems his mission is to attempt to destroy anything that isn't open to all and protected in the ways he wants to define it. The first is setting up a safe haven for intellectual ideas and the like. The second is waging a war. I don't want a war and have no time for it. I prefer to live and let live and have no problem with OSS and proprietary software coexisting. Stallman no longer wants to coexist so I've not supported his views for some time.

Why trust anyone? (3, Interesting)

vondo (303621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568127)

I made the same decision Linus did on a project I run. I like what GPLv2 says, I don't want someone at MIT deciding, years after I wrote my code, what the terms of the license on my code are by granting additional rights or restrictions. My application happens to be one that runs on a server and presents users with a web interface. As you'll recall, there were originally thoughts that v3 would require modifications to such applications to be available.

Going there with IE is bad apparently (-1, Offtopic)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567432)

you get this funny little message at the top

"I see you're using Internet Explorer. You may want to try Firefox, I think you'll like it better.

Firefox can block unwanted pop-up windows.
It can stop viruses and spyware.
It keeps Microsoft from controlling the future of the internet.
It's more conformant to the prevailing standards (XHTML, CSS, etc)
Click the button on the right to download and install Firefox. It's free.
"

That's really annoying..

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0, Offtopic)

thetejon (798945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567562)

Going ANYWHERE with IE is bad. I keep asking my team lead if we can stop supporting IE, but he rambles on about how "most of our users use IE" or some such nonsense.

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0, Offtopic)

petabyte (238821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567564)

Actually, I'd like that code for my website. I wonder if its freely available ...

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567877)

People still using Internet Exlorer are really annoying.

Yes, that code is freely available at http://www.explorerdestroyer.com/ [explorerdestroyer.com]

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567603)

That's really annoying..

Yeah, well, the truth hurts sometimes.

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567784)

That's really annoying..

I think you have it wrong. Firefox ads are good.


Whats truly annoying are the people still using a backward, outdated browser, namely Internet Explorer. It sucks having to break perfectly good HTML (or worse, maintaining two seprate versions) to allow archaic IE to render it. That's annoying.

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0, Offtopic)

DogDude (805747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567878)

If I see anything like that on a website, I pretty much instantly discount anything that website has to say. It's juvenile, and wrong,as I get pop-ups with Firefox, and plenty of viruses attempts whiz right past firefox, and don't stop until my virus checker gets 'em (http://free-av.com./ [free-av.com.]

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (1)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568278)

hear hear!

You don't need to resort to stupidity to get people to switch. If Firefox is the better it will sort itself out.. thus the beauty of the free market.

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568475)

Free market? When it's installed along side every IE on every new box, then we will see users making a choice. Until that day, Microsoft will continue to illegally leverage their monopoly, and ensure box builders tow the party line.

Re:Going there with IE is bad apparently (0, Offtopic)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568172)

Now you know how users of other browsers feel when going to pages that urge them to use IE.

Full Text; Lots of MySQL Errors (3, Informative)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567451)

Here is the full text as it took me several times to get past the MySQL errors with too many connections:

Date Wed, 25 Jan 2006 17:39:16 -0500 (EST)
From Linus Torvalds
Subject Re: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Chase Venters wrote:
>
> This means that when the code went GPL v1 -> GPL v2, the transition was
> permissible. Linux v1.0 shipped with the GPL v2. It did not ship with a
> separate clause specifying that "You may only use *this* version of the GPL"
> as it now does. (I haven't done any research to find out when this clause was
> added, but it was after the transition to v2).

Bzzt. Look closer.

The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever
been valid.

The "version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version"
language in the GPL copying file is not - and has never been - part of the
actual License itself. It's part of the _explanatory_ text that talks
about how to apply the license to your program, and it says that _if_ you
want to accept any later versions of the GPL, you can state so in your
source code.
The Linux kernel has never stated that in general. Some authors have
chosen to use the suggested FSF boilerplate (including the "any later
version" language), but the kernel in general never has.

In other words: the _default_ license strategy is always just the
particular version of the GPL that accompanies a project. If you want to
license a program under _any_ later version of the GPL, you have to state
so explicitly. Linux never did.

So: the extra blurb at the top of the COPYING file in the kernel source
tree was added not to _change_ the license, but to _clarify_ these points
so that there wouldn't be any confusion.

The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some
individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.

And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to
require people to make their private signing keys available, for example.
I wouldn't do it. So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to
happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my
code.

> If a migration to v3 were to occur, the only potential hairball I see is if
> someone objected on the grounds that they contributed code to a version of the
> kernel Linus had marked as "GPLv2 Only". IANAL.

No. You think "v2 or later" is the default. It's not. The _default_ is to
not allow conversion.

Conversion isn't going to happen.

                Linus

Re:Full Text; Lots of MySQL Errors (4, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567566)

I think it's insane to require people to make their private signing keys available, for example.

I think Linus is mistaken on this point. Nowhere does the GPL v3 say anything about making private keys available. This was hashed over in the previous discussion [slashdot.org] . Now if he still doesn't like some of the terms of the GPL v3, then more power to him. Even then, as other posters have commented, it'd take a small miracle to find every last copyright holder and have them agree to the change in license.

Re:Full Text; Lots of MySQL Errors (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567840)

(+1) Troll ??

Since this was just a repost of Linus' comments, did a Slashdot moderator give Linus the moderating finger?

In other news, I just saw a pig fly by my window.

YOU FAIL yIT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567492)

rivalry, and we'll very Mdistracting to Users With LaGrge WASTE OF BITS AND

I GNU it! (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567551)

The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever been valid.

Nothing to see here, please move along.

"Bzzt."? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567577)

Bzzt. Look closer.

Man. For someone who's made great contributions to open source software, he sure can be an annoying-ass weenie. When are geeks going to grow up and realize that they don't have to act like this when debating a point?

Gaaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567638)

Gaaaah! My eyes are bleeding from the use of parentheses in that post...

He needs to read it again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14567746)

They are only trying to keep you from encrypting the code/binary. If the code uses keys to encrypt data that it processes then it does not have to be given out.

Thank you Linus! (0, Troll)

rnd() (118781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14567888)

I'm happy to read that Linus appears to have a lot more sense than the FSF people who are so anti-business that they want to sabotage many of the businesses who embraced open source.

What a rude awakening the GPL3 has the potential to foster, as firms go fleeing back to closed source alternatives in order to comply.

Thanks Linus!

Re:Thank you Linus! (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568155)

What a load of steaming excrement this is. I don't think I've heard a stupider statement about the GPL even from a Microsoft spokesperson.

Refusing contributions? (2, Interesting)

velco (521660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568024)

The question is will Linus refuse contributions, licensed under GPLv3?

    Including a GPLv3 licensed parts will require distribution of the derived work (i.e. the kernel) to comply with both GPLv2 and GPLv3 requirements, thus effectively making the whole kernel GPLv3.

~velco

Re:Refusing contributions? (2, Insightful)

ralatalo (673742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568361)

This has been said before and it doesn't just affect the Linux Kernel...

If someone has released software under a previous version of the GNU Public license and they did NOT include the clause allowing relicencing under a later version of the GPL then you can NOT combine it with GPL version 3 code.

The suggestions were to contact the copyright owners and see if they will agree to re-licence the original code, or for you dual license YOUR code so that it could be used under either license.

Now, for the Linux Kernel, I was much more involved back in the 1991 time frame, don't recall any contributions that I would consider noteworthy, but in those days it was very common to see un-attributed patchs for various things. Don't know if you could track down all of the copyright owners from the very early days. Supposing (and I have no reason to suspect otherwise) that Linus knows (including then current contact infomation) who generated all of the initial contributions which were adopted into the main kernel. He (or someone) would need to track then all down (including the next of kin of any who have died) to get them to agree to a change of license. 1991 is 14 years ago... think of all the people you traded e-mails with even 10 years ago and ...try tracking them down.

You can't trust a man .... (-1, Offtopic)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568115)

that splits infinitives !!

The _default_ is to not allow conversion.

Sorry Linus its should be : The _default_ is not to allow conversion.

Or, I suspect this form would be more appropriate: The _default_ is to disallow conversion.

Bzzt! (1)

Naruki (601680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568234)

You aren't going to be a very good grammar nazi if you simply parrot all the things your Junior High School English teacher told you. Do a little research. After all, you don't still labor under the impression that ending a sentence with a preposition is "wrong", do you? The origin of English rules is as complicated (and often as senseless) as the rules themselves.

Re:You can't trust a man .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14568274)

...who uses "that" when he should use "who."

- The Grammar Gestapo

Maybe Linus doesn't LIKE what GPL3 requires? (2, Interesting)

stevew (4845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568128)

Beyond the fact that you can't move the kernel due to not all contributors agreeing - is it possible that Linus simply doesn't like the new provisions in GPL3.

I can tell you that I don't care for several of the provisions. They are VERY anti-business. This license is less free than others because of the new provisions. I predict that the new wording will drive more new projects to BSD style licensing.

Don't get me wrong - I hate DRM just like everyone else, but I think GPL3 goes over-board. It seems more a political statement than a practical license now.

Linus is wrong (2, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568173)

Older versions of Linux can be distributed under any version of the GPL ever published by the FSF, as per GPLv2 section 9 [linux.no] , since they did not specify a version of the GPL.

Of course, it's actually GPLv2 or later, because several source files have the "v2 or later" clause.

Re:Linus is wrong (1)

johnmrowe (443011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568466)

On the contrary, the link shows the actual licence that Linux was released under. The text that is there IS the licecnce. And it clearly says it's GPL2.

John

About the LKML site (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568179)

Building a site that only renders well in MSIE is not particularly smart, building a site that explicitely places an annoyingly huge banner at the top if you're using MSIE is just morally wrong.

GPL weakness: "at your option any other version" (1)

manuelz (613564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568310)

I suggest that the main weakness of the GPL is the wording "(at your option) any later version". Whether this wording is part of the license or not, is a troubling grey area.

Consider the following scenario: Monopoly Software Co., somehow:
- infiltrates the FSF
- marginalizes its current leadership
- possibly changes the FSF charter
- then, releases GPL version 6, granting MoSoCo full rights to use, modify and sell derivative works, etc

Of course, MoSoCo uses "at [their] option" only this last version of the GPL for all their derivative works, and they make lots of money on the sweat of the open source community, no strings attached.

The crux of the matter resides in the reliance of the license on the benevolence of a variable group of people.

:]m

Not sure I understand (1)

dingletec (590572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568410)

I know there is hostility toward the GPL, but I don't understand how it affects businesses. Is it just those who develop software that find it difficult to deal with?

The differences between the GPL and BSD mean nothing to me, as far as I know. I deploy Linux and BSD freely at work, and have never heard anything that should keep me from that.

What are the sticking points that a business user should be aware of? As long as the license allows me to freely use the OS or software, why should I care about this debate?

He is right, surely (1, Troll)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568416)

Just my 2 cents, but playing politics isn't going to help Linux, or any other software. There is nothing wrong with looking at ways in which in the GPL2 (or any other licence) could be improved. But buying into the agenda of some of the more far-out ranters and anti-capitalist nutjobs of the free software world isn't going to help anyone, and at the moment they all seem lumped together under the general heading "GPL3" On the contrary, it will make Linux less useful to a lot of folks and put off still more potential users.

Not for the first time, Linux Torvalds is applying a touch to the brakes and suggesting that a little common sense might go a long way. Or that's how I read this, anyway. I guess the ghastly Richard Stallman will just have to continue gnashing and gnuing his teeth. The Linux kernel is absolutely not his kernel.

Just the kernel? (3, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14568465)

OK thats just the kernel being talked about. What about the rest of GNU/Linux?? Will it move to GPLv3?

I'm primarily concerned with gcc, glibc and the likes. X has its own license that I'm OK with. The rest of the apps are not critical and easily replaceable. gcc glibc and the kernel are damn hard to replace... they exist alone. Others have competitors.

I dont want any of GPLv3 in my system just as I dont want any of SCO code in my system. Maybe the final GPLv3 will be more palatable than it is now.
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