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Linus Speaks Out On GPLv3

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-a-spicy-os-dev dept.

615

Slagged writes to mention the word that Linus Torvalds isn't a fan of the new GPL draft. News.com has the story, and someone purporting to be Linus is causing a ruckus in the Groklaw thread on the subject. From the News.com article: "Say I'm a hardware manufacturer. I decide I love some particular piece of open-source software, but when I sell my hardware, I want to make sure it runs only one particular version of that software, because that's what I've validated. So I make my hardware check the cryptographic signature of the binary before I run it ... The GPLv3 doesn't seem to allow that, and in fact, most of the GPLv3 changes seem to be explicitly designed exactly to not allow the above kind of use, which I don't think it has any business doing."

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GNAA Announces Victory over AOL (-1, Troll)

NarkersMarker (989475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801799)

GNAA Announces Victory over AOL
GNAA Announces Victory over AOL
Monday, May 17 2004, GNAA, Nigeria

"Who is the Greatest Man Alive?" - If you ask Gary Niger, he'll tell you it is most definitely Osama Bin Laden.

The Gay Nigger Association of America (GNAA) announced today further victory in their current program to bring about total breakdown of the AOL customer relation system.

AOL Corporate Policy has been changed after GNAA (Gay Nigger Association of America) special operative Gary Niger's constant abuse of their "secret question" program designed to provide a futile illusion of security for the mongoloids and sodomites that comprise their customer base.

The "custom question" option, allowing users to create their own question, has been removed following the efforts of Niger and other fearsome Gay Niggers from the GNAA's top secret "Black Ops" divison.

With the removal of this option, trolls are now forced to use pre-approved AOL "secret question" options when signing up for fraudlent accounts for the purpose of downloading gay pornography and meeting up with the clandestine "homo thug" underground.

"I don't know why it changed, exactly. Corporate HQ didn't tell us," said Tracy, an AOL representative. "It happened two or three days ago."

Tracy was unavailable for further comment, as she was masturbating furiously under her desk - claiming that "Ten guys were on the phone and (she) had to take them all on."

An AOL executive, speaking under the condition of anonymnity, said the change in policy came after widespread employee unrest, culminating in an incident of mass sodomy taking place in the Ogden, Utah call center.

Gary Niger and other members of the GNAA "Black Ops" division continue to use the "custom question" trolling technique with various punjabis in the Bangalore, India call center - who haven't gotten the memo yet.

Meanwhile, GNAA Command is working on the creation of new methods of trolling to work within the confines of this new standard, still flush with victory.

Nick Berg's head was unavailable for comment at the time of this release.


About America Online, Inc.

America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.



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| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
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Owned by dsp (0, Troll)

James A. V. Joyce (798462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801811)

You fucking niggots. GNAA is dying. Timecop is a sellout. You got rwnd by a Welshman. lol just lol

as long as I'm here... [goatse.ca]

chill, rolloffle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802273)

less haties, more hearties.

hoping to go on world tour sometime. maybe i can come by ukville. gimme an email address or something.

<3,
h3n

Don't forget... (0, Troll)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801801)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Linus is wrong (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801817)

I don't think manufacturers have any business preventing me from running my own code on hardware I purchased, at that stage I may as well be using MS Windows.

You are wrong (5, Funny)

Phillup (317168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801899)

Manufacturers should be able to go out of business in any method they desire.

Re:Linus is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801989)

Exactly. If they want, they can still verify the signature and warn you that you're installing unverified/unsupported firmware. No manufacturer has to support a device which you broke by installing unsuitable software, so it's not their problem if you ignore the warning and brick your router/PVR/etc.

Re:Linus is wrong (1)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802026)

The problem is that people will still call for support, and pretend that they never saw the warning / its the manufacturers fault for letting them do it, etc. I've seen people do it before and I will see it again.

Re:Linus is wrong (2, Informative)

grim4593 (947789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802077)

Then they should be like the D-Link routers and have an emergency ROM that lets you reinstall the firmware even if the router is bricked. Smart idea they have.

Re:Linus is wrong (5, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802310)

This is a twisted and difficult issue.

On the one hand, the whole point of open source is that you can change it and then run your changed version. That shouldn't be suddenly untrue at the arbitrary border between hardware and software. Hardware that uses approved versions of open source while actively preventing my version from running violates the spirit of the thing.

On the other hand, most of us have spent the last decade saying that its OK to use both open source and closed source software on the same machine. No one argues, for example, that you can't run GCC on top of a closed-source unix kernel even though it requires that kernel in order to run. Nor does anyone argue that the processor and other chips used by the kernel must be an open, free design.

The real problem, I think, is that RMS (via the FSF) is trying to force it down our throats as usual. He's a strange bird in that he really gets the freedom issue at one level while it flies totally over his head at another.

I think I'd put the DRM stuff in GPL3 as an optional component and see what happens. Let us authors decide whether we want it. If it works for us, it can be made permanant in GPLv4.

So I'd do something like this: Software released under the GPL MAY designate (on either a file-by-file or full release basis) that it can not be used by any device which by design actively prevents its legitimate owner from adjusting the software or data. Distribution of code so designated would be fully compatible with distribution of any other interlinked GPLv3 code with the sole exception that binary forms of the portions so designated may not be distributed for use with the restricted systems.

But then I'm a vi guy. Maybe if I'd written emacs I'd see it differently.

Emphasis on "purporting to be" (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801818)

Here at slashdot, we've had our own share of faux celebrities [slashdot.org] drop by...

Re:Emphasis on "purporting to be" (3, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801862)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that anyone who reads what Linus posts to linux-kernel will agree that the style of writing and thought in these Groklaw posts is his. So either it is indeed Linus or a very good replica.

This is not difficult (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802059)

Has anyone tried emailing Linus and asking if the groklaw commenter is him?

Re:Emphasis on "purporting to be" (1)

MathFox (686808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802066)

Even the Groklaw staff is unable to confirm that this Anonymous user signing his posts with Linus is Mr. Torvalds.

Of Course That's the Point (4, Insightful)

BlackGriffen (521856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801840)

It's fine to have the hardware validate the software, I don't think anyone can rationally argue against that. What's not fine is to have the hardware refuse to run the software at all. If the user is conscious that the software is modified and therefor unsupported, then the user should have the ability to run any software he chooses.

So, have a cryptographic check alongside a message or error light or something about running in unsupported mode, but don't completely cripple the hardware just because you want to avoid support headaches.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (4, Insightful)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801893)

You are failing to see this from the point of view of the manufacturer. What you have proposed simply gives you a way to run unsupported software. Where does it actually help the manufacturer? They are still going to get the calls, error light or not. Only now, in addition to providing support, they have to explain why they will not support a particular version of the code.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801925)

No, I don't. I have to look at it from the point of view of the owner. If I buy a piece of hardware I damn well have the *right* to run any software I want with it. Now, doing so may void the warranty. But as the owner of the hardware I am allowed to make that choice.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802002)

Exactly. What if that "hardware" is a PC and that "validated software" is Windows? So much for Linux.

I don't find this far-fetched in the slightest.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802013)

You may have the right to try, but the company that created the hardware "damn well" has the right to use technology to stop you if they want to.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802036)

And the copyright owner of the software has the right to restrict the use of that software on devices which perform that hardware check. What's your point?

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

NialScorva (213763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802220)

And when the copyright owner does this, he's making a political decision, not a technical one. Linus's whole point is that the GPL 3 dictates technical details of projects that use it, where V2 didn't.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (5, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802328)

Linus's whole point is that the GPL 3 dictates technical details of projects that use it, where V2 didn't.

GPLv2 dictated technical details that affected the next user's right to modify the software. For example, you couldn't link a modified GPL program with a closed source library, since that would hamper the ability to modify the software.

The spirit of the GPL has not changed. The "political goal" is to ensure that all downsteam users that wind up using GPL software have the same rights to modify and distribute the software that earlier users had. That has not changed. It's only closing a loophole that some companies can use to take away those rights without violating the letter of the GPL.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801963)

The thing is, when it comes to modifying embedded apps, firmware, etc. anyone who is doing such a thing should, in theory, be knowledgeable enough to understand why what they are doing cannot be supported. It's not Joe Smith, 45 year old plumber who uses a computer once a week at work to enter his timesheet, that is going to be changing the software. Plus, even if it is, anyone who has gotten suckered into phone support and actually has enough knowledge to understand this themselves will probably get fed up with it and have little trouble saying "Sorry, we don't support that. Thanks for calling." and hanging up if it becomes a problem.... or maybe I was just an asshole when I did phone support.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802264)

Yea but Joe Smiths buddy/friend give him a new WiFi router with a custom version of the firmware. It has issues and he call support. The blinking red light is on if he even notices it and the support tech says I can not help because YOU hacked it.
He of course says he didn't and it goes from there.
Or said firmware is hacked over then net. Someone finds an exploit and turns it into a spam relay.
I am not even saying that this is a good idea but your solution is a solution.
And yes you where not a good support tech.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801983)

You are failing to see the point of view of the manufacturer isn't the reason for OSS' existence. Freedom is the reason. Torvalds is becoming a businessman and his perpsective changing. That's fine, he just can't expect a world change to meet his new notions.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (2, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802049)

Sure but the sun doesn't set at the pleasure of the OSS community. If they want to lock their software out of DRM-based hardware, that's their choice.

As for Linus changing his perspective, he decided a long time ago not to blindly follow whatever license the FSF might cook up in the future and it looks like it was a wise move.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802130)

"Sure but the sun doesn't set at the pleasure of the OSS community. If they want to lock their software out of DRM-based hardware, that's their choice."

Translation: "Sure but the sun doesn't set based on the principles which form the very foundations of the OSS community. If they want to lock their software out of DRM-based hardware diametrically-opposed to the philosophy which defined their reason for existence since Day 1, that's their choice.

Why yes, yes it is. And they show much more integrity than Torvalds for it.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (2, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802147)

Sure but the sun doesn't set at the pleasure of the OSS community. If they want to lock their software out of DRM-based hardware, that's their choice.

When it comes to software created by the OSS community the sun does set at our pleasure, which is the only software the GPLv3 is going to cover. If they want to lock their software using DRM based hardware they can use THEIR OWN software and not ours.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801990)

Only now, in addition to providing support, they have to explain why they will not support a particular version of the code.

That one's easy: "You have modified the product. The support is only for an unmodified product."
After all, if someone physically modified the product (e.g. do their own rewiring, maybe adding some extra component), then you wouldn't expect them to still give support for that modified product either.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

lazarusdishwasher (968525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802074)

Why does the software matter at all? Every eula I have read states that the software is not warrented for any pourpose. I also think the GPL had the clause as well. Since the software is not warrented anyway why do manufacturers have to support it?

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802204)

It helps the manufacturer in that the manufacturer gets to use the GPL3 code that they would like to use. A little window popping up that says 'Hi We've noticed that you are running non-supplied software on this box, this invalidates your support agreement, click to continue, or cancel to reinstall the original software' seems reasonable.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801896)

Yeah, what if in the future hardware is: "Designed for Windows Vista... AND ONLY WINDOWS VISTA, YOU COCK-SMOKING TEABAGGERS!"

It's bad enough finding drivers, it will be much worse if this happens.

And chance are before too long we'll be seeing things exactly like this.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801987)

Why did this post get marked troll?

The poster is making a very important point, albeit in a garish way.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801902)

So, have a cryptographic check alongside a message or error light or something about running in unsupported mode, but don't completely cripple the hardware just because you want to avoid support headaches.

Sorry, that doesn't fly. Support is a major cost for manufacturers, so anything you do to help minimize it's impact is worthwhile to do from the manuf. standpoint. If the hardware is some tape drive or a video card, then it probably isn't a big deal if someone out there tries to run some unsupported software on it. If it's controlling some flight systems or some medical device, then it should be very stringent about the environment that it operates in. The point of the "alleged" Linus is that that decision should be up to the manufacturer, given their market and their product, not based on some politics pushing software license.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801946)

If the manufacturer wants to deny the ability to run modified software, they should feel free to write their own.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802024)

If it's controlling some flight systems or some medical device, then it should be very stringent about the environment that it operates in

This is why flight systems and medical devices are maintained by trained engineers who are governed by institutional policies that mandate the software changes that are permitted.

The only thing that Linus' is defending is manufacturer's right to prevent anyone from ever running anything they don't approve of. I personally want to be able to run anything I want on my hardware (that's what "my" means) and if the manufacturer has to tell a bunch of lame customers who've broken stuff that they don't get no support, I'm sure that the manufacturers won't have any trouble at all doing that.

I have managed support teams and had to deal personally with irate customers who were trying to run our product on WinME and the like, which was not supported. I had no trouble explaining to them clearly that they were not on a supported platform and they needed to upgrade their OS. It just isn't that hard, and honestly such users are a minisucle fraction of the total support burden.

Likewise, at this very moment, there is code running on computers in hospitals around the world that is secured only by hospital policy. I'm talking about systems in ORs and imaging suites, most of which...well, you don't want to know about the situtation with regard to passwords on such systems.

So far as I know, not one single accident has ever occured anywhere due to a user loading alternative code onto such a system. But I do know of cases where researchers have used their freedom to run alternative software to repurpose such system for all kinds of interesting and valuable experimental purposes.

Linus is proposing to allow hardware manufacturers to use software validation to prevent the owners of such hardware from being free to use it in novel ways.

There is no risk to the public due from the freedom to run alternate code. There is a very low added support burden from users running alternate code. There is currently a very good mechanism to prevent people from running alternate code in situations where it matters, starting with "voiding the warranty" and moving on up to "opening yourself to a lawsuit". Therefore there is no risk to anyone from hardware owners having the freedom to use their hardware as they see fit, and specious arguments invoking speculative situations with mission-critical hardware simply do not hold water.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802015)

What I don't seem to be getting is how a software license can have any effect on a hardware distributor/vendor. If they want to lock their hardware onto a particular version of the Linux kernel, how does the GPL3 stop them?

What if they hire an independent developer to create some anti-freedom code and release it as GPL? Who's breaching the terms of the GPL if they choose to make their hardware run only that code? While I might agree with what RMS is after, the license appears to have such an easy workaround that it may as well be useless.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802201)

What I don't seem to be getting is how a software license can have any effect on a hardware distributor/vendor. If they want to lock their hardware onto a particular version of the Linux kernel, how does the GPL3 stop them?

Given that the Linux kernel will likely remain GPL2ed, nothing :-)

But otherwise, the hardware manufacturers will likely deliver their hardware with the software preinstalled. Thus they will distribute the software, and thus if that software is GPL3ed, they will be bound to that license by doing so.

If they chose not to distribute the software, but have the users install the software themselves, I think they wouldn't be bound by the GPL3 (i.e. they can sell hardware which runs only certain versions of GPL3ed software, but they cannot legally ship it with the software preinstalled). IANAL however, so my understanding of this may well be completely wrong.

What if they hire an independent developer to create some anti-freedom code and release it as GPL? Who's breaching the terms of the GPL if they choose to make their hardware run only that code?

Given that the copyright holder doesn't need a license to distribute his code, they wouldn't violate anything. However AFAIU everyone else would violate their copyright by redistributing that code (because the license doesn't permit redistribution of that sort of code). Thus effectively it would have the same effect as applying a restrictive proprietary license to that code, even though at the surface it would look as if the code were free.
Of course, they would have to make sure that the anti-freedom code doesn't use any existing GPL3ed code they don't own the copyright to, because otherwise they would violate the copyright of the respective copyright owner.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802054)

And now welcome to the real world... no.

What you say is a fine theory, and for desktop computers great, it fights the good fight.

But if I'm putting out an embedded device which I know will brick if things are modified in the slightest, why should I loosen things up to allow the customer to hang themselves?

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802195)

why should I loosen things up to allow the customer to hang themselves?

In the case of the GPLv3, it would be because the guy who owns software that you're shipping in your products wants it that way.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802249)

I completely agree with you... I support the right for the license to read however the authors want.

I just also agree with the story's summary that that's perhaps not a great route to take for such a widely used license. And I guess the other thing for me is the intent... I'm assuming here, but it sounds to me like the intent of the clause is that they don't want their software to be used to create hardware systems which limit the owner's ability to install whatever software they so choose... and in my opinion that should be left to the hardware developers to decide, and the market to choose a hardware maker which complies with it.

Basically this seems to me like "we have enough marketshare and people using Linux in embedded devices that we can now start to twist their arms to otherwise further our political goals"... sound familar anyone?

Re:Of Course That's the Point (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802199)

Oh, I don't know, maybe just keep doing exactly what embedded device manufacturers are doing now?

Seems to be working just fine. Sure, things occasionally get bricked, but only by people who are well aware that they're doing something that might brick their expensive toy, and are willing to take that risk for whatever improvements the non-standard software might give them. It's not something that someone using the device normally is likely to experience, unless the manufacturer themselves writes a bad flash update or something, in which case such a "no unapproved software" check wouldn't help, anyway.

Re:Of Course That's the Point (5, Insightful)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802084)

BlackGriffen wrote:
It's fine to have the hardware validate the software, I don't think anyone can rationally argue against that. What's not fine is to have the hardware refuse to run the software at all. If the user is conscious that the software is modified and therefor unsupported, then the user should have the ability to run any software he chooses. So, have a cryptographic check alongside a message or error light or something about running in unsupported mode, but don't completely cripple the hardware just because you want to avoid support headaches.
What you say makes sense; however, I don't think the current language of the GPLv3 draft is clear on this point. Here is the relevant passage, emphasis mine:

The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the same range of circumstances. (For instance, if the work is a DVD player and can play certain DVDs, it must be possible for modified versions to play those DVDs. If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.)
It seems that the first phrase in bold allows what you describe: "implement all the same functionality" does not seem to prohibit a pop-up warning that the code is unsigned. However, the second phrase in bold says that modified versions must be indistinguishible from the original source from the point of view of an outside device. This seems to prohibit that same pop-up warning. So, it seems that Moglen & Stallman still have some clarifying work to do.

But the GPLv3 also means we have to run rootkits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802240)

The problem with the GPLv3 is that it prevents you from validating code in any meaningful way. If I want to set my system up so that only signed binaries can run (which will stop rootkits cold if done in hardware) I should be allowed to do so.

The GPLv3 says I can't do that and have to allow rootkits and other malware to run. I'm not allowed to enforce that only signed code runs. If I try and do that, I am forced by the GPLv3 to give up my encryption keys.

Forget that. I know I won't be using any GPLv3 software and I'm sure most other people won't either. Linux will remain GPL 2, and if it doesn't, there's always the BSDs.

Closing OSS (4, Insightful)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801855)

Part of the point of OSS is that anything that you can modify should be modifyable. From the FSF's perspective, a hardware vendor shouldn't be allowed to lock you into using their approved software. You should be able to run whatever software you'd like on the hardware that you paid for. I'm not from the heart of OSS evangalism, but by allowing a hardware vendor to lock you into a certain version of an OSS application, you've closed the source of that app. It can be modified, but not run - and, to me at least, running is the ultimate point of software.

Re:Closing OSS (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801906)

Okay, I'll agree with the, "...a hardware vendor shouldn't be allowed to lock you into using their approved software." argument, but offer a different idea. How about a vendor allows anything to run but only warrantys their specific software? Having dealt with large vendors and working for a large organization, I can tell you that we specifically like standardization because it means that a small staff (15 or so) can take care of 30,000 machines over about 100 sites. If I'm a vendor with thousands of customers running something specialized, I don't want them making changes that make the support difficult-to-impossible.

I can understand some merits, but I can also understand some demerits...

Re:Closing OSS (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801948)

Thats perfectly fine, and allowed by the GPLv3 draft 2. WHen you sell something with a warranty, you're never responsible for negligence or user damage. If the user chose to change the software, that would caunt as user damage to any court. Its then up to the user to decide if the benefits of the software change outweigh the loss of the warranty.

Re:Closing OSS (2, Insightful)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802306)

Agreed. However, I think the grandparent's point is that with a standardized configuration, you can minimize the staff workload. Even if the users modify knowing that they might void their warranty...who do think they are going to call if it fails? So, the point isn't that they are liable for the changes, but by allowing them they will most likely have an increased support work load...even if all that they are doing is telling them it isn't supported.

This is just the classic debate all over again. What does it mean to "own" something? You paid for the device...so you should in theory be able to do anything that you want. There is absolutely nothing the maker of that device can do to completely prevent you from doing something (intentionally, unintentionally, stupid, enhancing, etc) to the device. However, if it is their prerogative, then why should you mandate to them what lengths they can and can't go to prevent you from making those changes?

In one sense, the GPLv3 is allowing software to be free of hardware lock in and be free in all circumstances. In another sense, it is constraining hardware in its ability to allow certain types of designs. So, while the GPL crowd says they are promoting freedom...looking at it from a different perspective they are actually putting in constraints. It is all a matter of perspective. But since this is a hardware vs. software battle, which way do you think the Free Software Foundation is going to lean?

Re:Closing OSS (2, Insightful)

Yunzil (181064) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802311)

From the FSF's perspective, a hardware vendor shouldn't be allowed to lock you into using their approved software.

Why is the Free Software Foundation trying to tell hardware vendors what to do?

on the other hand (5, Insightful)

ptr2004 (695756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801859)

Say I'm a hardware consumer. I decide I love some particular piece of hardware and buy it with my hard earned money. But when I try to run one particular version of open source software customized for me, it doesnt run because the hardware complains it is not validated.

Re:on the other hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802067)

Orrrr....

The hardware vendor allows you to run a non "certified" version of the software.

The software doesn't work.

Now the hardware manufacturer starts getting calls from customers who have borked their hardware, and want support....

I can see both sides of this story.

Easy enough solution.

Send it out with a "verified" version of the software. Include in your purchase licensing, and warranty, that unsupported software will void the warranty. That way, when they call in, you tell them they broke it, too bad.

Easy enough.,

Re:on the other hand (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802070)

Then either you live with it or you vote with your feet and not buy hardware from that company again.

Re:on the other hand (1)

Bob 535604 (871095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802324)

Exactly. It would be great if all hardware manufacturers would let anyone put custom software on their platforms, but putting these restrictions on the GPL isn't going to suddenly cause all the manufacturers to migrate en masse to GPL software...if anything they would avoid it.
The only way to encourage companies to do this is by supporting companies that already do this.

Re:on the other hand (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802329)

Which is the point of the clause in gpl3, either the hardware companies live with it or don't use that software.

Linus's point is probably more that he doesn't think that this is useful behavior from a software developer, not that he thinks hardware should be closed.

Re:on the other hand (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802230)

Say I'm a hardware consumer. I decide I love some particular piece of hardware and buy it with my hard earned money. But when I try to run one particular version of open source software customized for me, it doesnt run because the hardware complains it is not validated.

Sure, but look at it this way: Say I buy a car from Manufacturer A. Then I take the car and fill up its tank at Gas Station X. But what if ... OK, OK, I'll stop now.

not surprising (2, Interesting)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801866)

It's not surprising that Linus isn't crazy about GPLv3, because he's not crazy about the GPL in general, in the way that RMS and the Free Software folks are. He's into Linux for the engineering, not to Free the software world.

I am curious about why he chose the GPL and not something BSD-ish for Linux.

Re:not surprising (4, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801919)

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds [wikiquote.org]
"Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did."


http://hotwired.goo.ne.jp/matrix/9709/5_linus.html [goo.ne.jp]

I'm generally a very pragmatic person: that which works, works. When it comes to software, I _much_ prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.

So in that sense I am an avid promoter of free software, and GPL'd stuff in particular (because once it's GPL'd I _know_ it's going to stay free, so I don't have to worry about future releases).


In other words, Linus likes the GPL for the actual reasons that it is a good license, not out of any kind of narrow-minded 'software ideology'.

Re:not surprising (1, Troll)

muyuubyou (621373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802075)

Times change. The FSF has radicalized their "freedom through coercion" views and is complicating GPL over what's necessary. The more you complicate a license, the more fair use "collateral-damage" you get. There are fair uses for hardware validation, you can't just rule them all out. If your hardware vendor screws you, buy from another one.

Re:not surprising (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801954)

One aspect of the GPL is that it ensures that the author of the software gets to make use of all of the modifications other people make to the software (well, except for changes which aren't distributed, but that's no big deal). This is a more selfish approach to the GPL, but I think it's a completely valid one.

Re:not surprising (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801966)

The original author of the software does not necessarily get changes in the GPL. You're required to provide source to your end users, and you cant prohibit them from passing source along to upstream, but there's no requirement whatsoever to make the source generally available.

Re:not surprising (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802180)

That's an important point because it's often argued that the use of the GPL will mean that improvements will benefit the free software community, but it's not necessarily so.

Re:not surprising (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801994)

He's into Linux for the engineering, not to Free the software world.

Actually, I think he is being very consistent.

As a programmer he wants to be able to do exactly what he wants with software he writes. And he believes all programmers should be able to do that.

So, if a programmer wants to close his source... that is fine. It is the programmer's software.

And, hardware is treated the same way. The "person" that creates it gets to set the rules on how it is used.

Live or die by that choice.

I am curious about why he chose the GPL and not something BSD-ish for Linux.

Because his choice of payment for using his code was sharing your modifications to his code. BSD like licenses do not compel reciprocation.

Re:not surprising (1)

Rhett's Dad (870139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802082)

I'm guessing the GPLv2 at least ensured him some level of "keep my open source stuff open", whereas the BSD might not have.

I kind of follow his argument, from a business perspective regarding its product's quality reputation ("guaranteeing it will function as advertised").

I personally don't see a problem with GPLv3 including such a restriction. To me, it looks to just mean that coders who want their own code on the GPLv3 license will not likely see it used on a hardware product from a business that wants to include such restrictions... they'll have to look for other code to use in their product (maybe GPLv2 code, maybe Linux). At the end of the day, the GPLv3 coder made his choice, the GPLv2 coder made his choice, and the business made its choice. Looks to me like having both GPLv2 and GPLv3 available in the world just means more choices.

I'm still smirking at the fact that Linus' opinion of each GPLv3 draft seems to be the first litmus test that all the talkers look to, as in "will you buy v3 now, Mr. Linus?". Linux is one project (albeit very big and very important all around), but as its one project, Linus has to consider the versions' different impacts on the lifeblood of his project. Other v2 projects will be looking at v3 with the same scrutiny before choosing whether to take the plunge or not.

I think we need to give Linus a break from these repeated knocks at his door. Are we hounding the Apache and Mozilla guys like this, "will you buy v3 now, Mr. Mozache?".

Re:not surprising (1)

Aeomer (990057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802106)

Linus most likely saw the GPL as a quick way to get what he wanted, but he then either failed to look at or was not aware of alternatives. It's people who blindly buy iPod thinking it's the best - look around and you find better can be had. ;-)

A more interesting quote (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801868)

The real problem was and is that there are lots of people who disagreed with the FSF on issues (mine was the definition of source code, while I know that some commercial entities felt that the patent language was totally unsupportable). And the FSF took that input, and then totally ignored it.

So as far as I can tell, the whole GPLv3 "process" has been a sham from the very beginning. Eben and Richard talk about "discussion drafts", but it's not "discussion" if you don't actually care what the other side says. And Richard most definitely doesn't care (Eben probably does, but has no actual say in the end result).

So forget about this whole "community input" thing. Input has been given, and then duly ignored.

That said, I'll wait for some hint on lkml that any of this actually is Linus before I attribute it to him.

Re:A more interesting quote (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802198)

So forget about this whole "community input" thing. Input has been given, and then duly ignored.

If it really was Linus who said that then it's a ridiculous comment for him to make. You might as well say that there's no community input to the kernel if Linus refuses to accept my latest brilliant idea. Discussion and input don't mean promising to do whatever someone else says.

Linux runs on everything (1)

arghileh (320728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801873)

At least that what we used to be able to say until some hardware company decides to implement this wierd scheme that Linus is advocating. If i buy some hardware i do not always want to run the software that it comes with, like say Solaris/Sun or Microsoft Windows XP/Dell. I do not want Dell dictating to me which OS or distribution i run on MY hardware.

And who generates the signature ?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15801875)

What if the only binaries whose cryptographic signature matches happen to be binaries that come out of Redmond?

Or, even more likely- that the only machines that are permitted to license Redmond binaries are required to enforce that only
Redmond binaries will run.

In that case, goodbye Linux. Goodbye BSD. Goodbye everything except a world of unending data held hostage.

This needs to be stopped. Now.

Re:And who generates the signature ?? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802098)

This needs to be stopped. Now.

Is not that Linus doesn't think that it should be that way. He just thinks that a sofware license is the wrong way to do it.

This issue is interesting. Could we also turn the GPL into a license that goes even beyond? Why not force the users of a wiki licensed under a GPLv3 license to license the text they write in their wiki under the FDL, just because the wiki software is GPL?

I think this is ridiculous. The GPL should not take into saying what hardware vendors can do. We need to get rid of DRM, but using the GPL for that is ridiculous - it goes beyond what software is.

Re:And who generates the signature ?? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802217)

You're right. The GPL is just a license, not the law of the land. Like all licenses the parties that have not agreed to the GPL aren't in any way bound to follow it.

Re:And who generates the signature ?? (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802146)

What if the only binaries whose cryptographic signature matches happen to be binaries that come out of Redmond?

Then everyone you know would be making fun of you for being so stupid as to buy a computer that doesn't do what you want it to do.

That is what I don't get about all of the responses in this thread.

Hello people... if all they are selling is shit... spend your money on something else.

Nobody is going to make you buy these things.

And no manufacturer that trades on a U.S. stock exchange will risk the value of their stock plummeting because everyone decided not to upgrade until something more palatable comes out.

Re:And who generates the signature ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802161)

Man, when you talk like that about Redmond the images from Mordor come to my mind....

Linus Doesn't Get It (4, Interesting)

concord (198387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801884)

Linus is becoming less and less relevant as time goes by. He probably thinks that the entire community is contributing to GNU/Linux because they like him personally. What good does free software do us if we cannot modify it and continue to run the modified code? We already don't own many of the things we buy - proprietary software, music, movies and many other things. Now we won't own (control) the hardware we purchase either?

If GNU/Linux had started 20 years later than it did this wouldn't even be an issue. DRM would've killed it before it even got off the ground. Linus would just be the name of a Peanuts character.

Think damn it, think!

Re:You're so wrong it's painful. (1)

botzi (673768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15801953)

I'm VERY MUCH against TC & the TCG. The whole idea is wrong with me.
Linus says, it's not the GPL's business to forbid the kind of use he cites. I agree with him. I don't think that v3 should impose those restrictions. I don't think that's the way to win this fight.

<spoiler> We won't win this fight. </spoiler>

Re:You're so wrong it's painful. (3, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802030)

It's perfectly reasonable for the GPLv3 to not allow DRM and similar suggestions. Software authors can choose the GPLv3 if they like it. If software authors don't like it, they can use a different license; possibly GPLv2. No software authors are forced to use GPLv3.

Similarly, no hardware vendors are forced to use GPLv3 software. If they don't like it, they can find software with a different license, possibly GPLv2. The key thing is that the hardware vendors are not allowed to violate the license terms chosen by the software author.

For Linux it is completely irrelevant. Despite any opinions Linus might have on the matter, it is effectively impossible to get all of the owners of the copyright of any non-trivial amount of the Linux code to agree to a license change, so Linux will use GPLv2 for most of its code for the forseeable future.

Re:You're so wrong it's painful. (0)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802262)

"The key thing is that the hardware vendors are not allowed to violate the license terms chosen by the software author. "

The other way to look at it is that software authors won't be able run their software on DRM-based systems if they use GPLv3.

Re:You're so wrong it's painful. (1)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802298)

We won't win this fight.

We'll certainly NOT win this fight with such a defeatist attitude!

Re:Linus Doesn't Get It (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802041)

Is Linus relevant? It will be interesting to find out. I don't think that answer is the foregone conclusion that you seem to think it is.

As far as DRM being a problem, it will only be a problem until laws are changed to not make it a problem anymore. The any toehold is doom scenario being painted is somewhat ridiculous.

Re:Linus Doesn't Get It (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802046)

He probably thinks that the entire community is contributing to GNU/Linux because they like him personally

"He probably thinks"? Wow. And you got moderated +4?

BTW, I find what Linus says completely reasonable. He says that GPL has no bussiness in forbiding vendors from locking you in a hardware platform. I completely agree. GPL is a SOFTWARE license. Getting the GPL to rule what hardware can do is very dangerous - losing support from hardware makers like IBM, Intel, HP, for example. And it's not that what the GPL tries to do is wrong, is just the WRONG way to do it.

Re:Linus Doesn't Get It (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802254)

Thank you. The FSF is overreaching. While not wanting hardware makers to lock in software is a fine sentiment, it hasn't any business in the GPL, just as forcing non-distributing users to release changes under a tortured re-definition of distribution has no business there. Why not require or force hardware manufacturers to release their hardware designs if they want to use GPL code? Where does it end?

Many people here on slashdot point out the evils of DRM incrementalism (to coin a phrase). Which version of the GPL will require that documents and files created by GPLed applications must be released under the GPL?

GPL v3 will fail (4, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802005)

It will get issued but it won't get widely adopted. RMS has become impatient in this quest for social revolution and now he's decided to wield a bigger club. I don't think many others, who write and widely distribute highly useful software, will pick it up and join him.

Re:GPL v3 will fail (2, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802162)

gcc, gnome, glibc, et al will be enough to get the ball rolling; particularly vital libraries such as readline which will undoubtably be changed over to use the new license.

Re:GPL v3 will fail (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802170)

I am one developer who will be using the GPL v3. It's fine with me if people want to use my work, but I would like a little respect in return.
Further, the entire GNU toolchain will become GPL v3, which is not insignificant. GCC likely will become GPL v3. Based on the comments I've been seeing so far, a lot of other developers feel the same way I do.

Re:GPL v3 will fail (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802269)

Well, the GPLv3 explicitly allows to have extra permissions (indeed, LGPL is now realized through this extra permission clause). So AFAIU you can license your code under GPLv3, but give explicit extra permissions to all those extra things allowed by the GPLv2 but not by default allowed by the GPLv3.

Re:GPL v3 will fail (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802283)

RMS has become impatient in this quest for social revolution and now he's decided to wield a bigger club.


Is this an interpretation or do you have quotes to back that up? My own interpretation is that the environment is changing and the FSF wants to change the GPL in an attempt to counter some of the more onerous trends. The new license certainly seems more aggressive. But then so do said trends.

Re:GPL v3 will fail (4, Interesting)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802292)

I don't see what the big deal is. I mean really, if you have the source code, it is implied that you should be able to tweak how things work. What's the point of having the source code without the ability to tweak things (ie: if the hardware is locked to not accept your tweaks?).

This leads to "trusted computing"---while this discussion is centered around `devices', it might find its way into computers. Imagine all the motherboard manufacturers being forced (by the paid off politicians?) to not allow you to run non-signed operating system. Obviously MS will get a signature, as well as major Linux distributions, but... What's the use of having the entire source for Linux, if you cannot compile and run your own version?

I see GPL3 as an extention and realization that hardware now a days is exactly like software. General purpose microcontrollers running some software is NOT a `device' in the same sense it was a few years back, it's a computer running software. Very few devices are `custom built'---most are just microcontrollers with software determining how the thing works and `what it is'. GPL3 essentially says hardware = software as far as licensing is concerned. You cannot close hardware if you use open software on it. I think it makes sense.

Anyone who disagrees with this isn't a consumer of hardware/software. They're hardware vendors looking to lock out users, while at the same time getting a free ride from open software.

GPL software didn't work. (0)

aersixb9 (267695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802008)

Although the idea of community built software seemed to be a good one, it appears as though most programmers that are any good want to get paid for the software they write. So although the GPL/Open software is pretty good, the best software is the closed source commercial software. I started an open source project once, (an alternative client for the old game 'dragonrealms') and found extremely lackluster support from the coding community on continuing/debugging my project for the communal use, even from other coders that could possibly have been able to add something to the project. I assume other OSS projects are this way too, where one person does most of the work, posts it publicly, the public doesn't add anything to the project, and the original author then does their next project closed source commercial. On the other hand, it is nice to have source and free projects available...they just don't seem to fit in with our capitalistic society. Perhaps if more companies sold the source to their commercial (old?) products, that would be a superior alternative to OSS? Especially if some of the larger companies released their source as an API, kind of similar to what ID does with its quake series, except for a reasonable price and with some documentation, perhaps.

Re:GPL software didn't work. (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802216)

I'm getting paid for working on OSS this summer. And no, it's not a SoC project.

Whether or not software is free (as in freedom) and whether or not you get paid for working on it are entirely orthogonal issues. I think a lot of people fail to realize this.

Re:GPL software didn't work. (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802228)

> I assume other OSS projects are this way too, where one person does most of the work, posts it publicly, the public doesn't add anything to the project

This could be true for many OSS projects, not for all. Usually the most popular projects do also get most of the contributions from the community. I have for example send patches to several open source projects. If people are not interested about your project, they won't propably do any developing for it either.

It also matters how easy it is to get into the code and how easy it is to find out what part of the code does what etc. Documentation (or lack of it) and support (answering questions) matters a lot.

I would recommend that no-one starting an open source project would assume that they can just start the project and community will then take over and finish it. Usually it takes a lot of hard work and the person starting the project needs to make the software at least to the level where it is so good that people would actually use it. First you need to get a large user base, after that, people might start sending patches if it is easy enough. After that, someone submitting several patches might be interested in joining as a developer, after a while that person could become one of the main developers and then you won't be alone anymore.

But best practice I have seen is to team up with people you already know and start a project with them. That way the project might have progress, even when one or more of you don't have time or motivation to continue. But again, don't assume that others would help you. They might and propably do at the start, but it is very common that they stop eventually.

But then again, we have projects that have been abandoned by the developer, and someone has forged the project and started maintaining it. So all isn't lost when the project is open source, if it just is good enough for someone to take over.

Re:GPL software didn't work. (1)

awkScooby (741257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802255)

That's crazy talk.

Community built software works, if there's enough demand for the software. Niche applications are going to find very little developer support, but widely used apps like: GNU/Linux, Apache, Tomcat, PHP, MySQL, PostGres, Bind, dhcpd, sendmail, qmail, etc. find lots of support. It is in everyone's interest (minus a few commercial software companies like Microsoft) to make this software work better.

I don't have a clue what 'dragonrealms' is. I doubt there's widespread demand, so you don't have much of a pool of people to pull resources from. Given that it's an 'old game', you're probably going to find most people interested in playing, rather than coding. That doesn't mean that the open source model doesn't work -- just that it doesn't work for that particular niche application.

here's a good example (4, Insightful)

cygnus (17101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802053)

imagine a world where there's an open source electronic voting software package that everybody used... wouldn't you want the voting machine to be able to reject software that wasn't say verified by a voting auditing board and signed?

the same thing could be true of open source ATM software. would you want your ATM to whine like HAL having his memory yanked when malware was loaded onto it, or would you want it to refuse to run?

Re:here's a good example (1)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802287)

imagine a world where there's an open source electronic voting software package that everybody used... wouldn't you want the voting machine to be able to reject software that wasn't say verified by a voting auditing board and signed?

the same thing could be true of open source ATM software. would you want your ATM to whine like HAL having his memory yanked when malware was loaded onto it, or would you want it to refuse to run?

Then I guess the GPL v3 would be a bad fit for their software. Noone is forcing the world to switch immediatly and completly to the GPLv3. What the FSF is doing is offering a license that cannot be used in such devices.

If TiVo takes a version of Linux, add their proprietary drivers and functions for their box and distribute it signed, noone can then modify that code and run it instead. If you cannot really change the code, what is the point of having the source? Now, imagine that they disable ad skipping. If their version is signed, there is no way to re-enable it, source available or not. This is not freedom and this is not the FSF's idea of open. If the basic program they use is licensed under GPLv3, all their derivations need to respect the license and let you run YOUR modifications too. Sure, you gain the possibility to brick your device, but with greater power comes greater responsibilities.

Now, for your voting booth analogy, the code license would be the least of my concerns. I would like it to be physically secure (no accessible USB ports or open box with access to the hardware). If you cannot load a modified version, you cannot change the behavior, be it from an OSS program or a proprietary one.

Moreover, although i'd like the source to be reviewed, even if this was a GPL program, YOU would not get the source unless you get the binary, which is quite unlikely...

Re:here's a good example (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802327)

imagine a world where there's an open source electronic voting software package that everybody used... wouldn't you want the voting machine to be able to reject software that wasn't say verified by a voting auditing board and signed?

I'm unsure whether you're trying to give an example of something the GPL 3 does allow or of something it doesn't. Under the GPL 3 the owners of the machine (presumably the elections board) would be able to verify new software, sign it and use it accordingly. It just says that the hardware manufacturers can't abrogate that right to themselves. That seems like a good thing to me.

the same thing could be true of open source ATM software. would you want your ATM to whine like HAL having his memory yanked when malware was loaded onto it, or would you want it to refuse to run?

Again, the issue under discussion is who gets to control the keys. Not whether there can be any.

Hooray for Linus! (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802062)

I am very glad to see that Linus is standing up against the GPL and their misguided attempts to oppose trusted computing technology. It means that Linux will continue to be available as a basis for trusted computing research and development.

When you get past the misinformation, errors and outright lies, trusted computing is not as bad as people think it is. It is a technology for enhancing security in a variety of environments. See the TPM thread a few postings down on the slashdot main page for some commentary there.

Loosing the 'free' part (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802099)

In my humble opnion, if the FSF starts adding restrictions to its licenses, it will be loosing the 'Free' part of its name. Because free means that you can do anything you want, including somethign you disagree, like adding limitations to the software you are developing. A software license shouldn't tell you how to build or develop your software, only how to distribute it.

As a matter of fact, this denial to DRM in the GPL uses the exact same philosophy that they are so against, the license is forbidding the user from taking specific actions. I am completely against DRM, I think it's one of the most stupid an idiotic ideas ever implemented, but you have to allow people to choose what they want to do.

Re:Loosing the 'free' part (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802270)

I am completely against DRM, I think it's one of the most stupid an idiotic ideas ever implemented, but you have to allow people to choose what they want to do.

If you have to allow people to choose what they want to do then you have to not use DRM. Which seems to be the position the FSF are taking too.

Unsupported and never will be again (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802158)

On the flip side of the lock in that he is talking about is another problem. Unsupported hardware. Linux has TONS of drivers for hardware that no one even bothers to support anymore. How can I add to what that hardware does if I am locked in?

Or take for example Broadcom. They do not even release ANY drivers for their hardware for linux. They do not support it.

I for one smell a fork of the linux kernel coming.

Benevolent Dictatorship... (5, Interesting)

d.3.l.t.r.3.3 (892347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802285)

By my point of view a benevolent dictator is still a dictator.

We should thank Torvalds to keep the questioning open, otherwise it would be like Christian Church: the Pope speaks, the lambs obey.

The article also makes a very saddening statement: the GPL3 is basically written by the companies behind the FSF. The article cites that HP is pushing to have their own interests protected. Do you really think that other GPL-oriented companies (like IBM or Novell) will just stay and look or they will also try to drive the boat towards their coasts?

After all, FSF made just a favour to many commercial distributions (another case of uninterested philantrophism?), claryfying that if you have to fork a distro, you have to redistribute every single packet by yourself, instead of shipping only the relevant, modified ones like GPL says. GPL is too generalized and vague. You can't have a license that has hundreds of pages of "clarifications" continuosly swapped and rewritten to praise an actor or to damage another. Most of the clarifications are just more ambiguos or simply idiotic. Do you know that by FSF interpretation, subclassing or implementing an interface is considered a derivative work? That's makes impossible to use any object oriented library released over LGPL by the term of the license, they will be as plain and simple GPL licensed code. There's a lot of OOP libraries wrongly placed in the LGPL domain. Do you really think that their author bothered about the implications? They just followed the leader. For not good reason and without a clue. Why LGPL3 talks only about header files and libraries? Open source licenses should be technlogy neutral and C/C++ is not the only language out there. Sure our benevolent dictator may pretend that the other technologies are not there gut they will not fade away. Today IT rarely uses anything compiled aside core OS programs and it's hard to find a place for the delusional aims of a puppet in the hands of other non-Microsoft corporations.

Sure A guru's life is expensive and big corporations makes hefty donations. Let Stallman explain to us mortals why Microsoft has to be destroyed and IBM or HP are valiant partners whose interests are to be protected.

HP advanced pressures to make the GPL3 more friendly towards their PATENTS! The world got upside down or what?

GPL upgrade (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802323)

Can someone tell me what the deficiencies are in GPLv2 that have created this need for an upgrade? I'm just curious what the motivation is. Is it only DRM? All I've heard about GPLv3 regards DRM and encryption keys. Is there anything else noteworthy that it changes from v2?

Oblg: The GPL is fine and all that, but.... (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802325)

...does it run Linus? :-)
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