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SubjectRE: The GPL: No shelter for the Linux kernel?
Date

> Isn't all this complete nonsense considering that the COPYING file in
> the kernel contains the following?
>
> <-- snip -->
>
> 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.
>
> <-- snip -->

First of all, I want to congratulate the Linux kernel developers on getting
it right. I never would have imagined a near-consensus could have emerged on
an even stronger position than my own.

Second, I should point out again that it is unfortunate that Linus did not
retain for himself the exclusive right to modify the Linux kernel license.
If some real problem ever does emerge in the GPLv2 as applies to Linux, it
will be extremely difficult to resolve.

This is probably going to be controversial, but Linus should seriously
consider adding a clause that those who contribute to the kernel from now on
consent to allow him to modify the license on their current contributions
and all past contributions, amending the Linux kernel license as
appropriate. This would at least begin to reduce this problem over the next
few years, leaving fewer and fewer people with claim to less and less code
who would have legal standing to object.

I agree there is no pressing need now and the Linus is unlikely to want to
or need to change the Linux kernel license any time soon, but there could be
an issue of some kind in the next few years, and it would be nice to start
on a solution.

DS


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