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


On Fri, 22 Sep 2006, David Schwartz wrote:
>
> I can think of procedural safeguards against the "Linus sells out" or "Linus
> goes insane" potential problems, but I don't have a perfect solution.

I don't think one exists.

The thing is, there's an entirely non-legal reason to never do something
like that, namely just the psychology of the thing.

Licenses are important for legal reasons (because problems can arise), but
I would say that licenses are even *more* important as to how developers
see them.

And I know that I'm personally very much turned off by any license that
grants any particular party any special powers. It doesn't matter _how_
much I respect or trust the party in question, I wouldn't want to use that
license.

So any license wording that said that I have any special powers would, I'm
sure, alienate a large portion of the people who matter - the developers.

So the thing is, we're _much_ better off with nobody that firmly "in
charge", over the alternative. Everybody feels safer. Nobody needs to
worry about me or anybody else suddenly going crazy.

Remember: the perfect is the enemy of the good. Asking for things that are
perfect "in theory" usually just results in things that are horrible "in
practice".

So not having anybody in charge could _in_theory_ cause problems. But
_in_practice_ it's a hell of a lot better than somebody that people need
to worry about.

Linus
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