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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
Date
Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> Consider this scenario: vendor tivoizes Linux in the device, and
> includes the corresponding sources only in a partition that is
> theoretically accessible using the shipped kernel, but that nothing in
> the software available in the machine will let you get to. Further,
> sources (like everything else on disk) are encrypted, and you can only
> decrypt it with hardware crypto that is disabled if the boot loader
> doesn't find a correct signature for the boot partition, or maybe the
> signature is irrelevant, given that everything on disk is encrypted in
> such a way that, if you don't have the keys, you can't update the
> kernel properly anyway. The vendor refuses to give customers other
> copies of the sources. To add insult to the injury, the vendor
> configures the computer to set up the encrypted disk partition
> containing the sources as a swap device, such that the shared-secret
> key used to access that entire filesystem is overwritten upon the
> first boot, rendering the entire previous contents of the partition
> holding the source code into an incomprehensible stream of bits.
>
> Does anyone think this is permitted by the letter of GPLv2?

Yes.

> Is it in the spirit of GPLv2?

No, but that's besides the point.

You can only hold people responsible for the letter, lest there be chaos.

If there is a specific usage spirit you want to protect, then you must
formulate it in letter.

> How are the sources passed on in this way going to benefit the user or the
> community?

They still have to provide the source by other GPL means of their choosing.

> Is this still desirable by the Linux developers?

Looks undesirable to me, but still valid.


Thanks!

--
Al

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