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SubjectRe: Linux-2.4.0-test8
Alan Cox wrote:
> Every line of code I wrote is under the GPLv2 or later (except those bits
> I contributed that were BSD non advertising derived and which I left the BSD
> license on).

By the way, the tiny amounts of code from me that are in there are GPLv2
or later too. (Do we need a copyright license above individual
functions now? ;)

> I think an appropriate concern. The future GPL is constrained by the GPLv2
> clause 9 to be 'similar in spirit...'. You also dont ever have to take any
> code that specifies GPLv3 or later.

Linus, nobody can ever force GPLv3 upon you. If you don't like GPLv3
when you actually see one, then you can restrict the kernel to GPLv2
only and refuse contributions that don't honour that.

It would be a right pain to be unable to cut & paste between kernel code
and GPLv3 user space code, except for kernel versions prior to test8.
This may well affect you.

I wouldn't be surprised if GPLv3 simply clarifies things. Clearer legal
language, clearer on dynamic linking etc.

If you end up happy with GPLv3 after all, (and you might; it may suit
you better than the current one), it will be very difficult to
retroactively change post-test8 kernels to allow GPLv3 after all.

Remember, the cabal aren't writing any new license, RMS and his lawyer
are. You may ignore speculation about the contents on slashdot,
gnu.misc.discuss etc.

... But these are the most important reasons not to use "GPLv2 only" yet:

1. If you accept a patch now to your "GPLv2 only" kernel, *you* won't
have permission to retroactively permit "GPLv2 or later" on the
patched code. You'd have to contact all the major contributors or
remove the patched code.

2. If the GPLv3 is accepted in the long term and is applied to some good
user space code, or code from another OS, *you* won't be able to
incorporate that code into your "GPLv2 only" kernel. Even if you
like GPLv3.

3. Similarly, *others* won't be able to take parts of the kernel and
incorporate them into their GPLv3 user space code, or code for
another OS.

4. You didn't write most of the device drivers. I think they should be
treated as a public resource, available to other OS designers as well
as user space, under the terms of their original authors. Which, we
can best assume, is GPLv2 _or later_. Many of the device drivers may
well outlive the Linux kernel that we know today.

For these reasons I think you should hold off the "GPLv2 only"
declaration until such time as you actually see an officially published
GPLv3. All speculation you've header about GPLv3's contents so far is
just hot air.

It's good that you raised your concerns though.

-- Jamie
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