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SubjectRe: Linux-2.4.0-test8

On Sat, 9 Sep 2000, Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > 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.

As I already explained to Alan in a private email, it's not about me
accepting other peoples GPLv3 code.

It's about the fact that when I chose the GPL, I did it because I wanted
the source-code to be free and unencumbered. Forever. Whether I maintained
that code or not. I didn't want my code to have any extra rules and
regulations - the GPLv2 is already quite complex enough, but it is, in my
opinion the "minimum required" complexity. So it suited and continues to
suit my needs and opinions admirably.

The fact that I still maintain my own code and can choose to ignore other
peoples code doesn't change that feeling. I want _my_ code to be out
there, freely available, and unencumbered by any extra restrictions,
forever and ever. Regardless of whether it is I who maintain it or not. I
obviously won't be able to maintain it _forever_, after all.

And I'd hate to see my code become part of something I don't like.

Thus the (current) limitation to v2. And only, obviously, for code _I_
wrote and hold the copyright to.

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

I hope so. And yes, in the end I _believe_ so. It's just that I used to
believe so without even thinking about it. Last week some people opened my
eyes to the fact that I can't just take it for granted.

In the likely case that the GPL v3 is fine, I will license all my code
under "v2-v3". Maybe it even clarifies the issue of "similar in spirit",
so that I wouldn't need to worry at all about what the FSF considers
"similar" ever again, and I can stop worrying altogether.

I'm not against a new version of the GPL - I'm just spooked by some of the
things that have been discussed that _might_ be part of a new version of
the GPL. Things that would mean that if I didn't limit my code to the v2,
future code maintainers might use my code with restrictions or other
things that I never agreed to.

Quite frankly, I'm probably just jumpy. And part of this is very much
pre-emptive: making sure that the FSF knows that whatever they do, they
have to take other peoples feelings into account too, and not just make a
new version of the GPL on their own whims.

So don't read _too_ much into this. It just means that the FSF does not
have a blanket permission to expand upon the GPL as far as my personal
code is concerned. Nothing more.


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