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SubjectRe: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders
On 2/2/06, Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
All this boils down to is a linking argument. Nvidia releases closed
sorce drivers that link to the kernel as a module. Many kernel users
have nvidia cards or even ati cards. Under GPLv3 at first glance
these will have to be implemented without the kernel linking that
gives them their good performance. Same for DVDs and other Media with
DRM or other copyright measures. Free Software cannot include the
tools to view this content as GPL in any circumstance and any argument
to the contrary is baseless.

Copyright law has many issues and the GPL cannot address this by
limiting the functionality of GPL projects. IMHO the fact that I buy
a HDVD or Blu-Ray disk with protected content presumes an agreement to
the specifications and I must abide by the restrictions set by the
manufacturer whether it be a big company or a small firm releasing the
content in that format. This cannot be onforced in a free software
environment if the ability to break the restrictions is built-in, the
GPL cannot be compatible, that is why closed operating systems like
Windows and MacOS and the BSDs continue to dominate the marketplace.
Linux may well erode the server market that serves up and produces the
content that ends up being protected, but the end user will not in the
forseeable future be able to use the Open Source Mavement to view such
materials as long as the "percieved" ability to override the
protection is present. Just an average joes perspective. I
personally don't want linux to adopt a new liscence regardless of the
reasons. New does not always mean better and just because the GPL
leaves the choice of version up to the inventor does not make the
whole concept fluff. You can't really argue in common sense that the
Section 9 language gives future versions of the GPL the ability to
take over the definitively stated version provided by the grantee.


> On Thu, 2 Feb 2006, Pierre Ossman wrote:
> >
> > So taking open software and closed hardware and combining it into something
> > that I cannot modify is ok by you?
> But you CAN modify the software part of it. You can run it on other
> hardware.
> It boils down to this: we wrote the software. That's the only part _I_
> care about, and perhaps (at least to me) more importantly, because it's
> the only part we created, it's the only part that I feel we have a moral
> right to control.
> I _literally_ feel that we do not - as software developers - have the
> moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers. We are not
> crusaders, trying to force people to bow to our superior God. We are
> trying to show others that co-operation and openness works better.
> That's my standpoint, at least. Always has been. It's the reason I
> chose the GPL in the first place (and it's the exact same reason that I
> wrote the original Linux copyright license). I do _software_, and I
> license _software_.
> And I realize that others don't always agree with me. That's fine. You
> don't have to. But I licensed my project under a license _I_ agreed with,
> which is the GPLv2. Others who feel differently can license under their
> own licenses. Including, very much, the GPLv3.
> I'm not arguing against the GPLv3.
> I'm arguing that the GPLv3 is wrong for _me_, and it's not the license I
> ever chose.
> Linus
> -
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