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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

[ Damn. I moved you to my flamers list, and then I started reading it. I'm
addicted to flaming. Sue me. I really do enjoy it too much. If I didn't
do software development, my full-time job would probably be to troll
various internet sites and try to set up flame wars. I'm bad, I know.

It's an addiction. I'm not proud. ]

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>
> But then again I ask you: why do you think TiVO is making these
> hardware locks? What do they want to cause or stop?

Actually, they didn't want to lock down the hardware at all. The first
versions of the Tivo was really quite hackable - and people started
hacking them.

They were basically forced to add lockdown by the content vendors. You can
call them evil for "caving in", but hey, it was their whole market. They
really had no choice. Being a company actually limits you in some ways..

If you don't want to cave in to content providers, use a regular PC and
soemthing like MythTV. You will probably also have to use the analogue
hole, and will have a really hard time unscrambling digital cable TV
signals of your own, but hey, you can see it as a challenge. At least in
places where it's not illegal.

And yes, there are bad laws in the US. But blaming Tivo for them is
ludicrous. And the *laws* won't get fixed by software licensing either,
quite the reverse. The GPLv3 will just make free software that uses it
*less* relevant in that space, rather than more.

For example, I'd rather have some GPLv2'd DVD player software that does
*not* come with a de-css key (I can get that key myself quite easily), and
that thus gets distributed in a "useless" form, than have a GPLv3'd DVD
player that cannot be distributed at all, because it needs the magic
unlocking key, and distributing the css key is illegal in some countries.

Or if I was an mplayer developer (which I'm not - so I have absolutely
*zero* say in the mplayer license - please don't take this as anythign
like that), I'd prefer for mplayer to be GPLv2, simply because that way I
could see my software in some high-end (legal) DVD players that actually
complied with the insane laws that exist. Sure, to comply with the laws
and not get sued, they might have to limit the hardware, but hey, in other
saner places of the world (like Finland), you can use the GPLv2'd software
legally *without* those concerns.

See? The more permissive license actually allows more people to get
involved. And the only thing that really *matters* (the source code) can
be distributed and improved on by all these different people, even if some
of them may have their hands bound by legal issues.

Btw, the same is true of things like FCC rules in the US. All that is evil
does not come from the RIAA and MPAA. It's entirely possible that a
cellphone manufacturer would have to lock down the control logic that sets
the power levels - and that is something that is against the license of
the GPLv3.

So the GPLv3 actually _hinders_ people who might otherwise help the
community from helping, by making the license so strict that those people
(who are nice people, but have their options limited by stupid laws and
regulations) cannot use the GPLv3.

Linus
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