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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
On Jun 16, 2007, Al Viro <> wrote:

> How the hell does that improve the situation for users?

Maybe it doesn't. How does it make it worse?

Maybe just providing an incentive for the vendor to respect users'
freedoms will do the trick, and *some* vendors will do, while those
who can't will keep the status quo.

And then we're likely to be better off.

> I realize that you have accepted the FSF credo, but if you want that
> conversation to go anywhere you have to separate the things you
> believe in from the things you can rationally explain.

I've already explained what the spirit of the GPL is.

I've already explained that the anti-Tivoization provision is in line
with it.

I've already asked in what sense Tivoization makes for a better
tit-for-tat, and got no reply whatsoever, rational or otherwise.

I have already hinted at why it makes things worse.

You don't have to believe what I believe to analyze the arguments
rationally, just like I don't have to believe what you believe to
analyze your arguments rationally.

We may still get to different conclusions as to what is better, if we
have different values guiding us.

But whatever conclusion you arrive at won't change the plain fact that
Tivoization is against the spirit of the GPL, because it is a means to
restrict users' freedoms that the GPL is designed to defend.

It's really this simple. I'm not trying to convince you of anything
other than that the spirit of the GPL is not being changed at all.
You don't have to agree with that spirit in order to accept this
simple fact. And while people keep on spreading this lie, I'll be
inclined to point out that it's false.

See, this is not about promoting GPLv3, or "pushing it down your
throats", as some have claimed. This feeling is just a symptom of the
high rejection for the FSF ideology, that appears to blind so many
smart people from rational reasoning on matters that touch the FSF

This is not even about showing that the letter of GPLv2 prohibited
Tivoization. My arguments concerning Tivoization were all about the
spirit of the license, and unfortunately so many people seem unable to
tell the spirit from the letter that they keep on moving the
discussion to legal technicalities, and then they shoot straw men and
feel happy that they shot an argument. But the argument stands
untouched, and the straw man was already dead before. Wasted time.

As far as I'm concerned, Linux is released under GPLv2, and that's a
good thing. It's unlikely to change. I wish it changed for better,
but that's just me, and my contributions to Linux in term of code are
really minimal. I have no say on that.

But as someone involved in the GPLv3 development, it saddens me when
people lie about it. I feel it's my moral obligation to set the
record straight. And that's what I've been trying to do.

Alexandre Oliva
FSF Latin America Board Member
Red Hat Compiler Engineer aoliva@{,}
Free Software Evangelist oliva@{,}
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