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

>> On Jun 16, 2007, Daniel Hazelton <> wrote:

>> > I don't see how TiVO has done this. They have placed no restrictions on
>> > *modification* at all. What they have done is placed a restriction on
>> > *REPLACEMENT* of the program.

>> Technicality. In order for the software to remain free (which is what
>> the GPL is all about), the user must not be stopped from adapting the
>> software to suit his needs and running it for any purpose. TiVo
>> places restrictions on it. It's really this simple.

> No, this is completely and utterly wrong. By this logic, Linux isn't free if
> I can't run it on *YOUR* laptop. TiVo places restrictions on *hardware*. The
> hardware is not free.

TiVo uses the hardware to stop the user from adapting the software to
suit his/her needs. TiVo is imposing an artificial restriction on
what you can do with the software you use.

You don't use the software in my laptop. The laptop is not yours.
You have no claims whatsoever about it.

The GPL is not about letting you do whatever you want. It's about
ensuring every licensees respect others' freedoms, rather than
imposing artificial additional restrictions on the exercise of the

>> If these are not restrictions on the freedoms that the GPL is designed
>> to protect to ensure that Free Software remains Free for all its
>> users, I don't know what is.

> So why is it not a restriction on this freedom that I can't modify the copy
> of Linux running on *your* desktop?

If I gave, rented or sold the desktop to you, then I should respect
your freedom to do so.

I have no obligation to grant you access to my desktop. If you're not
a user of this computer or of the software installed in it.

> If it helps you to understand the situation better, think of TiVo as
> not really selling you the hardware.

I see what you're getting at. This might be relevant. If I granted
you remote access to my desktop, I probably wouldn't want to grant you
permission to install and boot whatever kernel fancies you.

The difference is that, when I grant you remote access to my desktop,
I'm not distributing the software to you. But when TiVo places its
DVR in your home, it is.

And then, again, there's the issue of motivation, the intent. Why am
I not granting you permission to reboot my computer into a different
kernel? Would you think my motivations are similar to TiVo's? That
I'm doing this for the purpose of denying you the freedom to adapt the
software to your own needs?

> They just want the source code, and TiVo gives it to them. GPL was about
> source code not being secret, to them and to many others.

They chose the GPL because it worked this way for them. But this is
not what the GPL is *all* about. And GPLv3 shows the difference.

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