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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
On 18/06/07, Alexandre Oliva <aoliva@redhat.com> wrote:
> On Jun 17, 2007, "Jesper Juhl" <jesper.juhl@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On 17/06/07, Alexandre Oliva <aoliva@redhat.com> wrote:
> > [snip]
>
> >> Serious, what's so hard to understand about:
>
> >> no tivoization => more users able to tinker their formerly-tivoized
> >> computers => more users make useful modifications => more
> >> contributions in kind
>
> > I have to disagree.
>
> Your analysis stopped at the downside of prohibiting tivoization. You
> didn't analyze the potential upsides,

Maybe that's because I don't really see any up sides.

As I see it, if we prevent tivoization, then the most likely outcome
will be that a very few number of vendors will switch to ROM based
solutions or similar (everyone lose, both vendor and user), a few
vendors that currently tivoize hardware may open up their hardware but
I doubt that will be very many, and the vast majority of vendors will
move to *BSD or proprietary software since they simply can't or won't
open up their hardware.

So no, I don't think there are any upsides. We'll lose a huge number
of developers, testers and users inside the business comunity and
we'll lose a lot of exposure (like "hey, did you know TiVO actually
runs Linux inside? Isn't that cool?)... Gaining a few hobyists at the
expense of driving a huge number of businesses away from GPL'ed
software does not look like an upside to me.


>so you may indeed come to
> different conclusions, and they may very well be wrong.
>
Just because I come to a different conclusion than you doesn't
nessesarily make it wrong.

> It's very human to look only at the potential downside of an action
> and conclude it's a bad action.
>
And you believe yourself to be immune to that - right?


> > Let's say that for some reason I don't want the end users of my
> > device to tinker with the software inside my device.
>
> Ok, keep the *want* in mind. This is very important.
>
No, it is not. When I wrote that I meant "don't want" as in "really
don't want to since it'll destroy our business" or "really really
don't want to since we would be breaking the law" etc.

> > Now I think you can agree to these things being positive:
>
> Yes, even if I'd phrase them slightly differently.
>
> > The only downside is that the end user purchasing the device can't
> > install modified versions of the software on it.
>
> And therefore you severely limit the number of end users who might
> turn into contributors because of self interest in hacking the device
> to suit their needs.
>
Most people don't care about hacking their devices, and of the few who
do only a subset have the skill and only a subset of those will
actually contribute anything back. This is a *small* set of people and
gaining that small set at the expense of losing the large number of
contributers from various companies doesn't make sense to me.


> > Now let's try it in a GPLv3 universe. Since I can no longer create my
> > device without having to allow the end user to install modified
> > software on it
>
> False assumption. You can create the device using GPLv3 software in
> it.

Not as long as I want to prevent the user from tampering with it, no.

>So your acccounting of necessary downsides is only one of the
> possibilities. The other possibility would be to have the program in
> ROM, of course, which would come with a completely different set of
> downsides, but that would retain all of the "these things being
> positive" you mentioned above.
>
But do you really expect a vendor to put a device on the market where
they also lock themselves out of upgrading it and releasing new
software for it? That's just rediculous.


> And, remember, since you merely don't *want* the end user of the
> device to tinker with the software, you have the option to do let them
> do that.
>
See above.

> And, if you do, they may find in themselves reasons and incentives to
> change the software in the device, and the improvements are likely to
> get back to the community and thus back to you. Everybody wins.
>
For a few select individuals that may be true. But for the majority of
the population it won't mean a thing.

> This is the upside that you left out from your analysis, and from
> every other analysis that set out to "prove" that anti-tivoization is
> bad that I've seen so far.
>
I'm sorry, but I don't think it holds water.

> It appears that people are so concerned about whatever little they
> might lose from requiring respect for users' freedoms that they don't
> even consider what they might win, and that they *would* win if at
> least some of the vendors were to make an choice more favorable to
> their users and the community.

Contrary to you, I don't believe any significant number of companies
will do that. It's simply better for business to just use other
software in that case.

--
Jesper Juhl <jesper.juhl@gmail.com>
Don't top-post http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/top-post.html
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