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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
On 6/20/07, David Schwartz <> wrote:
> > This argument is the obvious nonsense. "Runs on TiVO" is a property of
> > the software that TiVO distributes -- such an important property that
> > it would be nonsensical for them to distribute it with their hardware.
> > But they do distribute it, and only the GPL allows them to.
> Why does the importance of the property matter to the validity of the
> argument?

From a legal standpoint, perhaps you're right, it doesn't matter what
the function is. From a moral standpoint it should be obvious to you
that "runs on TiVO" is TiVO's sole motivation to distribute the
software at all, it is "the software" and arguing that they have an
equivalent obligation WRT it as to some incidental thing like Linus'
signing key is just preposterous.

> > > Tivo's choice is an authorization decision. It is similar to
> > > you not having
> > > root access to a Linux box. Sorry, you can't run a modified
> > > kernel on that
> > > machine, but you can still modify the kernel and run it on any hardware
> > > where authorization decisions don't stop you from doing so. The GPL was
> > > never about such authorization decisions.
> > Says judge Schwartz. Oops. That's right, you're not a judge in any
> > legal jurisdiction, nor an author of the GPL.
> Nice argument. I'm wrong because people can disagree with me.

No, in this case you are wrong because absent authority to decide the
meaning from a dispositive legal standpoint (the law says the license
means this) or knowledge of the intent of the author of the GPL (I the
author intended it to mean this), your statement that the GPL was
"never about" "such decisions" is meaningless, AFAICT.

> DS

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