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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: Daniel Stenberg <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:42:24 +0200 (CEST)

On Tue, 11 Sep 2007, Ray Lambert wrote:

> The GPL has a specific reason for existing. It's to protect the hard work
> of programmers from those people who would use it to their own advantage, to
> the detriment of the very people that toiled over its creation in the first
> place. This is essentially what "TiVo-ization" is and it's why so many
> folks (yourself included) think it's wrong and even immoral (which I agree
> with); it's basically a form of stealing. Why should you (or anyone) allow
> any company to "steal" your work in this manner? You shouldn't. That's
> what the GPL (and, yes, its DRM and patent clauses) protect against.

Well, that's your view but not the view of many others. See kerneltrap and the
GPLv3 flame fest on the Linux kernel mailing list.

Companies like Tivo have used GPLv2 fine for many years and they have
contributed their changes back and thus helped improving Linux. They use the
code under the GPL license, they share their code.

In my view, that is the exact spirit of the (GPLv2) license.

GPLv3 modifies that spirit and expands it to another level. You may agree with
it, or you may not, but in my view the license has changed spirit and no
longer only requires that you get code changes back, it now also requires
that you should be able to install your modified versions on any hardware that
runs GPLv3 software.

> And remember, it's more than just *your* personal work. The GPL is trying
> to protect the entire FOSS ecosystem. In order for that to succeed, we need
> to all stick together on this.

No. We (as in the FOSS community) have had plenty of licenses all the time and
the GPLv3 just *adds* a license and the fact that it isn't GPLv2 compatible
makes things hard for a large amount of projects.

We don't "stick together" for the sake of it, we do what we think is best as
IMHO open source and free software is best made to evolve evolution-like and
that requires everyone to make up their own minds and do their own decisions.
The best wins in the end. The survival of the fittest.

> There's an old saying that comes to mind: you can stand together or fall
> apart... (and make no mistake about it, there *are* parties out there that
> would love to encourage our "falling apart"; I don't think I need to name
> names...)

And by staying together you here refer to adopting GPLv3?

> Most importantly (w.r.t. working with companies) if a given company can't
> abide by the GPL for whatever reason, there is *always* the possibility of
> licensing to that company under a different license (even a commercial one).

Yeah, right. Our ~169 copyright owners would just gather in a room and we'd
all agree to do a release with a specific license to that company... :-)

  Daniel Stenberg -- --
Received on 2007-09-11

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