Freedoms granted by the GPL (was: [linux-elitists] The GPLV3 Position... (and a suggestion to Jon Corbet))

Greg KH
Mon Sep 25 21:30:54 PDT 2006

On Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 02:18:51PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> On 25-Sep-2006, Greg KH wrote:
> > The GPL is not about the user, it's about the developer.
> My understanding is that the GPL is about the licensed work, and about
> actions covered by copyright. Whether one is "user" or "developer" is
> irrelevant.

Ok, agreed.  But here the v3 draft is putting a limitation on the user,
on what type of hardware they are allowed to run the hardware on.  I'm
not allowed to run the software on anything that prevents anyone else
from running a modified version of the same software.  So that is
preventing use.

> > If you use my code and modify it, you are forced to give me those
> > changes back.
> Not under the GPL. The only time anyone is "forced" by the GPL to give
> changes is when one distributes a changed version of the work, and
> even then only the recipient of the changed version can demand the
> source code. The original developer of the GPLed work has no special
> claim to receive anything from the distributor.

Yes, others in private email pointed out that I forgot to add the
"distribute" word here.  The fun "google" clause which is not going to
change in v3, unlike what a lot of other people wish it would.

> The GPL isn't a contract between parties; it's a unilateral grant of
> license. The licensor grants certain freedoms under certain
> conditions, but none of those involve maintaining any relationship
> with the licensor.

The v2 is not a contract.  v3 reads much like a contract, which makes
most of us very afraid of it.


greg k-h

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