[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Greg KH greg@kroah.com
Fri Feb 27 11:59:22 PST 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 11:35:04AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Greg KH (greg@kroah.com):
> > Does everyone forget that Tivo went and _asked_ the FSF if what they
> > were doing was acceptable before they did it?  And the FSF said, "yes
> > it is, thanks for asking"?
> > 
> > Then a few years later turn around and try to turn the company name
> > into an adjective to describe something "bad and evil"?
> > 
> > Anyone see the problem here that makes companies think many times
> > before wanting to use GPL licensed code in the future?
> I notice you fulminated about this all over the kernelnewbies mailing
> list, a bit over two years ago.  You wish to do so here, too?

As the word came up, sure, why not?  :)

> The answer to every one of your questions, of course, is "Mu" -- or,
> perhaps, "If so, so what?":  FSF editorialising, of whatever vintage,
> is, in fact, a legal NOOP.  Actual licence compliance, or lack thereof,
> is strictly a matter between consenting coder / licensors and recipient
> / licensee companies and their presiding judges, as guided by copyright
> (and sometimes contract) law.


> Coders who issue code under GPLv2 implicitly permit TiVo-type
> derivatives and redistribution.

Some do implicitly, some do explicitly.  There is a large group of Linux
kernel developers who have publically stated that they do permit this.

While there are other Linux kernel copyright holders who view GPLv2 as
not allowing such things, and have been proven out by the courts in some
countries as being correct.

Hence the confusion about GPLv2 and this area.

> Those who use GPLv3 implicitly disallow it.  FSF's views, and
> consideration of who is "bad and evil" or who was "asked" have
> absolutely no bearing on the subject.

Ah, but they do.  If you were a company who undertook a research of a
license, and then and went and asked the creator of that license exactly
what they ment by it, and then went and followed their recommendations,
only to find yourself at the wrong end of a publicity campain a few
years later by those same creators, you too might feel a little
"badness" had happened.

> Redistributors/modifiers who don't like those permission terms are, of
> course, free to code whatever they prefer.

Agreed.  However, when questions arise given the license being used, if
you are not able to turn to the creators of the license to give proper
guidance that can be relied apon, who can you turn to?

Hence the choices made in the Android stack (no fsf-owned code


greg k-h

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