Blame the user, not the tool

Filed under
Linux
Software
OSS

For the past several days people have been tweeting at me (and Linus) to change the license of Linux to forbid the kernel's use for war. These tweets were due to the issue of Linux being used in the drones of the US Military. I tweeted back “Do not blame the tool”, but I think that answer was too subtle, as the people kept tweeting. So here is a longer answer for them.

First of all, Linus (and certainly not Sleepy do not “own” Linux. The copyright holders of Linux are many, and some of them are no longer working on the project or even dead. Therefore to change the license terms at this point is both legally and morally impossible.

Secondly, this request flies in the face of GPL Freedom #0, which states that the software can be used for any purpose.

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