Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linus Torvalds on the GPL Fight

Filed under
Interviews

A new version of a license for open source Linux has caused a storm among the community of open source developers. Known as GNU General Public License, or simply GPL, it is the most widely used license for distributing free software.

The current version of the license, GNU GPLv2, was released in 1991. The first version of the license was written by open source proponent Richard Stallman, who founded the Free Software Foundation that administers the license. The GPL license also covers the Linux kernel whose creation was led by Linus Torvalds.

Now 10 kernel developers have rallied against the Free Software Foundation’s efforts to update the license. They have signed a “position paper” against the new version known as GPLv3.

The kernel developers contend that the Free Software Foundation’s plan to promote GPLv3 has “the potential to inflict massive collateral damage upon our entire ecosystem and jeopardize the very utility and survival of open source.”

Though Mr. Torvalds supports them, his name has been absent from that position paper.

Now, in an email interview with Red Herring, he puts his thoughts on the record. Mr. Torvalds says this is not as much a “debate” between the kernel developers and the Free Software Foundation “as it is a declaration of different positions.”

Full Story.

crux of the issue?

I read the gpl v.2 a long time ago, but have not read v.3

My understanding is that v.3 deals with DRM and keys being used in hardware to restrict the software that can be run on a computer. Reading the above linked article really didn't clarify the objections to v.3 or the differences between the two versions.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • The Future of Marketing Technology Is Headed for an Open-Source Revolution
  • Edging Closer – ODS Sydney
    Despite the fact that OpenStack’s mission statement has not fundamentally changed since the inception of the project in 2010, we have found many different interpretations of the technology through the years. One of them was that OpenStack would be an all-inclusive anything-as-a-service, in a striking parallel to the many different definitions the “cloud” assumed at the time. At the OpenStack Developer Summit in Sydney, we found a project that is returning to its roots: scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It turns out, that resonates well with its user base.
  • Firefox Quantum Now Available on openSUSE Tumbleweed, Linux 4.14 Coming Soon
    Users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system can now update their computers to the latest and greatest Firefox Quantum web browser.
  • Short Delay with WordPress 4.9
    You may have heard WordPress 4.9 is out. While this seems a good improvement over 4.8, it has a new editor that uses codemirror.  So what’s the problem? Well, inside codemirror is jshint and this has that idiotic no evil license. I think this was added in by WordPress, not codemirror itself. So basically WordPress 4.9 has a file, or actually a tiny part of a file that is non-free.  I’ll now have to delay the update of WordPress to hack that piece out, which probably means removing the javascript linter. Not ideal but that’s the way things go.

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Darling ('Wine' for OS X) and Games Leftovers

Linux 4.13.14, 4.9.63, 4.4.99, and 3.18.82