Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

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On Jun 17, 2007, Ingo Molnar <[email protected]> wrote:

> Again, as a reminder, this point was presented to you (see the
> quotes above), in the discussion about whether the Tivo is fine by
> the GPLv2 or not:

That's false.  I've explicitly avoided discussions on whether the
legal terms of GPLv2 permit tivoization.

What I've done was to discuss whether the tivoization was in line with
mission (since you seem to have a problem grasping the notion of
spirit of a license) of the license, because some people (yourself
included) claimed GPLv3 changed the spirit.

That others tried to steer the discussion away from this apparently
incomprehensible concept of spirit of the license, to the point of
their and your getting utterly confused and making nonsensical claims
about inconsistencies in my reasoning, moving it into the legal terms
that I was not willing to discuss, is not my fault.  My participation
here was about intent, about spirit, about mission of the GPL.

As I've already made it clear, this doesn't necessarily match intent
of people who chose GPLv2 as the license, and that's fine.  Copyright
holders know the spirit as they understood it, and that's how they
meant to license their work.

But the spirit (mission) of the GPL is the one the FSF wrote about in
the preamble.  No amount of "but the legal terms say such and such" or
"but I'm the licensor" distractions can change that.

> ' You're again confusing legal terms with the intent.  The legal
>   terms provide an indication of the intent, but the preamble, 
>   along with the free software definition it alludes to, do an even 
>   better job at that. '

> and you have simply been pointed out that what you say is trivially 
> false - the simple legal fact is that the GPLv2 does not "embedd" more 
> than what is its letter and, to the lesser extent that letter may be 
> ambigious, what Linus' (and other copyright holders') intent is and was. 
> Not RMS's external intentions or the "free software definition" you 
> mention.

Which shows you don't understand the notion of "spirit of license" (as
opposed to intent of licensing, which I AFAIK invented today to try to
dispell this confusion), and that the fact that the letter of the
license doesn't have bearing about the intent of the author of the
license, which is what the spirit of the license is about.

> how about just simply admitting that you were wrong about this,

I'm not.  You are.  Really.  Until you understand the difference
between "letter of license", "intent of licensor" and "spirit of
license", you won't be able to understand this.

> I've yet to see a _single_ instance of you admitting in this thread
> that "oops, it seems i was really wrong about this point. Sorry.".

I've done that, IIRC more than once.  Sorry to disappoint you.

> Or are you one of those perfect humans who are never wrong? ;-)

:-)  I wish :-)

Alexandre Oliva
FSF Latin America Board Member
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   [email protected]{,}
Free Software Evangelist  [email protected]{,}
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