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Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV licence issue

From: Karl Goetz
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV licence issue
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 17:26:03 +1030

On Thu, 2008-03-13 at 00:33 -0600, Luis Alberto Guzman wrote:
> Hi! again thanks for all the answers this helps a lot to understand this
> better.

dropped the cc's

> I wanted to add some points, to from my interpretation.
> The kernel was developed by Linus Torvals (mainly) but not all, the

these days the % of code written by Linus is relatively small.

> kernel itself is free software by being released under the GPLv2, now
> days we know that the GPLv2 can't assure the complete freedom of the
> software (because of new techniques that now are used to make a free
> program, remove some freedoms), that's essentially why the GPLv3 was
> written, to avoid this new tricks.
> The Linux kernel is one example of this, Linus Torvals knows that, and
> that's why (i believe) he doesn't want to change the license of the
> kernel to an upgrade version.

Linus knows what exactly? ( i dont want to comment if i'm making
assumptions about your assumption...) :)

> But not all the kernel was developed by him, the copyright of each
> author allows them to do with their software free or not free software,
> (that's the reason we are checking it in the first place, isn't it?, to
> remove the non-free)
> So if some copyright holder wants to put it like:
>  "GNU General Public License version 2 as published by the Free Software
> Foundation" OR "This file is subject to the terms and conditions of the
> GNU General Public License.  See the file COPYING in the main directory
> of this archive for more details." OR ONLY "See the file COPYING in the
> main directory of this archive for more details." 
> ***I may say that this can't be changed from GPLv2 since here to the
> eternity if it changes Linus Torvals himself could and should remove
> their software from the kernel.

Your correct that it cant be used under any terms but the gpl2, i wasnt
sure how linus was involved though...?

> GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation;
> either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
> This is the one i like, because we have the "authorization" of the
> copyright holder to upgrade the license of this free software, maybe to
> GPLv3 or GPLv8 (in the future :D), if we update the licence Linus
> Torvals could remove it from the kernel, but never make a big deal about
> it. (I think)

you dont 'upgrade' the licence, you simply exercies the part of the
licence that allows you to use a different version of the licence (the
codes licence doesnt change).

> When the copyright holder only writes: "Under the terms of the GNU GPL
> as published by the Free Software Foundation", i can apply the GPLv3,
> because is the current one, but someone else could say -No is the
> GPLv1!, i think the "correct" way to proceed is write the copyright
> holder to define, if that is not possible, the GPLv2 "should" (not sure)
> be the one, as some mates said.

As we can choose which version of the GPL we want to apply (because its
under "GPL") we choose the one thats compatible with the rest of the
kernel - GPL2. We could chose to use it under different terms (eg,
GPL3), but then we wouldnt be able to distribute it.

> With the non-free software, i haven't found any non-free licence, this
> software shouldn't be in here in the first place, if the licence that
> Linus Torvals restricted were respected. So it must be removed to by the
> developers if the copyright holders takes any of the freedoms that the
> GPL gives, i assume the copyright holder can do that (by having the
> copyright he can make it non-free).

Again, i'm not sure where Linus comes in. 

> If we find non-free software that has not being removed. It means that
> the copyright holders have the authority to release pieces of non-free
> software under a mainly free software licenced program.
> So the new developers has "also" the authority to release some pieces of
> free software under an upgraded licence such as GPLv3 or later.

Infact i dont really follow this bit either :(

> When the software has no licence, no copyright holder, anything, is that
> free software?, i suppose, but not sure.
> Putting it under the GPLv2 as the part of the kernel, is correct?

No its not free software, unless theres something that tells us that it
is (EG a licence file).

> Sorry for making this topic longer, but i wanted to have conclusions and
> settle them in the wiki
> ( For further
> development, and new collaborators.
> Any observation?
> (You might notice that my english isn't the best but i tried to make it
> as clear as i could)

just got a few questions :) and i know someof my points will need
correcting too (i'm looking at you kevin :P)

> El jue, 13-03-2008 a las 00:18 +0100, crap0101 escribió:
> > Hi! I'm marco
> > scuse me, i forget to sign the last mail:
> > 
> > hi! infact, this is a confused situation. In a past mail i refeer what
> > FSF wrote me about question on kernel's licence. I know "assuming"
> > something is not the better choice, mostly in legal affair, and the only
> > good thing to do is declare everytime the licence. Unfortunatly this is
> > not the case. You talk about compatible work: well, many files has been
> > released with "GPL V2 or loader", so we can "assume" the next developer
> > can put it out with GPL v3 licence...but, in this case, is not a
> > violation of the "main" kernel's licence? well, this is (for me) an
> > other contradiction... probably the only solution is the kernel "at all"
> > change licence to GPL v3 but... :-( 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > gNewSense-users mailing list
> > address@hidden
> >
> _______________________________________________
> gNewSense-users mailing list
> address@hidden
Karl Goetz <address@hidden>

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