[Fsfe-ie] GPL V3 and Linux

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at fsfe.org
Tue Feb 7 15:14:20 CET 2006

BTW I've updated:

And put notes from the talk I gave in Belfast online:

Jean-François Bucas <jfbucas at tuxfamily.org> writes:
> Hello !
> In case somebody missed the info...
> Linus Torvalds explaining why linux will not convert to GPL v3 on the
> linux kernel mailing list, and this is answering a question asked
> during the last meeting.

There is a good article on LWN.net, but it's subscriber-only until Feb 9th:

Here's an excerpt:
Another thing to keep in mind is that Linus can change his mind, even after
seemingly painting himself into a corner with an absolute statement. One of
your editor's favorite Linus pronouncements was issued almost exactly seven
years ago. In response to a query on how to set up an i386 box with 4GB of
memory, Linus stated:

   Oh, the answer is very simple: it's not going to happen.


   You need more that 32 bits of address space to handle that kind of
   memory. This is not something I'm going to discuss further... This is
   not negotiable.

Less than one year later, Ingo Molnar's high memory patch was merged for 2.3.23.

There are a few things to keep in mind about DRM that have not been
explained in a lot of the articles.

1. GPLv3 allows DRM that is controlled by the user, it only negates

2. non-user-controlled-DRM can take away the freedoms that the GPL is there
   to protect.  GPL would not be doing it's job if it didn't prohibit

This was debated on ILUG this morning.  Here's the mail that started it:

So it's worth keeping in mind that what Linus calls the GPLv3 is actually
only the first discussion draft - but also, due to point #2 above, while
changes may be made, I'd be pretty sure there will be DRM-combatting
provisions in GPLv3.

Ciarán O'Riordan, _________|  Support free software: join FSFE's Fellowship
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