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Torvalds Critiques of GPLv3 and FSF Refuted 548

j00bar writes "After Linus Torvalds' impassioned critiques of the second draft of GPLv3 and the community process the FSF has organized, Newsforge's Bruce Byfield discovered in conversations with the members of the GPLv3 committees that the committee members disagree; they believe not only has the FSF been responsive to the committees' feedback but also that the second draft includes some modifications in response to Torvalds' earlier criticisms." NewsForge and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.
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Torvalds Critiques of GPLv3 and FSF Refuted

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  • by LLuthor ( 909583 ) <> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @02:50AM (#15854445)

    I still own copyright on the little pieces of the kernel that I wrote.
    The only rights anyone else has are those granted by the GPL 2.

    Changing the kernel license is impossible. Many contributions have been made by people who are now unreachable, dead, or simply disagree with a license change.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @03:01AM (#15854461)
    There is a lot of waffle in the article about listening to people but nobody had presented a simple table showing the requirements for GPLv3 in different drafts.

    What about this one? []
  • by Korgan ( 101803 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @03:28AM (#15854498) Homepage
    Maybe I'm being ignorant here, but if anyone actually reads the version of the GPL that is used by and distributed with the Linux kernel, it does not allow you to use a later version. The Linux kernel is, and always will be, GPLv2. That was a conscious decision by Linus and the other developers.

    Because of that, who really cares what Linus has to say about the GPLv3? He's made it pretty clear he doesn't like it, but the only work that he's producing that anyone cares about is Linux. And the Linux kernel will never be anything other than GPLv2. Even if they /WANTED/ to change it, too many people that have contributed in the past under the GPLv2 license are either dead or simply not accessible to get their permission to change to the newer license. The logistics of keeping track of which part is GPLv2 and which might become GPLv3 just makes it simply "too hard."

    Personally, I don't give a damn if Linus likes GPLv3 or not. Its not about Linus, its about everyone in the Free software community as a whole. Individuals can go shoot their feet off instead of their mouth. Its about whats best for the majority, not just Linux or just Gnome or just GCC or just whatever...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @04:21AM (#15854571)
    Nowhere did I say "all" utilities. The "GNU utilities" refers to things such as the entire coreutils package.

    My point doesn't need all utilities to be written by the FSF, of course. The parent merely implied that the FSF didn't do *any* coding toward his software freedom in ignorance. My pointing of *some* contradicts a statement that there were none at all.

    If you missed these connections, I apologize and stress that I will point out the doubly (and more) obvious in future posts. I should have known better than to point out the singly obvious when there are so many ways to miss the obvious!
  • Re:Linus (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kaktrot ( 962696 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @04:24AM (#15854573)
    I don't think anything would happen, really. The pieces that are in the Linux kernel would still be licensed under the GPLv2. They have the option of giving the code away under v3, but that doesn't change the exact copy that is already in use in the kernel.
  • by init100 ( 915886 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @04:24AM (#15854574)

    remember who it is that insists on a name change another persons project to "advertise" the gnu project

    Are you referring to the term GNU/Linux? In this case, you are wrong. Stallman does not insist on Linus to change the name of Linux, he just insists on using the term GNU/Linux when referring to a working (GNU/)Linux system, which contains a lot more than the Linux kernel. I understand his argument, and in principle I agree, but using the term GNU/Linux in practice is unduly complex.

  • by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @05:08AM (#15854625)
    This troll is posted in every GPL discussion, and most linux discussions. Ignore it, it's complete crap intended merely to provoke responses.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @05:46AM (#15854654) Journal
    As understand the GPL license, even the copyright owner can not change the license.

    Not quite true. The GPL does not (and cannot) reduce the rights of the copyright owner. The only thing that can do that is assignment of the copyright to another entity.

    The GPL can not be unilaterally revoked. This means that code, once licensed under the GPL, remains under the GPL. The copyright owner is still free to release it under other licenses, however. If they do, then users of the code may have the choice as to which license they accept. An example of this is MySQL; you may either use the GPL (and abide by its conditions) or buy a proprietary license with fewer constraints.

  • I am sure it works well for you, but how well does it work for the people whose code you are using? How do they make money?

    They've chosen to not make money from the code by releasing it under the license they have. If their goal were to make money from the code, odds are they wouldn't have open sourced it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:06AM (#15854757)
    Am I correct in understanding that you want to be protected from buying the wrong hardware?

    No. I'm just telling Tivo that they can't use code I've written if they're going to prevent others from others modifying it and using it. They can pass on the same rights that I give to them or they can write their own code.

    I'm not really interested in your sophistry about how they can modify it, it just won't work and that makes everything okay. You can write the code that let's them do that and I'll be relatively happy.
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:09AM (#15854762)
    Doesn't need to be.

    All Trusted Computing provides is a means to verify remotely what software is running on a given system. Cisco have already developed routers which can be set up to only route traffic from something running "approved" software. ronicle/archive/2003/11/19/BUGP6351V31.DTL []

    If they only way for your software to be "approved" is that it's the version your vendor shipped & signed, then it matters not whether or not you can modify what they shipped and install it yourself - as soon as you do that, the router will drop any packets from your PC and internet access will stop working.

    Maybe that's an extreme example - I can't see many ISPs cutting off most of their customers overnight. But I can see banks requiring a "trusted" setup for online banking, government departments requiring a "trusted" setup for interaction (and if the UK is anything to go by, the online systems will sooner or later replace the existing ones so you can't just post them your tax forms). Add this all up and if you think running Linux on a desktop can be awkward and painful now, imagine what it would be like in that vision of the future.
  • by Stephan Gitz ( 993506 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:10AM (#15854763)
    Are you on drugs? No, the marketplace will not decide because the market will be rigged. TCPA crippled hardware will be sold unmarked to prey on consumer ignorance and it will be sold at a huge loss to maintain market apathy.

    You seems not to realize that TCPA should not be used kill all OpenSource on all devices with TCPA-Hardware.
    OSS and DRM-Software will coexist on normal Hardware without the Problems that someone told you. They will NEVER forbid you to run own code on a PC. The Cell-Chip is one of the first CPUs that designed with Hardware-Security in mind. With the Cell-Chip you kann run a SELFMODIFID Linux and on top of it you run a DRM-Software that will get an encrypted chanel from the Processor. Please read some more about TCPA and how it Works: y/pa-cellsecurity/ []

    There is no need to forbid you to execute your own binarys to give DRM-Software all features there need. The Problem lies only in the Embedded-Market, where Vendors can decide that there should only run the own binarys one the Hardware. But as i explained, if all gread Vendors forbit you to execute your own code, then there will rise another Vendors that will allow it to you.

    Homebrew developers are a tiny percentage of the global computing device market.

    The Homebrew-Community are developers AND users and together there will be enough on the global market that there will be Enterprices that meets the demands of the Homebrew-Community.

    Far from embracing and welcoming community contribution, many corporates would prefer if we didn't exist,

    Thats right, but prefer something will mean nothing.

    which we wont the TCPA scenario plays out.

    Thats Wrong. TCPA will NEVER take your posibility to run your own code on Standard-Hardware.

    For a time we may be able to obtain functional hardware, until TCPA becomes so entrenched that there's a push for legislation to make it mandatory.

    It is no Problem when they will make it manatory for Hardware, because you will have no Problem to execute DRM-Soft and OSS at the same time on the same PC. And there will never a Bill that force you to put your own Work in the DRM-Cage.
  • by replicant108 ( 690832 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:33AM (#15854796) Journal
    He didn't want the code that he and so many others poured their hearts and souls into to be stolen and closed like the Cedega situation.

    And that is exactly why the GPL is being updated.

    Make no mistake - RMS may be driven by ethics, but the GPL is a practical solution to a practical problem.
  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan ( 757476 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @08:15AM (#15854865) Homepage Journal
    Issues such as DRM cannot be tackled by consumer choices in the market. There are two reasons.

    First, the market is not granular enough. The consumer will never be given the choice of DRM'd CDs vs. DRMless CDs. The options are decided by marketing teams, and they will give consumers choices such as DRM'd CDs or nothing.

    Secondly, like a mutual-loss based price war between two companies where the rich one waits for the poorer one to run out of funds, in this battle, if the consumers ever lose, there is no way back. Once DRM is pervasive, consumers no longer have any way to leverage the DRMers. If an ISP wants people to accept worse service, they have to offer something (such as a lower price) constantly. If a company wants consumers to accept DRM, they just have to get consumers to accept this once and to purchase DRM'd hardware (and they do this by leveraging a tangental market, such as the content industry), and then there is no way for the consumer to roll this back.
  • by Kobayashi Maru ( 721006 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:39AM (#15855012)

    This is the second time you've proposed that without the GPLv3, OSS developers will be locked out from developing a whole generations of computers. Could you please explain this scenario for me? Is there going to be a conspiracy of hardware makers that are going to lock out OSS development?

    I imagine it means we could find ourselves in a situation where the Playstation 4 or XBOX 3 actually runs Linux. But while the code is "open," licensed under the GPLv2, all the cryptographic nonsense and DRM closes it back down again. Granted we'll have the source to look for attack vectors, but until a weakness is found, we'll still have to go to Microsoft or Sony for a "developer license." Which really just means paying large sums of money so they will use their private keys to generate a "valid" crypotgraphic signature for your binary.

    Now because these are game systems, they'll attract the attention of the best hackers in the world. Having the source code, even GPLv2, would be a tremendous boost to the modding scene. Imagine instead that this is your toaster, or your Buick, or your no-name cell phone -- something only you and a small number of other people are interested in. Because the source is available under the GPLv2, you can find the exact line that is creating the bug you want to fix, but because none of you know how to hack the encryption checking, you're powerless to do anything about it.

    This is, I think, what the GPLv3 is trying to prevent.
  • by tgcid ( 917345 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:51AM (#15855032)
    Afaik, the BSDs largely have their own set of utilies, so it should be possible to run the Linux kernel + BSD programs. The greatest (and hardest to replace) contribution of the GNU programs is GCC. Currently, Theo da Raadt (of OpenBSD) has proposed writing a faster (in compile-time not run-time), more secure/strict compiler.
  • Refuted? (Score:3, Informative)

    by nwbvt ( 768631 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:45AM (#15855176)

    Thats some pretty strong language, and isn't at all appropriate for this discussion as it primarily involves opinions rather than facts. Linus disagrees with the direction GPLv3 is taking, which is his right to do. To 'refute' those comments, you would basically have to prove he has no problem with GPLv3.

    Who the hell wrote this article, Richard Stallman?

  • by Jack9 ( 11421 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @02:20PM (#15855872)
    If their goal were to make money from the code, odds are they wouldn't have open sourced it

    Your view is typical of the Open Source fanboys. Open Source code is not a vow of poverty, it's a belief in a philosophy of community strength. This is not at odds with capitalism. Once you understand that, you might have an idea of why Torvalds' criticisms have validity.
  • by jrobinson5 ( 974354 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @02:46PM (#15855944)
    Oh really? []

    Yes, there are lots of ways to do it that are illegal, but you state the only way an Xbox can run Linux is if you break the law. This is just FUD.
  • by r00t ( 33219 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @04:26PM (#15856254) Journal
    tcc -- much faster than gcc, though little optimization
    icc -- from Intel
    ??? -- something from IBM for Power chips

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford