Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Posted Sep 23, 2006 1:42 UTC (Sat) by sepreece
In reply to: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
"This is the part that I just don't see. Stated as simply as possible, the philosophy behind the GPL says: "You can use this, as long as you share it." This is, to me (and maybe you see the license in a different moral light) a really, painfully obvious candidate for any definition of "essential fairness". I give it to you, so you need to be willing to give it to others. Sounds fair to me, no?"
Device manufacturers (well, many of them) are perfectly happy to share their work with you. But, in some cases they feel they cannot let you modify the actual device. You can still use the technology they developed, even to build a competing device. Many of think that is the essential fairness. The question of whether the device is modifiable should be a market issue, not a license issue.
Note that your argument about an encumbered device "not sharing" apparently doesn't convince the FSF, either, since they say it's perfectly OK to build a non-modifiable (ROM-based) device with free software, and it's hard to see how that would be "sharing" other than by source-code sharing.
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