Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Posted Sep 23, 2006 15:31 UTC (Sat) by BrucePerens
In reply to: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Well, it's too bad, but ultimately I think the kernel developers are shooting themselves in the foot. First, on the patents issue. You can make a plausable argument that running Linux on anything is illegal in a large part of the world, including where most kernel developers reside, due to the embedded patent infringements. There are enough software patents granted that you could say the same for essentially any software, but the kernel developers have more to lose and I believe they overestimate the force that would be brought to bear in their defense. A few suits and settlements might leave them just as encumbered as any Microsoft software. But they're going to ignore that because it's political and rely on OSDL's ineffective half-measures to improve patent "quality", which ultimately just makes the patents that will be used against them better.
And then the DRM thing. You really want your contributions to be locked down? It seems to be entirely against the spirit of Open Source and I doubt that in the face of widespread locked-down use of Linux that you could sustain contributions outside of the businesses that do the locking down.
Ultimately, we need to recognize that Linux is a 15-year-old kernel and that there will be another technical development to superscede it eventually. I can't say what that will be, but I think the best chance of mobilizing individual contribution to it would be to use GPL 3.
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