Posted Sep 25, 2006 21:38 UTC (Mon) by coriordan
In reply to: Why this route?
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
You've raised two new issues there, but I guess the answer to my question is no, you haven't submitted your comments via the comment system. I think it would be useful if you did. Comments submitted there are reviewed by a committee of lawyers, a committee of large businesses, a committee of free software projects, and a committee of general developers who'd shown an interest. Between the four committees, there are about 130 people.
For the two separate issues you raised. Richard has acknowledged that the first needs work. He replied to questions on this in Italy in March ("... We're going to have to replace me somehow, sooner or later.") and in Barcelona in June ("...Most of our community does not appreciate freedom ... So, if we wanted to do a good job of protecting freedom with version 3 of the GNU GPL, we could not let the majority of our users decide what goes into that licence..."). A vote isn't the right thing to do (just like a vote is not the best way to land a plane or do surgery), but yes, we can't always have Richard making the decisions. We need to build a committee which can be trusted to update the GPL in the spirit of copyleft.
For your second issue, it's hard to know what Linus has been saying to Richard. It would be easier to know about Linus' comments if he submitted comments to the public gplv3.fsf.org portal, attached them to the actual licence text, and got them discussed by the committees. And the same goes equally for the other Linux developers and members of other free software projects.
People who are trying to improve GPLv3 can take some hints from the above letter, but it would be far more useful if that letter also had some comments on the text of draft 2.
For example, section 5.2 of the above letter recommends removing section 7b of GPLv3 draft 2 because of a certain list of problems. These problems are mostly known, but section 7b has the benefit of making GPLv3 compatible with more free software licences, such as the Apache licence. Licence incompatibility is a pointless bureaucratic impediment for free software developers, so removing incompatibility should be tried.
So, while highlighting the problems is useful, we should also look at each problem and decide how to minimise it and how much of a problem it is, so hopefully we can fix the problem, or fix it sufficiently, and keep the benefits. This discussion is easiest to have inside the consultation system, instead of via the community and mainstream news outlets.
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