Forks are not part of the decision process.
Posted Oct 2, 2006 12:29 UTC (Mon) by man_ls
In reply to: Linux follows an open decision process, and you can fork it if you dont like it
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
It's called the /bin/cp command and it's very easy to do.
Do not confuse "forking" with "deciding". The decision process of Linux is closed and ruled by the benevolent dictator Linus Torvalds; you may like him, his decisions or his kernel a lot, and I will agree with you; but that doesn't make the process any more open. Forking is not part of the decision process.
Of course you can fork the code, find a new name (Linux is a trademark you know), a domain and start hacking. We are not discussing that: this is a consequence of Linux being free software, which nobody discusses here. The result of a fork would not be Linux anymore.
He is now using the "or later version" and "similar in spirit" legal wildcards (that RMS has put there himself and which clauses contributors left in the COPYING file due to trust or due to laziness)
There is a reason this clause is there: the option of using GPLv2 or GPLv3 is not made by the original developers, but by the recipients of the code. If you want the received code to stay GPLv2, it stays v2. If you prefer to switch it to v3, you can do so.
Of course there are practical problems in maintaining either version of the license, but projects can choose or just let the decision to their users.
Without any competitive pressure whatsoever.
Since the option of choosing either v2 or v3 (or eventually v4) is left to you, the recipient of the code, I'd say there is a lot of competitive pressure. Not to speak about the tens of equivalent licenses that have sprouted all around; for the vast majority of projects, which have a few contributors, relicensing is just a few clicks away.
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