GPLv2 or, at your option, any later version
Posted Oct 9, 2006 14:48 UTC (Mon) by malor
In reply to: GPLv2 or, at your option, any later version
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
If they don't use Linux, so what? Does Tivo give you anything?
Some customers are bad. Some market share is share you don't want. What benefit is there for you in having DRM-locked Linux kernels on the market? From this perspective, it looks like they just stole your code and locked everyone out of their device. They're bad customers, market share that costs more than it's worth. For a few more share points, you trade away your freedom to fully use any device that uses your code.
The GPL code base gets bigger every year, and harder to compete with. Success is absolutely inevitable, if you are willing to be patient enough. At some point, the base of GPL code will be so enormous and so *good* that it will be economic suicide to try to compete with it. That may take another generation, maybe two. But eventually, there will simply not be room for closed licenses on mainstream products anymore.
The problem is that you're not thinking big enough. If you think in a multigenerational timeframe, the Linux kernel is not *that* critical. Code can be replaced, but lost freedoms are damnably hard to get back. Changing the GPL to suit any one project, even one as large and important in the present day as Linux, will have unpleasant ripple effects for decades.
It appears that you want the project you've put your whole life into to be wildly successful. And maybe you were never one who particularly cared about this particular issue... maybe it's okay, from your perspective, for someone to sell you a device running your own code that you're not allowed to change. Or maybe you're willing to overlook that if it means your project becomes dominant in the marketplace.
But for the FSF, whose goal is software freedom, not the success of any particular project, it would be very foolish to do what what you want. Their goal is freedom for generations; yours appears to be success over the next few years.
I wish you both well, but IMO, the FSF's goal is important to the entire world, where yours is important primarily only to Linux kernel devs.
to post comments)