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Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

From:  Linus Torvalds <>
To:  Alexandre Oliva <>
Subject:  Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
Date:  Thu, 14 Jun 2007 12:03:26 -0700 (PDT)
Cc:  Sean <>, Adrian Bunk <>,, Daniel Hazelton <>, Alan Cox <>, Greg KH <>, debian developer <>,, Tarkan Erimer <>,, Andrew Morton <>,
Archive-link:  Article, Thread

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> Is there anything other than TiVOization to justify these statements?

Do you need anything else?

But if by the question you mean "would you think the GPLv3 is fine without 
the new language in section 6 about the 'consumer devices'", then the 
answer is that yes, I think that the current GPLv3 draft looks fine apart 
from that.

> Also, can you elaborate on what you mean about 'giving back in kind'?
> (I suspect this is related with the tit-for-tat reasoning, that you've
> failed to elaborate on before)

I've *not* failed to elaborate on that before. Not at all. 

Just google for

	torvalds tit-for-tat

and you'll see a lot of my previous postings. Trying to claim that this is 
somehow "new" is ludicrous. In fact, some of the google hits you find are 
from 2004, *loong* before the current GPLv3 discussion.

So your "failed to elaborate" is not a failure on my side. 

Giving back "in kind" is obvious. I give you source code to do with as you 
see fit. I just expect you to give back in kind: source code for me to do 
with as I see fit, under the same license I gave you source code.

How hard is that to accept?

I don't ask for money. I don't ask for sexual favors. I don't ask for 
access to the hardware you design and sell. I just ask for the thing I 
gave you: source code that I can use myself.

I really don't think my "tit-for-tat" or "give back in kind" is that hard 
to understand, is it?

And no, it's not a new concept. Neither is the fact that I've never agreed 
with the FSF's agenda about "freedom" (as defined by _them_ - I have a 
notion of "freedom" myself, and the FSF doesn't get to define it for me).

I don't call Linux "Free Software". I haven't called it that for close to 
ten years! Because I think the term "Open Source" is a lot better.

> The only thing the GPL demands is respect for others' freedoms, as in,
> "I, the author, respect your freedoms, so you, the licensee, must
> respect others' freedoms as well".  Is this the "in kind" you're
> talking about?  Or are you mistaken about the actual meaning of even
> GPLv2?

I respect your freedom to design products around Linux. You can do 
whatever you damn well please - I just ask that you give the software back 
in a usable form. That's all I ask for.

And that's all the GPLv2 asks for. 

Which is why I selected the GPLv2 in the first place, and why I *still* 
think the GPLv2 is a wonderful license!

So I claim that the "freedoms" that the GPLv2 embodies are *greater* than 
the "freedoms" embodied in the GPLv3.


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