Enterprise Linux Log

Jun 12 2007   9:16AM GMT

Does Linus speak the truth?


Linus Torvalds and the GPLv3Linux Torvalds made some comments today on the GPLv3 (which he hated, then warmed to, and has since warmed to again. Honestly, how warm can a guy get over a software license?):

“I was impressed in the sense that it was a hell of a lot better than the disaster that were the earlier drafts,” Linus Torvalds explained in reply to a comment suggesting that he was impressed with the final draft of the GPLv3. He went on to add, “I still think GPLv2 is simply the better license.” The discussion began with a suggestion that the Linux kernel be dual-licensed GPLv2 and GPLv3. Linus noted, “I consider dual-licensing unlikely (and technically quite hard), but at least _possible_ in theory. I have yet to see any actual *reasons* for licensing under the GPLv3, though. All I’ve heard are shrill voices about ‘tivoization’ (which I expressly think is ok) and panicked worries about Novell-MS (which seems way overblown, and quite frankly, the argument seems to not so much be about the Novell deal, as about an excuse to push the GPLv3).”

That last bit is pretty telling. One has to wonder if the “controversy” is really the work of the community as a whole, or just the vocal minority. A passionate vocal minority, sure, but a minority none-the-less. I think most IT guys out there are still of the “just give me what works best for me variety.” If that’s what Microsoft-Novell are offering (or saying they will offer, actually), then so be it for them. I could be wrong, as this patent stuff is still pretty crazy right now.

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