Enterprise Linux Log

Jun 14 2007   10:35AM GMT

Linux GPLv2 vs. GPLv3 debate is over


A column at Linux-Watch.com today leaves little doubt about the fact that Linux will not be going GPLv3.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — If anyone out there still thinks that the main Linux kernel might change to the GNU GPLv3 (GNU General Public License Version 3) anytime soon, you can forget about it. At the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit at the Googleplex, five of the leading Linux kernel developers said that they couldn’t see anything like a good enough reason to switch to the forthcoming free software license

I’ve taken some interest in this GPLv3 business not so much because of the expected impact on the future of Linux (of which there now appears to be very little), but instead because of the vitriol and angst that has bubbled to the surface whenever SearchEnterpriseLinux runs a story that puts the GPLv3 in an unfavorable light.

In April, I interviewed a patent attorney for his thoughts on the latest draft of the GPL, and he promptly gave the GPLv3 a “thumbs down.” The response to that article was, to say the least, negative.

Today, the leading Linux developers come out and thank the FSF for the old college try, but were still not convinced. The final draft is due out June 29, so there isn’t really much more room for debate on this. Will the negativity subside now? Time will tell, I suppose.

Greg Kroah-Hartman said he thinks the “GPLv3 is bad.” Ted T’so added “pragmatically speaking, it’s too much trouble for not enough advantage.” James E.J. Bottomley, CTO of Steeleye and Linux kernel developer, gave a hat tip to the FSF, as they listened to complaints about the license, but still he still doesn’t see it changed enough. Dan Frye, IBM’s VP of open systems development said that people should just “chill about v2 and v3.”

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