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GPL politics

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      09-27-2006
I still don't understand it. A number of senior Linux kernel developers
recently released a declaration <http://kerneltrap.org/node/7160> saying
why they don't like version 3 of the GPL, and they're going to stick with
version 2 for licensing the Linux kernel. They actually seem to _like_
Tivoization, for ghods' sake.

It has to be admitted that Richard Stallman is a control freak. I found a
link to this message
<http://sourceware.org/ml/libc-announce/2001/msg00000.html> from Ulrich
Drepper, the main brains behind glibc, accusing Stallman of various
maneouvrings to try to reduce the independence of glibc and Linux
development. This is one guy who does NOT seem to agree that "Linux"
operating systems should be called "GNU/Linux"--and it has to be admitted
that glibc is a crucial component of most of those "Linux" systems.

The lack of trust between people doing Linux-related work and the FSF seems
worrying. Drepper says that the "or any later version" clause that authors
are encouraged to use when releasing things under the GPL or LGPL basically
leaves them open to being screwed by Stallman at a later date. The example
he gives of the wording in version 2.1 of the LGPL does point to some
politicking going on, but there's been no sign of that that I can see in
the GPLv3, and the LGPLv3 is going to be based on GPLv3 at its core, so I
can't see that there's any room for this sort of shenanigans to continue.
 
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