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Linux Kernel Gets An "Enforcement Statement" To Deal With Copyright Trolls

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  • #11
    Originally posted by sdack View Post
    Just because 3 is more than 2 doesn't necessarily mean the GPL-3 is better suited for it nor does the GPL-3 make a claim on being perfect. So we'll have to see what comes from all this. If the Linux kernel gets a renewed and refined license as a result then that's just the nature of progress.
    Can they change license of complete kernel without approval of all contributors? Because, every contributor(co-author) is copyright holder.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by kravemir View Post

      Can they change license of complete kernel without approval of all contributors? Because, every contributor(co-author) is copyright holder.
      They can change the parts that make it useful to you.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by tebruno99 View Post

        They can change the parts that make it useful to you.
        What do you mean? Which parts are those? And, how useful are they to me?

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        • #14
          Originally posted by kravemir View Post
          Can they change license of complete kernel without approval of all contributors? Because, every contributor(co-author) is copyright holder.
          Nobody holds all the rights. If Linus decides to change the license of core parts for which he holds the rights then you can fork it or go a long with the change. But by the time such an event would happen would all the major contributors already know about it, they would see it coming or would likely have pushed for it themselves until eventually a majority has found a consent and then decides it's time for the change. So maybe this is what's going to come next or maybe this is/was a minor, informal "burp" of sorts.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by mlau View Post
            Who's the mentioned troll in the netfilter camp?
            It seems like it's Patrick McHardy.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by sdack View Post
              Nobody holds all the rights. If Linus decides to change the license of core parts for which he holds the rights then you can fork it or go a long with the change. But by the time such an event would happen would all the major contributors already know about it, they would see it coming or would likely have pushed for it themselves until eventually a majority has found a consent and then decides it's time for the change. So maybe this is what's going to come next or maybe this is/was a minor, informal "burp" of sorts.
              But, what if single part/file was changed by multiple contributors? And, what if somebody made changes to the Linux core, ie. some fix?

              Also, are GPL 3 and GPL 2 compatible in both directions? From what I've read, only GPL 3 software can use GPL 2 software. It doesn't work in opposite direction. So, if core was GPL 3, then all other parts, which remain using GPL 2, would be rendered unusable, because they are probably depended on core. Well, but this could be fixed by usage of modified GPL 3, which would permit historical GPL 2 parts to exists and depend on Linux core, but disallow new contributions with GPL 2 license.

              ​​​

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Pawlerson View Post

                He can always work for crApple. Do you have some examples or you're just moaning?
                If you do not have ANYTHING constructive to say, besides snapping and insults, please shut the fuck up in advance. Virtual waste of time. Probably also in reality.

                Originally posted by sdack View Post
                From the FAQ:

                Q: I have another question, how do I ask it?

                A: Email Greg or the TAB, and they will be glad to help answer them.
                Another who just could not resist being sarcastic, even when he did not really bother thinking about the question.


                Originally posted by kravemir View Post

                Can they change license of complete kernel without approval of all contributors? Because, every contributor(co-author) is copyright holder.
                THIS was the reason I wondered, "What IF contributor does not want.."

                It should be flat out impossible. You'd have to have agreement from all of the contributors but quite a many of them have even died meanwhile. Not to mention ones who'd simply be incommunicado or refuse.

                Originally posted by sdack View Post
                Nobody holds all the rights. If Linus decides to change the license of core parts for which he holds the rights then you can fork it or go a long with the change. But by the time such an event would happen would all the major contributors already know about it, they would see it coming or would likely have pushed for it themselves until eventually a majority has found a consent and then decides it's time for the change. So maybe this is what's going to come next or maybe this is/was a minor, informal "burp" of sorts.
                AFAIK, "majority consent" is not sufficient. EVERY contributor has to agree. And there have been tens of thousands.
                Last edited by aht0; 10-16-2017, 03:15 PM.

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                • #18
                  For Linux kernel contributors who are deceased already, you'd have to ask their heirs to let you change the license...

                  I think changing the license if there is consensus in the community is not an unsurmountable problem. Major parts of the kernel get rewritten each release anyway. It will still take a few years but definitely not impossible.

                  And make no mistake. This is a license change. So they could have gone the whole way to GPL 3, but that would mean Linux could no longer be used in locked-down devices with no user replaceable software.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by kravemir View Post
                    But, what if single part/file was changed by multiple contributors? And, what if somebody made changes to the Linux core, ie. some fix?

                    Also, are GPL 3 and GPL 2 compatible in both directions? From what I've read, only GPL 3 software can use GPL 2 software. It doesn't work in opposite direction. So, if core was GPL 3, then all other parts, which remain using GPL 2, would be rendered unusable, because they are probably depended on core. Well, but this could be fixed by usage of modified GPL 3, which would permit historical GPL 2 parts to exists and depend on Linux core, but disallow new contributions with GPL 2 license.​​​
                    This depends on the type of the change. If a change violates the original agreement then no. If it extends on it while the original license doesn't explicitly forbids the extension then yes. See also note 9 of the GPL, which there says:

                    9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
                    of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will
                    be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
                    address new problems or concerns.


                    So when you have agreed to the GPL so far then you've also basically agreed to any changes of the license itself and the only guarantee you really have is that the changes have to be "in spirit to the present version", without a further definition what this spirit actually entails.

                    Also, when you change somebody else's code then you first have to accept the original agreement or how else did you obtain the code if not illegally? Thus, making changes to it then doesn't give you rights on the code when in fact you've waived your rights by agreeing to the license of the original code in the first place.

                    It does however also depend on the extend of the changes you make. If these are substantial enough to change the original code beyond recognition then you have legally the right to be mentioned as being one of the copyright holders. That's because the Law is still above all licenses and in most countries does the Law recognize your contribution as being worthy of recognition regardless of what a license might want to say about that. In other words, a license cannot just define any weird ideas, but it also has to comply with common law or it just isn't a license that's going to stand in a court.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by sdack View Post
                      you first have to accept the original agreement
                      No, the GPL is not a EULA. You are given the rights even if you do not accept anything, as long as you abide by the terms.

                      With GPL 3 you even regain the rights if you come back into compliance after temporarily being out of compliance.

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