GPL 3.0: v. (for Vendetta)

by on March 28, 2007 · 50 comments

With the release of the most recent discussion draft today, one thing is immediately clear: this third version of the General Public License can be simply written “GPL v.” – where “v” stands not for “version” but for “vendetta.”

There’s little doubt that this GPL 3 draft is a vendetta against the patent non-assertion agreement we saw in the Microsoft and Novell deal. But it is also aimed at the use of technological protection measures like digital rights management. This may not upset the fundamentalists at the Free Software Foundation, but here’s something that I think will concern them: GPL code will become more isolated and less relevant in the technology marketplace.

Turning the Four Freedoms into the Ten Commandments

The GPL 3 draft is no longer just about protecting the four freedoms. Instead, it preaches about what can’t be done with software – thou shall not use DRM, thou shall not partner with proprietary software companies, etc. The draft contains provisions that block the use of anticircumvention technologies and patent non-assertion agreements. It’s the patent provision that attempts to strike a dagger at the heart of the collaboration between Microsoft and Novell.

According to the new GPL Vendetta - 

Your permission to convey a covered
work terminates if you are a party to an arrangement under which a third party
grants, to any of the parties who receive the covered work from you, a patent
license (a) in connection with a specific copy of the covered work, or (b)
primarily for and in connection with a specific copy of a product or
compilation that contains the covered work, if the patent license does not
include within the scope of its coverage…the rights that are specifically
granted to recipients of the covered work under this License. 

The new GPL specifically tries to prohibit deals like the
Microsoft and Novell collaborative arrangement. Under GPL Vendetta, a deal like
Microsoft’s legally binding promise not to assert its IP rights against Novell’s
SuSE Linux would prevent Novell from continuing to distribute SuSE – and have
the effect of putting Novell out of business. 

Interestingly, the draft does include a grandfather clause
for the Novell Microsoft deal itself – but even that may not hold up over the
long haul. The original deal can work, but if SuSE were to add a new GPLv3
based feature that wasn’t covered under the original agreement, it could reduce
the original deal to ashes.

GPL 3 Elevates Code
over Consumers and Developers

If this seems draconian – well, it is. Richard Stallman’s
Free Software Foundation is positioned to create a morally absolute position on
“right and wrong” when it comes to software code. They believe that believe
that community is king—or at least, the right kind of “community.” But this new
iteration of the GPL creates a gated community to the detriment of the
community as a whole.

Let’s take Microsoft’s non-assertion agreement, which
legally prevents Microsoft from asserting its patent rights against individual
contributors to OpenSUSE.org whose code is included in the SuSE Linux
Enterprise platform, including SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and SuSE Linux
Enterprise Desktop. In a previous blog post, I
discuss how this arrangement helps Novell’s OpenSUSE.org developers.

Similar deals could be done with other companies besides
Novell. But GPL Vendetta puts the kibosh on non-assertion agreements unless it
is for all GPL code. This blanket immunity is impracticable, and Stallman knows
it. Consumers will lose out in this sort of arrangement.

There’s No Reason to
“Upgrade” to GPL 3

Technology consumers are notorious for their desire to
upgrade to the latest version of a product. When it comes to GPL Vendetta,
software developers may want resist the upgrade urge. The new GPL is more
complicated and harder to administer than the previous version.

The patent non-assertion clause is just one of the controversial
new additions. Another new provision is Section 3, which prohibits the use of
technological protection measures like DRM. Specifically:

When you convey a covered work, you
waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the
extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License
with respect to the covered work, and you disclaim any Intention to limit
operation or modification of the work as a means of enforcing, against the
work’s users, your or third parties’ legal rights to forbid circumvention of
technical measures.

Again, this is another example where GPL Vendetta strays
from open source proponent into anti-intellectual property ideology. Given the
legal cloud that will linger over the patent section, GPL proponents should
just stick with version 2.

Or migrate to another open source license. The FSF doesn’t
have a monopoly on community licenses, and there are plenty of choices for the
open source market.

A Bonfire of the
Vanities?

As Jonathan Zuck predicted in a CNET
op-ed
, we’re seeing the “bonfire of the vanities” play out: “Stallman and
the Free Software Foundation have every right to continue their ideological
crusade against proprietary software, but will anyone follow?”

That’s the question – will anyone adopt this licensing model? Because the GPL is supposed to be about free
as in freedom, not V for Vendetta.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Thou shall not partner with proprietary software companies.

    Braden, I think you’re misunderstanding the goals of the FSF. The FSF has never objected to proprietary companies partnering with free software companies. What programmers who adopt the GPL are worried about is companies using the patents to block them or others from using their own code. The GPL achieves this by requiring that if a company purchases a patent license for itself, the license must extend to everyone. That ensures that the software is free for everyone to use on an equal footing.

    I don’t understand what’s “impracticable” about respecting the wishes of software creators. You certainly wouldn’t consider it “impractical” when proprietary software creators have license agreements that limit how their software is used. Why aren’t free software creators equally entitled to decide how their software may or may not be used? And if free software firms are concerned about exclusive patent agreements, why aren’t they entitled to require to require that anyone who uses their software not enter into any?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL V3 signals the end of the FSF as a meaningful entity. Programmers don’t want to be bound by all of Stallman’s conditions, especially Linux kernel programmers. FSF controls only the Gnu tools (compilers, debuggers, libraries, etc.), not the Linux kernel and its various applications.

    So we’re going to see versions of the Gnu tools generated by the Linux and BSD developer communities under more permissive licenses, and the fading of Richard Stallman into the sunset.

    Not a moment too soon, of course.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Thou shall not partner with proprietary software companies.

    Braden, I think you’re misunderstanding the goals of the FSF. The FSF has never objected to proprietary companies partnering with free software companies. What programmers who adopt the GPL are worried about is companies using the patents to block them or others from using their own code. The GPL achieves this by requiring that if a company purchases a patent license for itself, the license must extend to everyone. That ensures that the software is free for everyone to use on an equal footing.

    I don’t understand what’s “impracticable” about respecting the wishes of software creators. You certainly wouldn’t consider it “impractical” when proprietary software creators have license agreements that limit how their software is used. Why aren’t free software creators equally entitled to decide how their software may or may not be used? And if free software firms are concerned about exclusive patent agreements, why aren’t they entitled to require to require that anyone who uses their software not enter into any?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL V3 signals the end of the FSF as a meaningful entity. Programmers don’t want to be bound by all of Stallman’s conditions, especially Linux kernel programmers. FSF controls only the Gnu tools (compilers, debuggers, libraries, etc.), not the Linux kernel and its various applications.

    So we’re going to see versions of the Gnu tools generated by the Linux and BSD developer communities under more permissive licenses, and the fading of Richard Stallman into the sunset.

    Not a moment too soon, of course.

  • http://lippard.blogspot.com/ Jim Lippard

    Compare to the OpenBSD policy.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    You are shocked, shocked, to discover Stallman and the FSF are for free software, NOT BUSINESS MODELS!

    Umm, he/they have said that from Day One. Stallman frequently very bluntly makes clear where he stands. But somehow, this has come as a revelation to you.

  • http://lippard.blogspot.com/ Jim Lippard

    Compare to the OpenBSD policy.

  • anon

    There are so many scenarios that could play out relative to uncertain infringement analysis (claim construction), knowing or unknowing status of contributor, future patent assignments, contributory infringement, etc. that the whole thing is laughably unworkable. Its like attempting to herd bats with a school crossing guard.

    I’ll just give you 1 of many I have come up with in the last 1/2 day.

    Company A contributes a million lines of patented code to a project and then goes belly up.

    Salvage specialists auction off the IP and non distributing (not participating in GPL) Company B obtains the patents and holy sh%^& then breaks loose.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    You are shocked, shocked, to discover Stallman and the FSF are for free software, NOT BUSINESS MODELS!

    Umm, he/they have said that from Day One. Stallman frequently very bluntly makes clear where he stands. But somehow, this has come as a revelation to you.

  • anon

    There are so many scenarios that could play out relative to uncertain infringement analysis (claim construction), knowing or unknowing status of contributor, future patent assignments, contributory infringement, etc. that the whole thing is laughably unworkable. Its like attempting to herd bats with a school crossing guard.

    I’ll just give you 1 of many I have come up with in the last 1/2 day.

    Company A contributes a million lines of patented code to a project and then goes belly up.

    Salvage specialists auction off the IP and non distributing (not participating in GPL) Company B obtains the patents and holy sh%^& then breaks loose.

  • dimitris

    In case y’all have missed it, have a look at Bruce Perens’ GPL3 FUD-clearing article over at linuxdevices.com.

    One key de-FUDding argument seems to be:

    And what about Novell-Microsoft? [...] if any entity that distributes the software arranges to protect a particular group from patents regarding that software, it must protect everyone.

  • dimitris

    In case y’all have missed it, have a look at Bruce Perens’ GPL3 FUD-clearing article over at linuxdevices.com.

    One key de-FUDding argument seems to be:

    And what about Novell-Microsoft? [...] if any entity that distributes the software arranges to protect a particular group from patents regarding that software, it must protect everyone.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL 3 is overly restrictive, and professional programmers and the people who pay them are not going to accept it. So it really doesn’t matter how hard Bruce Perens and his ilk try to whitewash it, there’s a war between the Linux people and the Gnu people, and the Linux people are going to win because their code base is more valuable than gcc; way more valuable.

  • http://www.digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    GPL overly restrictive? Kettle calling pot black?

    If it weren’t for the Machiavellian deviousness of IP maximalists attempting to overly restrict the public’s use of free software, the GPL wouldn’t have to have so many clauses addressing each of these restrictions and NEUTRALISING them – with counter restrictions.

    The GPL restores the public’s liberty that is otherwise suspended by copyright and patent law – and preserves its restoration.

    If you quite like the ability to suspend the public’s liberty, then it is not surprising the GPL will appear overly restrictive to you.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL 3 is overly restrictive, and professional programmers and the people who pay them are not going to accept it. So it really doesn’t matter how hard Bruce Perens and his ilk try to whitewash it, there’s a war between the Linux people and the Gnu people, and the Linux people are going to win because their code base is more valuable than gcc; way more valuable.

  • http://www.digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    GPL overly restrictive? Kettle calling pot black?

    If it weren’t for the Machiavellian deviousness of IP maximalists attempting to overly restrict the public’s use of free software, the GPL wouldn’t have to have so many clauses addressing each of these restrictions and NEUTRALISING them – with counter restrictions.

    The GPL restores the public’s liberty that is otherwise suspended by copyright and patent law – and preserves its restoration.

    If you quite like the ability to suspend the public’s liberty, then it is not surprising the GPL will appear overly restrictive to you.

  • http://eldiabloenlosdetalles.net Carlos

    It’s worth remembering that software patents and DRM were completely absent from the discussion when GPLv2, and that GPLv3 is simply trying to protect the same four freedoms in a new legal/technical environment.

    Also, you’re misrepresenting the Novell-MS deal. The only gave special privileges to SUsE developers, and even within that group, to commercial ones. That is to say, they only provide protection against patents to part of the community. GPLv3 simply goes after the idea that contributing to a FOSS project should put one kind of developer into legal dire straits when others are safe. Again, this is just securing the four freedoms.

    Finally, while Linux developers might be reluctanct to move to GPLv3 (although read Torvalds’ recent statements about it), the whole set of GNU software will, as many others, including Sun’s Java, SAMBA, etc. This is not the first time people have tried to portray the FSF has anti-business and anti-IP. In fact, the whole FOSS movement rest on the fact that Copyright exists, and it can be enforced.

    Cheers

  • http://eldiabloenlosdetalles.net Carlos

    It’s worth remembering that software patents and DRM were completely absent from the discussion when GPLv2, and that GPLv3 is simply trying to protect the same four freedoms in a new legal/technical environment.

    Also, you’re misrepresenting the Novell-MS deal. The only gave special privileges to SUsE developers, and even within that group, to commercial ones. That is to say, they only provide protection against patents to part of the community. GPLv3 simply goes after the idea that contributing to a FOSS project should put one kind of developer into legal dire straits when others are safe. Again, this is just securing the four freedoms.

    Finally, while Linux developers might be reluctanct to move to GPLv3 (although read Torvalds’ recent statements about it), the whole set of GNU software will, as many others, including Sun’s Java, SAMBA, etc. This is not the first time people have tried to portray the FSF has anti-business and anti-IP. In fact, the whole FOSS movement rest on the fact that Copyright exists, and it can be enforced.

    Cheers

  • http://my.opera.com/Vorlath/blog/ Vorlath

    GPL v3 is about less restrictions, not more. The problem is that closed software is about restricting its use. Locking away software is less freedom to do what you want with it, not more.

    It makes me think of slave owners who are now complaining they’re not allowed to tell slaves what they can and cannot do. That this is too restrictive to the slave owners. Well, tough. I’ll never accept that throwing away lock and key is more restrictive.

    I don’t necessarilly agree with the GPL, but please find another argument than “it’s too restrictive” or it’s a vendetta. No, it’s actually less restrictive. But this means allowing others more freedom to do what they want… and in turn, you may not like it. But this is far from being restrictive. It’s the complete opposite of restrictive.

  • http://my.opera.com/Vorlath/blog/ Vorlath

    GPL v3 is about less restrictions, not more. The problem is that closed software is about restricting its use. Locking away software is less freedom to do what you want with it, not more.

    It makes me think of slave owners who are now complaining they’re not allowed to tell slaves what they can and cannot do. That this is too restrictive to the slave owners. Well, tough. I’ll never accept that throwing away lock and key is more restrictive.

    I don’t necessarilly agree with the GPL, but please find another argument than “it’s too restrictive” or it’s a vendetta. No, it’s actually less restrictive. But this means allowing others more freedom to do what they want… and in turn, you may not like it. But this is far from being restrictive. It’s the complete opposite of restrictive.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL3 is way more restrictive than the BSD license. If you like free software, BSD is the way to go.

    GPL is all about Richard Stallman trying to take control of software he didn’t write, and couldn’t write: Linux.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    GPL3 is way more restrictive than the BSD license. If you like free software, BSD is the way to go.

    GPL is all about Richard Stallman trying to take control of software he didn’t write, and couldn’t write: Linux.

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    As I wrote back on the ACT Blog, Tim, you’re the only one here who is completely misunderstanding the goals of the FSF.

    They are very, very clear about what they believe, and you’re either confused or purposely conflating the Open Source and the Free Software communities – something for which Mr. Stallman would beat you about the head.

    Thankfully, Mr. Stallman wrote a lovely little piece for you entitled “Why Open Source” misses the point of Free Software.”

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

    As Mr Stallman says, “For the Open Source movement, non-free software is a suboptimal solution. For the Free Software movement, non-free software is a social problem and free software is the solution.”

    They summarily reject the idea of proprietary companies partnering with free software companies because proprietary software companies are immoral in the eyes of the FSF. If you still don’t believe me, I suggest you read this piece from Stallman on the 20th Anniversary of the Free Software movement:

    http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/01/05/1146229

    Tim, perhaps you should do a little more reading before you start writing.

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    As for those of you that think that proprietary software is some kind of slavery, the GPL was written for you and the FSF is your home. If I believed similarly, I would also be worried about the newest version of the GPLv3.

    While previous versions of v3 were based on ideological principles(DRM is antithetical to Free Software and should be banned, etc.), draft 3 has been reduced to what Braden rightfully called a series of vendettas. They target specific companies, not broad social agendas… and those companies the FSF likes,IBM and Google for instance, have there own little carveouts.

    Does freedom now comes with exceptions, addendums, and earmarks based on who gives FSF the most money?

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    As I wrote back on the ACT Blog, Tim, you’re the only one here who is completely misunderstanding the goals of the FSF.

    They are very, very clear about what they believe, and you’re either confused or purposely conflating the Open Source and the Free Software communities – something for which Mr. Stallman would beat you about the head.

    Thankfully, Mr. Stallman wrote a lovely little piece for you entitled “Why Open Source” misses the point of Free Software.”

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

    As Mr Stallman says, “For the Open Source movement, non-free software is a suboptimal solution. For the Free Software movement, non-free software is a social problem and free software is the solution.”

    They summarily reject the idea of proprietary companies partnering with free software companies because proprietary software companies are immoral in the eyes of the FSF. If you still don’t believe me, I suggest you read this piece from Stallman on the 20th Anniversary of the Free Software movement:

    http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/01/05/1146229

    Tim, perhaps you should do a little more reading before you start writing.

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    As for those of you that think that proprietary software is some kind of slavery, the GPL was written for you and the FSF is your home. If I believed similarly, I would also be worried about the newest version of the GPLv3.

    While previous versions of v3 were based on ideological principles(DRM is antithetical to Free Software and should be banned, etc.), draft 3 has been reduced to what Braden rightfully called a series of vendettas. They target specific companies, not broad social agendas… and those companies the FSF likes,IBM and Google for instance, have there own little carveouts.

    Does freedom now comes with exceptions, addendums, and earmarks based on who gives FSF the most money?

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    My use of the word “objected” was too strong. What I should have said is that the FSF has never tried to prevent free software companies from cooperating with proprietary software companies to make their systems interoperable. They still prefer that the user using proprietary software switch to free software, and they might not approve of collaboration between proprietary and free software companies, but the GPL doesn’t make any attempt to prevent such cooperation.

    The GPL is fundamentally about freedom, and it would obviously be hypocritical for them to try to use the GPL as a way to restrict users’ freedom to use non-free software. Rather, the goal of both the DRM and patent sections of the GPL are designed to ensure that end users of GPLed software have the freedom to examine, modify, and redistribute any copies of GPLed software they receive. Stallman might not like it if that software is used alongside proprietary software, but nothing in the GPL seems designed to prohibit them from doing so.

    I’m still interested in an answer to my question: why so much hostility toward free software developers’ freedom to set the terms on which their software—their “intellectual property,” if you will—is used? Are only proprietary software developers entitled to see their rights protected?

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    My use of the word “objected” was too strong. What I should have said is that the FSF has never tried to prevent free software companies from cooperating with proprietary software companies to make their systems interoperable. They still prefer that the user using proprietary software switch to free software, and they might not approve of collaboration between proprietary and free software companies, but the GPL doesn’t make any attempt to prevent such cooperation.

    The GPL is fundamentally about freedom, and it would obviously be hypocritical for them to try to use the GPL as a way to restrict users’ freedom to use non-free software. Rather, the goal of both the DRM and patent sections of the GPL are designed to ensure that end users of GPLed software have the freedom to examine, modify, and redistribute any copies of GPLed software they receive. Stallman might not like it if that software is used alongside proprietary software, but nothing in the GPL seems designed to prohibit them from doing so.

    I’m still interested in an answer to my question: why so much hostility toward free software developers’ freedom to set the terms on which their software—their “intellectual property,” if you will—is used? Are only proprietary software developers entitled to see their rights protected?

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    Tim, Have you even read the GPL? Versions 1, 2, or 3? I’m actually amazed that you’re even trying to continue arguing this point.

    The FSF and the GPL itself actively attempt to limit collaboration between proprietary and free software communities. As you’ll find in the article previously mentioned, Mr. Stallman says that it is better for GNU/Linux to not support video cards rather than include a proprietary binary.

    In fact, the entire basis of the GPL is to frustrate cooperation between the immoral proprietary software guys and free software. The viral nature of the GPL (if you use code and integrate or build upon it, your code must become GPL) is designed to prevent that cooperation because it will lessen the freedom of the free software itself.

    And, yes, it is hypocritical if you define freedom in the way that Libertarian’s define freedom, but not if you believe in the FSF version of freedom. When they say “freedom,” they don’t mean freedom in the sense that we mean it, Tim. It is four things and four things only… Those four issues trump all other definitions/aspects of freedom that you and I may hold. So, they would see no hypocrisy in preventing users from the freedom of using proprietary software, because the proprietary software is enslaving them anyway (if you buy the logic).

    Finally, here is your answer: we have NO hostility to Free Software developers adding whatever terms they want to their software. They can make every user wear purple muumuu’s on Thursday’s if they want. It is their right. They are free to do it and enforce it. Whether anyone would use it afterward, whether it may harm the uptake of Free Software in the future… those are the questions we are addressing.

  • http://blog.actonline.org Mark Blafkin

    Tim, Have you even read the GPL? Versions 1, 2, or 3? I’m actually amazed that you’re even trying to continue arguing this point.

    The FSF and the GPL itself actively attempt to limit collaboration between proprietary and free software communities. As you’ll find in the article previously mentioned, Mr. Stallman says that it is better for GNU/Linux to not support video cards rather than include a proprietary binary.

    In fact, the entire basis of the GPL is to frustrate cooperation between the immoral proprietary software guys and free software. The viral nature of the GPL (if you use code and integrate or build upon it, your code must become GPL) is designed to prevent that cooperation because it will lessen the freedom of the free software itself.

    And, yes, it is hypocritical if you define freedom in the way that Libertarian’s define freedom, but not if you believe in the FSF version of freedom. When they say “freedom,” they don’t mean freedom in the sense that we mean it, Tim. It is four things and four things only… Those four issues trump all other definitions/aspects of freedom that you and I may hold. So, they would see no hypocrisy in preventing users from the freedom of using proprietary software, because the proprietary software is enslaving them anyway (if you buy the logic).

    Finally, here is your answer: we have NO hostility to Free Software developers adding whatever terms they want to their software. They can make every user wear purple muumuu’s on Thursday’s if they want. It is their right. They are free to do it and enforce it. Whether anyone would use it afterward, whether it may harm the uptake of Free Software in the future… those are the questions we are addressing.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/ enigma_foundry

    Does freedom now comes with exceptions, addendums, and earmarks based on who gives FSF the most money?

    No, Mark it does not.

    GPL is only about freedom. Unfortunately, companies like Tivo and Novell think of ways despite the GPL of taking away users freedom.

    The complexity of GPL 3.0 is entirely a result of the steadfast efforts of FSF to maintain freedom, in the face of the legions of corporate lawyers who will do anything to try to steal GPL code and make it unfree, in the name of profit.

    I am all for them being able to use GPL code, but I am equally against anyone using GPL code to make unfree software.

    If some corporation wants to make unfree software, great, but don’t steal from the GPL commons.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Does freedom now comes with exceptions, addendums, and earmarks based on who gives FSF the most money?

    No, Mark it does not.

    GPL is only about freedom. Unfortunately, companies like Tivo and Novell think of ways despite the GPL of taking away users freedom.

    The complexity of GPL 3.0 is entirely a result of the steadfast efforts of FSF to maintain freedom, in the face of the legions of corporate lawyers who will do anything to try to steal GPL code and make it unfree, in the name of profit.

    I am all for them being able to use GPL code, but I am equally against anyone using GPL code to make unfree software.

    If some corporation wants to make unfree software, great, but don’t steal from the GPL commons.

  • http://eldiabloenlosdetalles.net Carlos

    Mark,

    The GPL does not restrict any user from using propietary software (including video drivers), and that won’t change with v3. I think we can all agree on that. It doesn’t matter much that Stallman calls propietary software anti-ethical or Ballmer calls linux a “cancer”.

    As for the GPL being a impediment to cooperation between propietary and open source developers, it is hardly cooperation if you take GPL code and put in some propietary piece of sofware. You seem to be missing the very basic point that the GPL-based development model is based on sharing of the code (this is Torvalds’ very pragmatic stand on this). By the way, this works both ways: one could say that propietary companies are impeding cooperation by not allowing their developers to publish their work online.

    Truth is, they are not compatible as development models. You can’t have it both ways.

  • http://eldiabloenlosdetalles.net Carlos

    Mark,

    The GPL does not restrict any user from using propietary software (including video drivers), and that won’t change with v3. I think we can all agree on that. It doesn’t matter much that Stallman calls propietary software anti-ethical or Ballmer calls linux a “cancer”.

    As for the GPL being a impediment to cooperation between propietary and open source developers, it is hardly cooperation if you take GPL code and put in some propietary piece of sofware. You seem to be missing the very basic point that the GPL-based development model is based on sharing of the code (this is Torvalds’ very pragmatic stand on this). By the way, this works both ways: one could say that propietary companies are impeding cooperation by not allowing their developers to publish their work online.

    Truth is, they are not compatible as development models. You can’t have it both ways.

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