Feb 032006

In a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) last week, Linus Torvalds plainly stated that the Linux kernel would not be moving to the third revision of the General Public License (GPL). The reasons given in his post included the the requirement that developers publish their private keys and the amount of effort it would take to track down every kernel contributor to gain their permission to update the license of their code. Interestingly, he did not initially comment on the new, rigid restrictions version 3 places on using GPL software in conjunction with any Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. Many in the community have conjectured the new DRM clause has influenced Torvald’s decision as much as any of the other changes, and NewsForge.com has published a summary of 3 posts that Linus has made to LKML over the last two days regarding this issue.

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Feb 022006

Earlier this week, I wrote that ZDNet UK had recently spoken with Alan Cox about his opinion of the third revision of the General Public License (GPL). The original CNET News.com article was a little light on content, offering a few quotes from Cox but not much else. Today CNET News.com has published the full interview which took place last week after a Cox speech at the Trusted Computing conference in London. In addition to GPLv3 the interview covers OSS, DRM, software patents, and Linux kernel development. The interview offers no surprises since most of Cox’s opinions on those subjects are well known and have not changed. I did, however, learn that this interview took place before Linus’s shootdown of GPLv3 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) last week. That would explain why Cox, who is leaning towards the new revision, did not address any of the issues raised by Torvalds.