10:54 AM
Connect Directly
Repost This

Linux Creator Calls GPLv3 'Crusade'

In his latest protest against the new version of the General Public License, Linux creator Linus Torvalds wrote, "We do not--as software developers--have the moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers. We are not crusaders."

Linux creator Linux Torvalds is continuing to distance himself from the philosophy behind the GNU General Public License (GPL) as it undergoes a second revision.

A draft of the latest version of the GNU GPL, called GPLv3, was released in January. The license, which is administered by the Free Software Foundation, was revised one other time, 15 years ago. Linux is licensed via the GPL.

While Torvalds said in a recent Web posting on a Linux kernel discussion board that he's not arguing against GPLv3 altogether, he used harsh enough words last week to create a stir and prompt online discussions about whether GPLv3 will have the broad support that earlier versions enjoyed.

This marks the second time Torvalds has gained attention for stating his views on the revision.

"I'm arguing that GPLv3 is wrong for me, and it's not the license I ever chose," he wrote.

But that was after putting his reasons in much harsher tones.

"I literally feel that we do not -- as software developers -- have the moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers," he wrote. "We are not crusaders, trying to force people to bow to our superior God. We are trying to show others that cooperation and openness works better."

Torvalds said the first version reflects that attitude, but he has criticized the direction that the revision process is taking.

Specifically, he objects to a proposal requiring users to make previously private keys available.

The process is being led by Richard Stallman, who wrote GNU, established the Free Software Foundation, and devotes much of his energy to fighting for free software. Neither Stallman nor the foundation have mentioned Torvald's criticisms, but the foundation's counsel, Eben Moglen reportedly told a reporter at The Register this week that he will address the most controversial aspects of the license.

So far, that appears to be publicizing previously private keys and addressing Digital Rights Management (DRM), which Stallman refers to as "Digital Restrictions Management."

The plans for revision are aimed at ensuring free revisions and distribution of software under increasingly stringent laws worldwide.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.