Linus Torvalds: “I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to happen” for Linux

Linus Torvalds stated (in a linux-kernel email) that it is unlikely that the Linux kernel will be moved to the version 3 GPL license:

The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.
And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to require people to make their private signing keys available, for example. I wouldn't do it. So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my code.

The key issue with GPLv3 is the restrictions on DRM (which I highlighted before), which Linus apparently accepts from a practical standpoint. I have to agree with the position that a license term that makes use of code less free is not in keeping with the goal of release software as open source. If it's “open” then you have to accept that some people may do things you find repugnant (like using it to access restricted content).

Linus only speaks for his code, of course, but that's a significant portion of the Linux kernel.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Jan 26 2006 11:09 AM

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