Feeds

Linus, GPL 3.0 and sharks with lasers on their heads

Yeah, baby

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Citing some James Bond analogies, Linus Torvalds has defended his objections to GPL 3.0, while holding out an olive branch to the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Torvalds has reportedly called the first draft of the FSF's General Public License (GPL) 3.0 "unacceptable" because it limits uses for software covered by the license. Tovalds said he might shift his position on GPL 3.0, though, if the FSF makes changes to the proposed license.

In an interview with Forbes, Torvalds said what bothers him is the fact the GPL 3.0 draft moves towards "software freedom" goals. Confused?

Here's where the creator of the world's fastest growing operating system segues into James Bond territory.

"If you're a mad scientist, you can use GPLv2'd software for your evil plans to take over the world ("Sharks with lasers on their heads!!"), and the GPLv2 just says that you have to give source code back. And that's OK by me. I like sharks with lasers. I just want the mad scientists of the world to pay me back in kind."

In case you didn't know, the Linux kernel is licensed under GPL 2.0. The problem with GPL 3.0?

"You still have to give source code back, but it crimps the style of mad scientists everywhere by also putting restrictions on the use of the source code. You cannot install it on your hardware (laser-equipped shark or otherwise) without also making sure that others can install another version," according to Torvalds.

Torvalds restated his objections, aired on a Linux mailing list in January, to the FSF's concerns over digital rights management. Put simply, FSF wants to discourage use of GPL to help further DRM by vendors and end-users.

For Torvalds' though, it's a subtle difference between DRM and security systems that help protect peoples' personal information when digitzed. In other words, Torvalds is pro "software freedom of choice rather" not "software freedom." "DRM really is just technology, and like most everything else, the badness comes not from the technology, but from what you use it for," Torvalds said. [Oversimplify much? - Ed]

The DRM issue surfaced in Torvald's Janary email posting. Torvalds resisted moving the Linux kernel to GPL 3.0, saying it was 'insane" that those contributing code to the kernel would be forced to make available their private signing keys.®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.