Feeds

Linus, GPL 3.0 and sharks with lasers on their heads

Yeah, baby

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.