[Dnsmasq-discuss] GPL v3

Imre Kaloz kaloz at openwrt.org
Wed Sep 12 10:47:21 BST 2007

On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 10:59:19 +0200, Simon Kelley <simon at thekelleys.org.uk>  

> Paul Chambers wrote:
>> I just think that GPL v3 actually *lessens* the impact that open source
>> can have outside the desktop PC world, and that makes me sad. I want to
>> drive more open source into products, but this makes it harder to do so.
>> If 'anti-TiVoization' clauses mean TiVo and others are forced to go with
>> non-open source solutions (or inferior ones with more commerce-friendly
>> licenses), seems like everyone loses.

I totally agree with you. GPLv3 is a nightmare in the embedded world. This  
is the reason why almost every (embedded) project remained under v2.

> I guess this is a judgment about hackability. Is a $(TIVO) which uses
> open source but can't have it's software changed by anyone but the
> manufacturer preferable to a $(TIVO) which uses closed source code? As a
> user, I can't see how Open Source helps me unless I can change the
> software in my box, or pay someone else to do the same. The fact that a
> common reason to lock-down a firmware image is to secure evil DRM just
> adds insult to injury.

I dislike TiVoization (when the checks happen in the bootloader), but I  
have to make sure you note something about GPLv3 -- anti-TiVoization is  
only valid for "user products". So GPLv3 "speaks two tongues", it does  
hurt smaller companies doing TiVoization, but lets the big guys get away.  
This alone makes me sick.

GPLv3 is a "two-bladed sword". _Theoritically_ it will help John Doe to  
hack on his $(PRODUCT), but on the other side it won't let him hack/work  
on medical/high-end telco stuff or anything that doesn't fit into the  
"consumer product" category. I've said theoritically, because currently  
(and this stays true for the next year or so) there are no products using  
GPLv3 software. And as GPLv3 isn't compatible with GPLv2, changing the  
license almost immediately leads to forks.


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