Reply to post: Re: You mess with the GNU ...

Bruce Perens wants to anti-SLAPP Grsecurity's Brad Spengler with $670,000 in legal bills

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: You mess with the GNU ...

Well, no it's not the horns, it's something else entirely. Someone somewhere has decided to use the preponderance of public opinion and a bunch of expensive lawyers to ruin someone else's life, rather than actually sue the guy for breaching GPL2 (use the "horns" as originally envisaged by the original authors of GPL2). This is a pretty nasty and vindictive way of going after someone.

Plus it is doubtful that what GR is doing is actually breaking GPL2. It's certainly breaking what most people think an OSS license says, but then most people haven't actually read GPL2. I strongly fear that if it actually got tested in court, GR's way of operating would be found to be compliant with the license. This would render the GPL2 to be pretty useless for the purpose that the authors (and Linus Torvalds) intended. And rather than fix the license, someone somewhere has decided to use some other means.

This is dangerous because it means that social pressures, public opinion, and veiled threats look to be becoming the way in which GPL2 is "enforced" (when it's enforceability is doubtful), rather than objective decision making by courts. The danger is that the social pressures, public opinion and veiled threats can and will be used for malicious intent. Possibly this is the first such example.

We Need To Re-License Linux

Furthermore it is avoiding doing the thing that actually needs doing; getting Linux on to a license that actually reflects what the vast majority of the Linux kernel community want. The longer this s not done, the worse the situation will get. The current license is woefully inadequate.

I've no idea how that's going to happen. The very nature of GPL2 makes it almost impossible to fix flaws in GPL2. But something must happen.

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