[Ksummit-discuss] [CORE TOPIC] GPL defense issues

Linus Torvalds torvalds at linux-foundation.org
Fri Aug 26 19:59:53 UTC 2016

On Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:45 PM, Matthew Garrett <mjg59 at coreos.com> wrote:
> We agree that quiet negotiation is the preferred tactic. We agree that
> lawsuits may be necessary as a final resort. It doesn't seem like
> we're disagreeing on anything fundamental in that respect. What Karen
> has suggested is an opportunity for the kernel community to give clear
> input into when that final resort should be acceptable.

Heh. Sounds like we do indeed end up agreeing here, there was nothing
I disagreed with in this email for example.

Maybe I read more into Bradley's saying than I should have, but it
_really_ rubbed me the wrong way.

I really think the biggest impact of the GPL have been almost
_entirely_ outside any legal issues, and that it's a great document
not because it's a great legal piece of writing, but because of much
bigger issues.

That may be why I reacted *so* negatively to seeing it argued that
it's pointless without enforcement. Almost none of the successes of
the GPL have ever been about the legal side.

To put it in ridiculously overly grandiose historical terms: nobody
enforces the magna carta any more - it's not like you need to. It's
the *ideas* that matter, and the fact that it changed the world.

But as I started out saying, I actually support discussing this at the
kernel summit, it's just that I absolutely do *not* think it's about
having lawyers present.

Because that's not the point.


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