Subject: Re: For Approval: GPLv3
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 17:49:30 -0700

Quoting Chris Travers (

> I see a number of possible issues with the GPL v3. [...]

[you cite OSD#6]

> I think that the anti-Tivoization provision in the GPL v3 effectively 
> prevent its use (or at best are not technology-neutral regarding its 
> use) in areas such as, say, WIFI card firmware, or the like where the 
> hardware/software package is subject to sufficient regulation as to 
> prevent the user from being able to make arbitrary modifications ot the 
> code and still run it on that specific piece of hardware.

My understanding is that this is not what OSD#6 concerns.  OSD#6
essentially says you cannot have OSI cerify a licence that selectively
withholds necessary rights for left-handed Esperanto teachers, or
members of the military, or professional clowns, etc.

I thus don't think "the profession of locking people out of the ability
to run modified software on particular pieces of hardware" is among the
sorts of fields of endeavour OSI has in mind.

[you cite OSD#9]

> I suspect there are *cases* where the GPL (both versions 2 and 3) fail 
> in this regard, particularly where works which might be considered 
> separate when distributed separately might be considered the same work 
> when distributed together. I don't see this as an obstacle, but want to 
> mention it anyway. See below.

My understanding is that this is not what OSD#9 concerns.  OSD#9
essentially says that a qualifying licence must not ban the presence of
other software in its vicinity _merely_ because it's in the vicinity.
If one piece of software is legally derivitive of the other, then it's
simple reality that you may have licence-compatibility issues.  OSD#9
cannot change that reality, and does not purport to do so.

[you cite OSD#10]

> There are GPL v3 provisions which are predicated on the distribution of 
> software in restricted environments being limited to ROMs.

My understanding is that this is not what OSD#10 concerns.  OSD#10
essentially says that a qualifying licence must not be tied
irretrievably from, or be barred from, particular technological
developments or interface styles, e.g., it cannot require that all
derivatives of a Web application also be a Web application.