Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2007 14:08:46 -0700

Quoting Donovan Hawkins (

> And given that background, do you see why the GPLv2 is _still_ better
> than the GPLv3?

This question completely lacks relevance to the legal issue at hand,
which is a collective-work project leader's duty to avoid injuring
contributors' economic and legal interests, when upgrading project

> If you were the project leader who took the Linux kernel to GPL v3, 
> Torvalds could claim damages in exactly the same way that taking it 
> non-copyleft would damage him.

This is an ideological construing of the term 'damage' that would carry
zero weight in tort law.

> Perhaps other open source developers would be willing to follow your 
> advice if you'd like to indemnify him against a claim like this.

Oh, give me a break.  If you want a warranty, Mr Hawkins, go buy one
(from someone willing to deal with you, as I'm guessing you'd be a
pretty high-maintence customer).  I'm just trying to describe the
operation of tort law, and its ramifications for collective-work
codebases, accurately.  If you prefer, instead, to fall back on the folk
wisdom of law-ignorant coders, by all means go ahead.

> Because you apparently believe GPL v3 is a better implementation of GPL 
> v2

Please do not attribute to me views I have not stated.

> If you believe as Torvalds does and think GPL v3 is a very different
> license following a different vision, you have every right to expect
> your project leader to ask first.

In _law_, actually, you do not.

> The fact that Torvalds never asked contributors to sign over copyright to 
> him suggests that he feels the same way.

Non sequitur.

Cheers,     "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a 
Rick Moen   little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider  price only are this man's lawful prey." - J. Ruskin (attr.)