[Battlemesh] FCC fw lockdown vs. GPLv3?

Linus Lüssing linus.luessing at c0d3.blue
Sat Sep 26 11:44:16 CEST 2015

I'm wondering whether in the light of this FCC regulation it might
be possible to get a rough consenus from active kernel developers
that GPLv2 is not in the Linux developer's interest anymore.

If so, maybe it'd be possible to have a strong developer base
(maybe including Torvalds) who'd support not just dual-licensed
kernel modules, but also parts which are GPLv3 only.

(I'm unsure, GPLv3-only and GPLv2-only code could not be compiled
into a single built-in kernel blob - only building them as
separate kernel modules would work, right?)

Then it'd be interesting whether there are some small but
(especially for wifi or embeded systems) essential components
in the kernel with a rather small amount of contributors.
Who'd additionally be willing to add a GPLv3 license to their work
so far and who'd be willing to continue GPLv3(+) licensing
*without* a dual-GPLv2 license for any future patches.

(next to sounding "difficult", I hope it's not sounding too "mean"
too :) )


On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 09:27:29AM +0200, Henning Rogge wrote:
> Hi,
> I don't think Linus would accept patches that are not under GPLv2...
> you could double-licence them, but without the GPLv2 part there is not
> a chance that they get into the main kernel.
> Henning Rogge
> On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 9:05 AM, Linus Lüssing <linus.luessing at c0d3.blue> wrote:
> > Ok, the total lockdown of a TP-Link TL-WR841N(D), the most popular
> > device in Freifunk wireless community networks (and maybe other
> > communities too?) makes me wonder a lot. A device still running
> > a GPLv2 licensed Linux kernel.
> >
> >
> > For community mesh networks we need affordable devices. Community
> > networks aren't big enough yet to produce their own devices in a
> > similar quality and price range.
> >
> > If affordable devices for wifi communities were going to die now
> > thanks to total firmware lockdowns, why would I want to continue
> > contributing patches to the Linux kernel (specifically
> > batman-adv and the Linux bridge)?
> >
> > I'd have the option to give up or to put my patches under a GPLv3
> > license from now on. If enough(*) other Linux developers were
> > were switching to GPLv3 then it might become less costly for
> > most manufacturers to only have the wifi firmware signed/locked
> > than having to maintain a whole, huge operating system all on
> > their own.
> >
> > Am I missing something or could that new FCC regulation be a
> > good reason to reopen the "GPLv3 for Linux" discussions?
> >
> > Cheers, Linus
> >
> > (*): "Enough" are probably quite a lot... as most parts of the
> > Linux kernel are GPLv2 and not GPLv2+ or BSD/MIT licensed,
> > so many people would need to add a GPLv3 license to their
> > previous code, I guess? *mumble*, *mumble*...
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