Linux kernel developers unhappy with new license

A poll of developers working on the open source Linux operating system kernel has shown strong opposition to the proposed new General Public License version 3 (GPLv3).

A poll of developers working on the open source Linux operating system kernel has shown strong opposition to the proposed new General Public License version 3 (GPLv3).

A second draft of the GPLv3 was published in July by the Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center. The license is expected to be adopted by open source software developers.

But the online straw poll of programmers, posted on the Linux-Kernel mailing list, came out down strongly in favour of the existing GPLv2 license.

The Linux kernel programmers rated the proposed new version of the license on a scale between –3, for those who wouldn’t want to use the GPLv3 because they really dislike it or their company would have serious problems with it, and +3, for those who feel the same way about the current GPLv2 license.

All but one voter gave the proposed new license a negative rating, with only a single vote of 0 – “I don’t really care at all” – marking the exception. The average vote was close to –2, shown in a voting key as equivalent to the statement: “I think v3 is much worse than v2.”

Linux originator Linus Torvalds, a firm opponent of the GPLv3 license, gave it a vote of –2.5.


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