Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Jim Kaskade, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linus Declares "GPL is No Hippie Dream"

"As always, [Darl McBride] gets fundamental facts wrong," Torvalds writes.

In a piece just released via the IDG News service, Torvalds writes, in his characteristic robust style:

"I was recently sent a copy of SCO CEO Darl McBride's Open Letter on copyright law. As usual, Mr. McBride portrays the Linux community as the enemy of copyright. As always, he gets fundamental facts wrong.

Their argument about copyright law is totally specious, and fails any sensible test. They claim that the U.S. Congress' authority under the U.S. Constitution to "promote the Progress of Science and the useful arts" inherently includes a profit motive.

This is an obvious misrepresentation of facts. It's akin to saying that public universities are fundamentally unconstitutional, since they "promote the Progress of Science" yet they aren't motivated by profit.

There is nothing unconstitutional in not being motivated by money alone, although clearly money -- rather than sense, law or anything else -- is what motivates Darl McBride.

Recently, we had an unrelated copyright discussion on the Linux kernel discussion list (some people still want to have binary only modules and try to argue that the GPL doesn't ever cover them).

Anyway, that's beside the point, though it does show that some people want to take advantage of open source without giving anything back. But after the discussion, I ended up looking up the exact wording of the U.S. copyright law and guess what I found:

"The term 'financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works."

This is from U.S. Code Collection, Title 17 (copyrights), Chapter 1, Section 101: "Definitions." In short, this is from the very first section in copyright law -- the section that defines terms even before those terms are used. This is some pretty fundamental stuff when it comes to copyrights in the U.S.

Pertinent, if you will.

And note how copyright law expressly includes "the expectation of receipt" of anything of value, and expressly mentions "receipt of other copyrighted works" as such a thing of value. And that's the very definition of "financial gain," as far as U.S. copyright law is concerned.

Now guess what the GPL is all about?

Maybe someone can explain to Darl that the GPL is designed so that people receive the value of other peoples copyrighted works in return for having made their own contributions. That is the fundamental idea of the whole license -- everything else is just legal fluff.

So not only is Darl wrong when he attacks the GPL as being somehow against "financial gain;" the notion that the GPL has, of "exchange of receipt of copyrighted works," is actually explicitly encoded in U.S. copyright law. It's not just a crazy idea that some lefty Commie hippie dreamed up in a drug-induced stupor.

So if Darl calls that notion unconstitutional, he is actually attacking the U.S. code as it stands today.

If you want to check that legal quote yourself, this is the place to go."


For more international news from IDG News Service, visit IDGnews.net.
Story copyright 2003 IDG News Service. All rights reserved.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Linuxworld © is the registered trademark of IDG. SYS-CON is using the Mark pursuant to a license agreement from IDG

More Stories By Linus Torvalds

Probably the best-known programmer in the world today, Linus Torvalds is also the world's best-known Finn. He is the creator of Linux computer operating system.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Warren Crossing 12/10/03 05:45:14 PM EST

although drug toting commie hippies are funny at parties and cut out screeds and screeds of code through the middle of the dark cold night they have actually pressed on a valid economic model.

the expectation of exchange is the fundamental driving motive of business called going concern, its present in everyday business and its the way companies do deals, for goods and services. it precludes barter, engagement and ends up as revenue,assets and investments.

its when individuals reserve a part of the "value" for their selfish motive of conspicious consumption that the total system becomes poorer. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=exploitation

look at the IP involved in producing something like mplayer http://www.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/design6/projects.html
and the blacklisted companies that don't contribute. what a bummer for the guys that poured their souls into mplayer.

i think the GPL is a first step in a larger public domain strategy that could incorporate & extend todays normal service and logistics industries. perhaps humanity will adopt a more proportional and contribution-focused method of living on this planet.

ps why would i want unux services on windows - why wouldn't i just install linux?

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...