Issues with how the GNU GPL is used for Linux (the kernel)

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Wed Feb 1 17:46:29 UTC 2006

   In my opinion, this is not a valid way to license software under
   the GPL.

This isn't a valid way to license software period.  The Linux kernel
is in legal mud waters.  There are many files in it that violate the
GPL, but since nobody is capable of enforcing the copyright of Linux,
nobody can really do anything.

   What rights do I have to use the source code in the kernel tree
   which has not specified a license?

If you take it out from Linux, then GPLv2, since that is how the whole
kernel licensed.  If you would find the file alone somewhere, then it
depends on the notice in the license.  If no notice, no right to even
look at it.

Nobody can change the license of Linux, there are thousands of
copyright holders, and to be able to do such a license change, you
need to have _all_ copyright holder to agree to the change.  This is


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