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Why Torvalds is sitting out the GPLv3 process

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OSS

Why isn't Linus Torvalds involved with the drafting of the third version of the GNU General Public License (GPL)? Torvalds has frequently criticized the process and the drafts of the GPLv3, and recently voted against the license in an informal poll of kernel developers, so it seems obvious to question why he chose to sit out the process. Torvalds gives his reasons as a dislike of committees, an inability to contribute in his preferred way, and philosophical differences with the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which he suggests is trying to absorb other licenses under the GPL.

At the same time, he suggests that his opposition may have been distorted or exaggerated. "GPLv3 is not 'evil,'" he says. "It just doesn't stand up to the great licenses out there, like the GPLv2."
According to Jim Garrison, public relations coordinator of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), whose members are involved in drafting the GPLv3, "Linus was personally assured from the outset of the process that his participation was actively sought."

Torvalds replies that he was invited only in the sense that "everybody was invited to participate. In that sense, yes, I certainly could have, too." However, apparently unaware that the GPLv3 committees do most of their work by email or IRC, he goes on to say that, "It's absolutely true that I could have been part of some committee. I could probably even have gotten somebody to pay for flights to Chicago or some other nasty place to go to meetings at. I didn't feel it was worth it."

Instead, Torvalds put forward an offer to read and comment on the first draft before it was published in January. "That was denied," Torvalds says.

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