When many of the top Linux developers announced their disapproval of the GPLv3 draft, there was one major name conspicuously missing: Linus Torvalds.
On September 24th, Torvalds explained why he hadnt signed it, and why he thinks GPLv2 is the best possible open-source license.
Torvalds explained in his note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, “One of the reasons I didnt end up signing the GPLv3 position statement … was that a few weeks ago I had signed up for writing another kind of statement entirely: not so much about why I dislike the GPLv3, but why I think the GPLv2 is so great.”
He then went on to explain that while, “A lot of people seem to think that the GPLv2 is showing its age, but I would argue otherwise.
“Yes, the GPLv2 is old for being a copyright license, but its not even that you dont want to mess with something that works—its that it very fundamentally is such a good license that theres not a whole lot of room for fixing aside from pure wording issues.”
Torvalds pointed out that some of his explanation on why GPLv2 is great had already appeared on Groklaw as part of the discussion on the recent Groklaw story, GPL Upheld in Germany Against D-Link.
He then quoted Pamela Jones, editor of Groklaw, as she pointed out several problems with the GPLv2.