"The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some individual files can be licensed under version 3, but not the kernel in general. And quite frankly, I don't see that changing," Torvalds wrote in a posting on the Linux kernel mailing list.
The proposed update for the licence addresses digital rights management (DRM) by requiring that software developers refrain from using DRM copyright protection in combination with any GPL3 product.
"I think it's insane to require people to make their private signing keys available, for example," Torvalds explained.
"So I don't think the GPL version 3 conversion is going to happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my code."
The DRM provision is one of the more controversial changes in the licence, together with a requirement that software distributors shield users from patent infringement claims. The proposed alterations are up for debate, however, and are still subject to change.
A decision by the Linux community to stick to GPL2 instead of adopting GPL3 could be major setback for the Free Software Foundation, as the application is considered the 'poster child' for the open source licence.
The GPL is by far the most common open source licence, governing the rights and requirements for developers and users.
The licence is best known for its requirement to publish the source code of any adjustments that developers make to software licensed under the model.
This effectively means that the software is available free of charge and that sharing and innovation are encouraged.
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