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I don't understand. What is it about the licensing of _user space_ tools that prevent their being used?

Nothing. Apple is just being overly paranoid or hoping to some day do things that GPLv3 won't allow them to do. Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Intel, IBM; all of these companies have some interaction with GPLv3, but Apple staunchly refuses to even touch it.

It's a real pity, because Apple's popularity is sending some message that GPLv3 is poisonous, when it reality it's only a problem for them because they chose to make it a problem for themselves.

> because Apple's popularity is sending some message that GPLv3 is poisonous

Doesn't Linus' refusal of GPL3 damage its reputation much greater than Apple?

The Linux devs publicly denounced an early draft of GPLv3 and never reconsidered the question. Yeah, I think they just didn't feel like trying to understand it, and Linus's own anti-FSF attitude spreads to his followers.

Actually Linus didn't have any big problems with one of the GPLv3 drafts[1]. And many bits of the Linux kernel are individually licensed as GPLv2+. Not to mention that Linus used to have in COPYING that they were considering updating. Very few kernel developers hate GPLv3.

[1] http://www.computerworld.com/article/2544276/network-softwar...

I was thinking of this position statement, which is signed by prominent Linux devs. I don't think they ever reconsidered their position after the final draft:


The new clauses in the GPLv3 bring up legal questions that some teams would rather just not deal with, even as user space tools. As such, Apple has decided to avoid potential legal headaches and stick with tools under better understood licenses. Most of the BSDs have stuck with GPLv2 stuff, with FreeBSD actively working to replace the few bits and pieces of GPLed code in their base system with code that is under the BSD or other liberal licenses.

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