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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- CRN: "GPL 3 Set To Go Live"

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- CRN: "GPL 3 Set To Go Live"
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 14:47:25 +0200

GPL 3 Set To Go Live 

By Stacy Cowley, CRN 

4:51 PM EDT Mi. Jun. 27, 2007 A multiyear process to draft a successor
to the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, the most widely used
open-source software license, will end this week, as the GPL 3 formally
takes effect on Friday at noon EDT. 
The new license, which was announced by the Free Software Foundation
(FSF) Wednesday, will be immediately applied to any code controlled by
the FSF, which owns the copyrights to a number of popular open-source
software projects, including the GNU operating system components that
form an essential part of Linux distributions. Software licenses can't
be changed retroactively, and code issued before GPL 3's formal adoption
will remain under GPL 2, but any new patches or updates to the FSF's
projects will be covered by the new license. 

GPL 3's effects won't be felt immediately, but the new license will have
broad ripple effects throughout the software industry. The first
revision to the GPL in 16 years, GPL 3 has new terms addressing patent
rights, DRM (digital rights management), and compatibility with other
open-source licenses. 

"With the release of GPLv3, we will see new defenses extended to
freesoftware," FSF Executive Director Peter T. Brown said Wednesday in a
written statement. "These defenses will continue the long history of
fighting all efforts to make free software proprietary. 

The FSF issued a "last call" draft of the GPL revision in late May. The
version to be adopted Friday is expected to hew closely to that draft. 

Because GPL 2 is incompatible, by design, with other licenses, including
later versions of the GPL, developers will need to deal with the
challenge of sorting through what GPL software components can be legally
mixed with software covered under GPL 3. The FSF laid the path years ago
for a smooth migration by releasing its own projects under a license
allowing them to be used with the current version of the GPL as well as
later ones. It encouraged other developers to do likewise, but some key
projects -- most notably, the Linux kernel -- remain "GPL 2 only." 

Companies potentially affected by the new license -- in particular,
Linux distributors -- are largely withholding comment until the license
is officially adopted. Red Hat declined to comment until after the
license's formal release, and Novell restricted its remarks to those
made on its PR blog. Neither has said how they intend to deal with the
legal incompatibility of GPL 2 and GPL 3 code. 


"Live cheaply," he said, offering some free advice. "Don't buy a house,
a car or have children. The problem is they're expensive and you have
to spend all your time making money to pay for them."

        -- Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman: 'Live Cheaply'

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