06.29.07

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GPLv3 Released Today, Early Support Already Gained (Updatedx2)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Law, Novell at 12:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As you probably know by now, today is an important day for the GNU General Public Licence. For many years, this extremely popular software licence has neither changed nor evolved. Amendments have since then been made to protect the software from new phenomena and new strategies that exploit loopholes. An upgrade is required, however, in order for these amendments to take effect.

Despite an awful lot of noise (Microsoft is behind a lot of it, albeit the company usually recruits proxies and invites its lobbying arms), support for the new licence is fairly strong, based on an independent poll. In addition, the licence has earned the blessing of and won approval that includes big names such as Google and Alan Cox. Eben Moglen confidently said that wide adoption of GPLv3 is expected.

According to this Web new site, many projects are already committed to this upgrade. You might be surprised to see the numbers.

Number of projects indicating intent to adopt GPL v3: 5,509

Bob Sutor gives a nice introduction that explains the great importance of the new licence.

FOSS [Free Open Source Software] would die if it were to be rigid, uncompromising, and did not reflect the needs of the community and the end users who are employing the software at an increasing rate. GPL v3 and the process that created it reflect the continued process of rebirth and intellectual progress necessary to sustain growth for FOSS.

It is particularly important to stress that Novell and its accomplices are true dangers to the long-term growth of FOSS. These companies only care about their own short-term benefits and expect their suppliers (programmers) to deliver code while they perish and get forced to pay for ‘taxable’ and restricted Free software.

Here is a a short video teaser where Eben Moglen explains why GPLv2 loopholes need to be closed.

The new licence sometimes involves compromises. Nobody likes change, especially when it’s poorly understood. However, for the prospects of digital freedom, one needs to consider the long-term benefits. Even Sun Microsystems, which once thrived in proprietary legacy, is seriously considering this new licence. The Linux kernel is being pressured to follow suit.

Update: it seems as though some core parts of GNU/Linux distributions adopt GPLv3 immediately.

On the day of release, a group of more than 15 open source projects will release their software under the new licence, Brett Smith, a licensing compliance engineer with the FSF, told vnunet.com.

Update #2: Novell refused to comment on GPLv3 a few days ago, but it has just released a statement.

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