Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNU is Not Unix Your Rights Online

First Draft of GPL Version 3 Released 575

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the forward-progress dept.
njan writes "The first draft of version three of the GNU General Public License was released to the public this afternoon. Major improvements touted in version three include changes designed to mitigate the damage posed by new threats to free software such as software patents. One individual stated about the release: 'It is changes in law, not computer technology, that pose the principal challenges to the free software community. Chief among these changes has been the unwise and ill-considered application of patent law to software. Software patents threaten every free software project, just as they threaten proprietary software and custom software. Any program can be destroyed or crippled by a software patent belonging to someone who has no other connection to the program.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First Draft of GPL Version 3 Released

Comments Filter:
  • Other issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by Renegade Lisp (315687) * on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:04PM (#14485719)
    The slashdot summary does not quite get the proportions right. Yes, the v3 draft does refine how the GPL deals with patents, but that is only one of many issues in this draft. (I've compiled the list below from cursory reading of the new license and the rationale that accompanies it, before it was slashdotted.)
    • There is a proposal in it that would discourage or disable the use of GPL software for DRM, by stating that software under the new GPL cannot constitute an "effective technological protection measure". Thus it would always be possible for other programs to get at the same data without falling under the DMCA.
    • When it comes to patents, the draft is actually not very aggressive about them. There is no general patent retaliation clause as in some other licenses, because the FSF believes that disallowing an offender to use any free software would not be too much of a deterrent for some.
    • Compatibility between the new GPL and other free software licenses will generally be better.
    • The idea of what constitutes source code and object code is refined. This, I think, is mostly intended to deal with the case when software is used over the web, rather than downloaded and installed.
    • Re:Other issues (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:15PM (#14485835) Journal
      There is a proposal in it that would discourage or disable the use of GPL software for DRM, by stating that software under the new GPL cannot constitute an "effective technological protection measure".

      I'd be curious to see what an objective lawyer has to say about the enforceability of that clause. Being an "effective technological protection measure" seems like a matter that can't be waived, any more than my signing a stipulation that I wasn't born in August affects my birthday.

      • Re:Other issues (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jmv (93421) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:41PM (#14486114) Homepage
        I think I understand what they're trying to do with this. Without the clause, I could (theoretically) take a GPL program, add "pseudo-DRM" to it and then sue whoever removes that DRM from the (GPL) code using the DMCA. With the clause, I'm "forced" (if I want to distribute the program) to state that my stuff isn't an "effective technological protection measure" (which I assume is the phrasing of the DMCA). Would be much harder to defend in a court "Yes, I know we say in the license that it's not an effective technological protection measure, but we for the purpose of this lawsuit, we would like to change our mind...". Anyway, I'm not sure how strong a protection it offers, but I can't see that really hurting anyone.
        • Re:Other issues (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AuMatar (183847) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:46PM (#14486165)
          Not quite. What they want to do is make it legal to try and decypt content GPLed code protects. By stating they are not an effective protection method, they are not covered by the DMCA. Therefor, you can try and remove the encryption from any content that the program produced (possibly any content it can read?). As for legality, I'd think its fairly strong- whoever releases it under the GPL license is voluntarily agreeing to this, and thus waiving the rights to sue under the DMCA (remember, breaking the DMCA is not a criminal act, but a civil tort).
        • Re:Other issues (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773)
          It's muddled right now. First it says that any DRM applied is not the type of DRM protected by the DMCA. Then it says that what it means is that permission is granted for circumvention. That's not the same thing, though I think it should have statements indicating that the licensee is agreeing that any DRM is ineligible for protection and that alternatively, permission to circumvent it is given.

          Of course, this doesn't help enough, IMO. Let's say that someone released a movie under the GPL, and that it was
      • Re:Other issues (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pavon (30274)
        True, but consider this example. You want to join a club. Their membership contract states that members of this club cannot have been born in August. You can't sign the contract and then say that you are a member of the club, and therefore your birthday is no longer in August. The fact that your birthday is in August would prevent you from joining the club, and thus from recieving any of the advantages that membership brings.

        This is the same thing. If the software you wrote is an "effective technological pr
      • Re:Other issues (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sepluv (641107)
        Note that that statement is immediately followed by:

        distribution of a covered work as part of a system to generate or access certain data constitutes general permission at least for development, distribution and use, under this License, of other software capable of accessing the same data.

        IMO, that means, by distributing the work under GPLv3 you state that you give others permission to circumvent any effective technological measures (as well as stating that the work does not contain anyway).

    • Re:Other issues (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:29PM (#14485981)

      There is a proposal in it that would discourage or disable the use of GPL software for DRM, by stating that software under the new GPL cannot constitute an "effective technological protection measure". Thus it would always be possible for other programs to get at the same data without falling under the DMCA.

      I read that a little differently. Because the license, picked by the original copyright holder, categorically states that it is not a technological protection measure, it can't be used in software that has the protections of the DMCA. This isn't so interesting.

      However, when you remember that derivative works are similarly bound, you realise that the end effect is that any organisation who wishes to attack reverse-engineers with the DMCA is forbidden from building their copy protection on top of any GPL 3 software.

      I don't think this is about opening things up, I think this is about giving companies an ultimatum - either give up on abusing the DMCA, or you can't have any of our source code.

    • Re:Other issues (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:30PM (#14485996) Journal
      On the issue of distribution, am I the only one bothered by the vagueness of this line:

      The output from running it is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a work based on the Program.

      What in the world is that supposed to mean? Based on the source code of the program? Does inserting XML markup constitute a work based on the program, then? Because those tags were part of the program source code? This is really, really vague in a legally scary way.

      I'm also a little bothered by the language that anything with a user interface must have an about box with copyright notice. What if the original didn't? Shouldn't it say that this information must be preserved, rather than saying that it must contain one? It's also a little troubling to think about how this could affect web services, since user interface isn't defined in a way so as to exclude it. This still doesn't explicitly clear up that issue.

      • On the issue of distribution, am I the only one bothered by the vagueness of this line:

        The output from running it is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a work based on the Program.

        What in the world is that supposed to mean? Based on the source code of the program? Does inserting XML markup constitute a work based on the program, then? Because those tags were part of the program source code? This is really, really vague in a legally scary way.

        I would guess that this

      • Re:Other issues (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bogtha (906264)

        What in the world is that supposed to mean? Based on the source code of the program? Does inserting XML markup constitute a work based on the program, then? Because those tags were part of the program source code?

        No. In some rare instances, programs actually output part of themselves as part of normal operation. I think Bison is the canonical example. This is different to mere string literals that form part of the output.

        Current versions of the GPL have the same thing in them. It's frustrating

  • by CyricZ (887944) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:04PM (#14485722)
    I think I will continue to stick with the MIT license. It has plain, easy to comprehend terms. It's concise.

    I appreciate the effort the FSF is making, but things may be getting out of hand. I know of many developers who feel the same as I do. They just want to create software, without having to get bogged down with legalities. Thankfully, licenses like the BSD license and the MIT license work wonderfully well for us.

    • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:17PM (#14485860) Homepage
      Some people don't want their code to be used in any situation. They want to guarantee that anyone trying to profit off their code will basically have to contribute in one way or another - the code can't just be copied and closed.

      Personally I use both GPL and BSD for different projects, but saying "the GPL is too complex and that's why people should use BSD/MIT" really ignores the reason why many people use the GPL in the first place. I agree that we could use a simpler version of the GPL - but BSD isn't it.
    • "I think I will continue to stick with the MIT license. It has plain, easy to comprehend terms. It's concise."

      Concise is pretty easy when the license is essentially anything goes with attribution. I suspect the new GPL isn't really any different in philosophy than the previous ones. It just takes more words to explain in legal terms.
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:32PM (#14486026)
      "They just want to create software, without having to get bogged down with legalities. "

      And thats why they should use the GPL- to make sure it *remains* free, and that changes and additions to it remain free. BSD and MIT may be concise, but it doesn't make this promise. If you're going with them, you may as well just forget the license and go public domain.
      • But it will ALWAYS remain free under a MIT or BSD license! The idea that it can somehow be made non-free is a malicious myth started by the FSF. Someone can make *their* copy unfree, but they cannot make *my* copy unfree. No matter what Microsoft does, my copy of FreeBSD will ALWAYS be free.
    • by hey! (33014) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:53PM (#14486227) Homepage Journal
      They just want to create software, without having to get bogged down with legalities.

      Well, choosing to ignore the complexities of the legal system doesn't guarantee they ignore you. For example the MIT license has no disclaimer of warranty. Nor does it require the licensee to waive any potential claim of damages. In theory, somebody could take your software, modify it in a way that introduces bugs, then disappear, leaving downstream licensees with your name as the only starting point for a lawsuit.

      It doesn't matter that it's not your fault. Unless you're like MIT with a substantial legal staff to scare them off, it'll be too bad for you. The BSD license would be a much better choice.

      Like software, licenses should be as simple as they need to be to accomplish what you need them to do, but no simpler.

      The MIT license ensures you get credit. Period.

      The BSD license ensures you get credit, and that nobody claims that you endorse their derivative products, and that everybody uses the software on the condition of releasing you from legal responsibility for damages.

      GPL ensures you get credit, that people release you from legal responsibility for damages, and that every downstream recipient gets as many rights as you granted your immediate licensees.

      It's too bad that you have to understand any kind of legaleese to be a programmer, but that's life. Licenses are just the start of it. You have to understand a bit about copyrights, patents and trademarks too. If you work with source material that is not public domain, you probably need to have some understanding of contracts. We're not talking law school level stuff, but at least an informed layman's understanding.

      If you don't like this, sticking your head in the sand is not a viable solution.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It doesn't matter that it's not your fault. Unless you're like MIT with a substantial legal staff to scare them off, it'll be too bad for you. The BSD license would be a much better choice.

        The MIT license protects against that. See:

        THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT
      • It's too bad that you have to understand any kind of legaleese to be a programmer, but that's life.

        I think programmers aren't the ones to complain about obscure notation and languages, given that we have invented many more of them than lawyers ever have in the history of the world.
  • by skynare (777361)
    why is it so difficult to read?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      why is it so difficult to read?

      I don't know but I see that you also find it difficult to start sentences with a capital letter. That's our first clue.
    • why is it so difficult to read?

      Because it's written by lawyers for lawyers, not for programmers. Gotta love the OpenBSD license. [openbsd.org] Excluding the warranty disclaimer and copyright notice, here's the entire text:

      "Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
      purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
      copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies."

      I like my licenses without built-in ideologies.
      • "I like my licenses without built-in ideologies."

        Do you seriously think the OpenBSD license doesn't have a ideology? Of course it does. It is just one you accept.

        For instance, what is with this annoying requirement to give attribution? This idea that anyone can use it? That sounds like socialism! :)

        Every license has an ideology. There's a reason there are so many of them.....
    • by pavon (30274) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:18PM (#14485870)
      The same reason that code is hard to read by non-programmers, or medical papers are hard to read by people without medical training. The law, like any field, needs precise language to communicate. Many words have special legal meanings that are subtly different from common speech (or not so subtle if language has diverged over time). This is necisarry for the same reason that you can't use plain english to write code - plain english leaves to much open for interpretation. When you write legal documents, you want the judge interpreting your document, should it ever go to court, to read it the way you intended it to be read. The best way to do this is to use the accepted legal terminology.
      • by slux (632202) on Monday January 16, 2006 @07:26PM (#14486507)
        That may well be the case but I see it very problematic that normal citizens are unable to understand what exactly the laws their government imposes on them are saying. Or that they are forced to accept legal agreements written in the same language every day.

        Legalese should really strive to be readable and understandable to the point by the average person. If indeed what you are saying is true and there is really no way to state these things in a clear and logical way then some kind of measures should be taken to ensure that everyone can get the help they need in interpreting the arcane mumblings of the law.
  • by krewemaynard (665044) <krewemaynard@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:08PM (#14485757)
    ...will hold up legally, and how much of it is just hot air and rants?

    "DRM is fundamentally incompatible with the purpose of the GPL, which is to protect users' freedom; therefore, the GPL ensures that the software it covers will neither be subject to, nor subject other works to, digital restrictions from which escape is forbidden." Sounds good and noble, but will it work?
    • I like the anti-DRM idea very much. From the draft:

      No covered work constitutes part of an effective technological protection measure: that is to say, distribution of a covered work as part of a system to generate or access certain data constitutes general permission at least for development, distribution and use, under this License, of other software capable of accessing the same data.

      To me, that sounds like a breathtakingly simple way to undermine the whole purpose of the DMCA and DRM, simply by sa

    • TiVo (Score:3, Insightful)

      by metamatic (202216)
      Well, it'll stop those fsckers at TiVo from using Linux in hardware devices that are locked down so you can't read the data or modify the software without serious hardware hacking.
      • No, TIvo could still require serious hacking. First off, if the code is in user space, it isn't necessarily GPLed. Second, even if its in kernal space, it doesn't require it to be easy- just for it to be legal.
      • Re:TiVo (Score:3, Informative)

        by phliar (87116)
        The Linux kernel is under GPL v2. There is no "automatic upgrade" of future kernel versions to GPL v3. Even if there were, versions already released are unaffected. Once you have a copy of the kernel under GPL v2, that code's status can never be changed. Once something is released under a certain license, ceteris paribus [wikipedia.org] that copy remains under it.

    • That's the preamble (Score:3, Informative)

      by vlad_petric (94134)
      *NOT* terms and conditions. This is the style of GNU licenses - preamble describing intent, but not legally binding, then the legally-binding terms .
    • Note that they are not forbidding GPL DRM software. Instead they are forbidding you from suing people who try to break your DRM. If your DRM actually works (i.e. is not breakable), then you should have no problem with this. However, we all know that actual working DRM is technically infeasible. If you disagree with this clause of the GPL you are admitting that DRM is impotent without constant police-state enforcement. Basically, this change to the GPL exposes DRM as the fraud it has always been.
  • by Al Dimond (792444) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:10PM (#14485778) Journal
    Gah... why couldn't there be a web page that didn't have BR tags at the 80-character mark every time. This is like reading e-mail in the 90s! (Actually this looks like a plone-based site so it's probably serving up auto-generated *ml from a text file... which is no excuse, really. If vim can fix up stuff like that then plone could too.)
    • by Harik (4023)
      Because it's designed to be read in a text terminal, with source code
      which is also generally (gasp) 80 columns.

      I know some of you new Eclipse/Visual Studio DOT NET guys love 30000
      character lines, and don't get me started on perl, but for the projects
      I work on having long lines is a drawback. And has email REALLY improved
      since the mid 90s? I force HTML to downconvert to text and strip all the
      bullshit markup before it hits my inbox. No blinky pictures, no flash
      graphics, no webbugs, no <FONT SIZE +5000
      • And has email REALLY improved since the mid 90s?

        What do you mean mid-90s? Email was just fine in the mid-80s. I still use Berkeley mailx almost all the time. The main exception is when I have to send an attachment. I don't even like those new-fangled things like Pine and MH, much-less webmail. If only somebody would update mailx to handle attachments...

      • Because it's designed to be read in a text terminal, with source code which is also generally (gasp) 80 columns.

        So? This is the year 2006, such a thing as "word wrap" has been invented. If you strip out all the <br> elements, it would still display just fine in a text terminal, and would look a lot better in non-text terminals. In typical displays, that page displays a line and a half before an extremely unnatural line break in the middle of the line, then another line and a half, and so on.

  • What keeps me from using the GPL is the "any later version" option. How do I know that GPL version 17 wont give every user of my software a right to come by my house for a free lunch? Or a car. You know, unless most significant software, everything in this world isn't free as in lunch. That holds for example for most lunches.
  • From this... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by IAAP (937607)
    From the last paragraph section 1: As a special exception, the Complete Corresponding Source Code need not include a particular subunit if (a) the identical subunit is normally included as an adjunct in the distribution of either a major essential component (kernel, window system, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs or a compiler used to produce the executable or an object code interpreter used to run it, and (b) the subunit (aside from possible incidental extensions) serves onl
    • by pavon (30274)
      It means that you don't have to release Visual Studio, MFC, and the .Net runtime under the GPL, if you distribute a GPL application that requires those things to run. Unless your code is a compiler or object code intepretor, I don't see why you would think it is excluded.
    • As a special exception, the Complete Corresponding Source Code need not include a particular subunit if ... the identical subunit is normally included as an adjunct in the distribution of either a major essential component (kernel, window system, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs or a compiler used to produce the executable or an object code interpreter used to run it ...

      I read it differently than you did. Assuming (without reading the rest of the new GPL yet) that "Complete

    • No, it means that if a library you use comes as standard with either the OS or the compiler, you don't have to provide source for that library. Current versions of the GPL include similar clauses.

  • Incomprehensible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by undeadly (941339) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:21PM (#14485910)
    The new GPL is, well, "wordy", bit not all that clear. And to be quite frank, I understand that I don't understand it.

    The new GPL have the following:

    This License gives unlimited permission to privately modify and run the
    Program, provided you do not bring suit for patent infringement against
    anyone for making, using or distributing their own works based on the
    Program.

    So patent law mixed with how I use the software, and privately at that. Can I use GPLv3 software in a company (it's not private, usually)? Can I modify it, but not distribute it outside the company? If I don't do this privately, but as a "corporate" person, then it's not private, so I can do what I want (of course not). This is just in the beginning of the new license, and it goes on and on and on and on etc.

    Really, why not make a license that I don't need to be a lawyer to understand?

    • Really, why not make a license that I don't need to be a lawyer to understand?

      A license that is easy to understand is not the purpose of the GPL. The purpose of the GPL is to uphold the principles of Free Software.

      If you want a license that's easy to understand, use another one, like BSD or MIT. Personally, I think that the FSF has demonstrated the ability to translate the here-represented complex ideas into valid legalese.
      • A license that is easy to understand is not the purpose of the GPL. The purpose of the GPL is to uphold the principles of Free Software.

        Only GPL is "Free Software", nevermind that they add more restrictions? How pretensious.

      • Valid legalese is money. My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.

        All those words do exactly the opposite of what you think they do, each one is another "attack vector," if you will, for a well paid lawyer.

        This license may very well "attempt to uphold the traditions of the FSF" but will ultimatly bring them down over an arguement along the lines of "depends on what the definition of 'is' is."

        The BSD and MIT licenses, while accomplishing something very different, are short and non-ambiguous and therefore (more) de
    • I'd like to point out that in a more perfect world, we wouldn't need the GPL v3. What has happened is that the world has become tremendously more complicated since v2. The v3 helps to address some of those issues.

      Let's look at some of the issues that make licensing your software more difficult to do properly.

      PATENTS. Software patents have gotten out of control. At the time of v2, there was some concern about patents, but now we have had a direct attack on the GPL from the angle of patents trump copyright. W
      • by ivoras (455934) <ivoras @ f e r .hr> on Monday January 16, 2006 @07:27PM (#14486512) Homepage
        Oh not again about the "BSD is bad because MS can steal BSD-licensed code" :((

        Here it is again: THAT'S PRECISELY THE POINT! Don't you think people who put their code under the BSD license know it?

        The license is liberal because:

        • maybe the software is made on an academic institution and it wouldn't be fair to restrict it (as the GPL does)
        • maybe the author writes the software for fame not for fortune (mostly closely tied with previous point - academics tend to make software that will increase their academic status [hint: BSD unix] and maybe land them consultant jobs)
        • maybe the author is a really good guy
        • maybe the author is really optimistic and thinks that if the companies can use quality BSD-licensed code they wouldn't have to develop their own crappy versions (hint: MS)
        • ...
  • Only skimmed it so far, but I wonder if their eagerness to stop copyprotection and DRM scheemes means that you can't use the GPL3 for email applications supporting GPG encrpytion, or not at least without giving away your private GPG keys :)
    • No; this draft includes specific language handling that case: "a code need not be included in cases where use of the work normally implies the user already has it." In other words, this only covers cases where you don't have the key, such as devices which check signatures on their firmware binaries.
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:41PM (#14486108)
      YOu're misreading the legalese. When it says that any GPLed program is not an effective DRM app, it means that by hacking around content protected by a GPL application, you are not breaking the DMCA. Because the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent a protection device, but the GPLed app is not legally a protection device, as per the GPL. It doesn't mean that you can't use encryption, but that its not illegal to reverse engineer an encryption system it uses.
  • It's a) to long and b) a lot more complicated than previous revisions. At least I kind of understood those. Now it's more a political manifesto, forcing everyone who touches the software to become vegeterian etc..
  • Patents:

    "Distribution of the Corresponding Source in accord with this section
    must be in a format that is publicly documented, unencumbered by
    patents, and must require no special password or key for unpacking,
    reading or copying."

    I like this one, specially the 'unencumbered by patents' part, but I'm not sure if this was already present in GPL v2.

    "This License gives unlimited permission to privately modify and run the
    Program, provided you do not bring suit for patent infringement against
    anyone for making, usin

  • Curious that a discussion of the GPL should bring out so many annoymous cowards.

    I wonder why?

    Must do some stats some day on proportion of AC comments verses subject matter.

    Anyone else noticed a correlation?
  • I can't wait to try it out! But are there any binaries to download? I can only seem to find the source code [fsf.org], and I don't have a compiler for Lawyer++.
  • Web services? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:39PM (#14486087) Homepage Journal
    There's been much debate for and against allowing people to "publish" modified GPLed web applications without releasing the source. For example, phpBB is released under the GPL, and some believe that you should be required to make any changes to it available to your site visitors.

    I didn't see any wording in the draft that addresses this issue either way; every time I thought I did, I found the same or similar wording in version 2. So, is it in there? Will it affect how we publish web applications?

    • Re:Web services? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sparkz (146432) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:07PM (#14487495) Homepage
      I asked Stallman about this back in 2001; his reply is here [steve-parker.org]:
      ME: I modify GPL code - eg a CGI library - to suit my own needs for use on a publicly-available web server. This code is being run, by the general public, on my web server. Should I, in this case, make the code available? Under the GPL, must I?

      RMS: The GPL does not require it. But is not very good for the community when people do this, so I am looking at a way that GPL 3 could require publication in this case.

      The conversation and background of it is all documented at http://steve-parker.org/articles/lego/ [steve-parker.org]
  • Relicense? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Julian Morrison (5575) on Monday January 16, 2006 @06:54PM (#14486233)
    One question for OSS projects currently using GPL, will be, should they relicense?

    For example, should Linux become GPL3'd?

    Discuss...
    • Re:Relicense? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Monday January 16, 2006 @07:21PM (#14486468)

      One question for OSS projects currently using GPL, will be, should they relicense?

      Most GPLed software already gives you the option of choosing to use a later version of the GPL, so no relicensing needs to happen.

      For example, should Linux become GPL3'd?

      Linux is a special case. It's explicitly GPL version 2 only, and most of the code has been submitted with that understanding. If Linus wanted to switch to this new version, he'd have to get permission from everybody who's got code in Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2006 @07:37PM (#14486587)
    The FSF have provided a document explaining the rationale [fsf.org] behind the changes in each section of the license.

    Before blindly criticizing the wording of a certain section, I suggest reading the rationale behind the changes.

    - Does the text in the License do what they intended it to do?
    - Do you agree or disagree with what they intended?
    - Are the possibly-bad side effects of the text which aren't mentioned in the rationale?
  • The R in DRM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday January 16, 2006 @07:47PM (#14486673) Journal
    GPLv3 is calling DRM Digital Restrictions Management. A good description, but isn't the term actually Digital Rights Management? Ought to state both terms. Would hate to lose a court case on a technicality based on imprecise terminology. I thought renaming it Restrictions was a clever joke, and we don't want the GPL to look like a joke. Gives opponents a wedge they can use to try to discredit the whole thing.
    • Re:The R in DRM? (Score:3, Informative)

      by sepluv (641107)
      They don't use that term in the (normative) text of the license, just as a heading.

      Anyway the term intentionally (by it's authors) has no definite semantics (so really couldn't appear in a legal document without definition), and the FSF's expansion of the acronym more accurately describes what the term is usually used to refer to.

  • ...about downloading and trying any GPL library because ultimately I've found too many unclear explanations on what I can and cannot do with it related to code I make money on. In some cases, I'd like to pay for the right to use it commercially but can't even figure out who to write the check to and for how much.

    I wish authors releasing good libraries under GPL would also assume that is OK to make money with it too. Just spell out the terms and conditions for us commercial types too. Not all of what I do is commercial of course, some is free (as in beer) in which case GPL tends to be fine.

    I hate being the kind of person who uses other people's contributions but can't contribute back all the time. I hope the new license clears some of this up for me.
    • I wish authors releasing good libraries under GPL would also assume that is OK to make money with it too.

      You can _always_ make money with GPL programs. Or at least, you can legally try. You could take e.g. gimp, and sell it, provided you comply with the gpl terms: that anyone can take the source code you're distributing and modify it, and sell it themselves if they wish. The thing is, if you do this precise kind of stuff, you might have negative publicity. It is nevertheless your right under the GPL.

      More

  • by bitspotter (455598) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:13PM (#14487520) Journal
    Interesting that in the rationale, they decided against taking action to close the web services/remote execution loophole.

    It's doubly interesting that, while they made some changes to combat DRM, they said nothing at all about Trusted/Treacherous Computing, which is the foundational layer enabling most modern DRM.

    I think that's good, because I believe you can use the latter to combat the former [r30.net], just by leveraging existing terms in GPLv2, combined with the public's natural interest in retaining privacy.

  • GPL and linking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mewphobia (630153) on Monday January 16, 2006 @11:33PM (#14487847) Homepage
    Does someone mind explaining to me the deal with GPL and linking? AFAIK, you can only link GPL'd programs to GPL'd programs.

    But what is the inherent difference between linking and communicating with a program in another manner?

    If my code communicates with a GPL program via tcp/ip, or via function calls the only logical difference i can see is speed?

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

Working...