Growing Opposition to GPL v3

Lora Bentley

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) released the second draft of GNU General Public License v3 for public comment late last month, and some of the biggest players in open source have big problems with it.


Linux creator Linus Torvalds didn't like the first draft's stance on digital rights management, and attempts to loosen the language of the provision in this latest draft weren't enough to assuage his concerns.


For HP, the problem is the patent provision, which ostensibly requires those who distribute GPL'd code to give up patent rights they might have in that code. The language is too restrictive, HP says, and unless it changes in the final draft, the company will most likely stick with GPL v2 right along with Torvalds and the Linux kernel.


As a ZDNet UK story points out, if the trend continues, the FSF runs the risk of having two competing versions of its license in use at the same time, which will only complicate "programming and legal issues" for everyone involved.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 7, 2006 11:04 AM Alex Fletcher Alex Fletcher  says:
Hi Laura,Your entry raises an interesting point regarding the increasingly critical issue of GPL license version clash. It is never helpful to have two competing versions of any license available for use, because it's just plain too confusing regarding which is suitable for use. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) should take a great deal of care to ensure that, as good a concensus as possible can be reached before proceeding to the next step, regardless of how long it might prolong the draft and finalization process.  Reply

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