Free Software Foundation releases first draft of GPLv3
Monday, January 16, 2006
The Free Software Foundation released the first draft for the next version of the GNU General Public License at the International Public Conference for GPLv3 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, today. The revisions mark the first changes to the GPL since the second version was released in 1991.
According to Richard M. Stallman, the president of the Free Software Foundation, the most significant change to the license are changes to allow GPLv3 to be compatible with other popular free software licenses, notably the Apache Software License 2.0 and the Eclipse license. A second significant change, according to Stallman, is the addition of a clause prohibiting the use of GPL software for Digital rights management (DRM), "something for which there can never be toleration."
As of noon EST today, the license is available in draft form on the Free Software Foundation's website. The conference about the license, which continues now and into Tuesday, is being held in Building 10, Room 250, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Approximately 200 people attended the morning session of the conference, during which Eben Moglen gave what he called a "quick" 90 minute overview of the license changes.
While Moglen's presentation covered a great deal of legal detail, it was not without levity. When the cell phone of Dave Turner, an FSF staff member sitting in the front row, rang during Moglen's speech, Stallman broke in, requesting of the audience, "If you have brought in a portable tracking and surveillance device, you should turn it off," before making other remarks about the police.
The crowd at the conference included a large number of free software celebrities, including Bruce Perens, Andrew Tridgell, and Chris diBona. According to Wikinews reporter Brandon Stafford, it seemed that IBM and Sun were the corporations with the most employees present. Representing the companies were Bob Sutor, Craig Cook, and Mark Brown from IBM and Simon Phipps and Doug Johnson from Sun. Also in attendance were representatives from Intel, Redhat, MySQL AB, Hitachi, and Qualcomm, among others.