Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open-Source GPL Rewrite on Fast Track?

Filed under
OSS

Seeking to relieve patent licensing worries by the open-source community, industry heavyweights here at the Linuxworld Summit conference said a revised version of the GPL (General Public License) could arrive sooner than many had expected.

At a LinuxWorld panel, Eben Moglen, the legal counsel for the Free Software Foundation, said that the first public draft of the GNU General Public License 3 will be available for comment shortly. "It won't be long before the first public draft of the GPL 3 will be out and it will include clauses on how to conduct patent defense," he said.

he GPL is the most widely-used, free software license. Moglen estimated that 65 to 70 percent of all open-source projects were licensed under the GPL, which had its last major update in 1991. Since then, change in the software industry-such as the rise of the importance of software patent issues and questions about how the GPL handles derivate works-has made an update necessary.

Part of the push behind a revised GPL, many Linuxworld attendees suggested, is not to create simply another license, but to create a better GPL that can garner popular support and solve the most glaring problems found with the current version.

The GPL's language must be cleaned up, according to Daniel Egger, chairman of Open Source Risk Management, which offers open-source risk management products, services and insurance.

However, the hot-button issue with the GPL for Linuxworld attendees concerned patents.

Steven Henry, an IP (intellectual property) attorney with the Boston-based IP specialist law firm, Wolf Greenfield & Sachs PC, said that dealing with patent issues will be critical for the new GPL.

Patent and the "proprietary rights [that go with them] are the elephant in the room," Henry said. "Proprietary right issues must be dealt with if open source is to survive."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Introducing Gthree

I’ve recently been working on OpenGL support in Gtk+, and last week it landed in master. However, the demos we have are pretty lame and are not very good to show off or even test the OpenGL support. I’ve looked around for some open source demos that used modern GL that we could use, but I didn’t find anything that we could easily use. What I did find though, was a lot of WebGL demos that used three.js. This looked like a very nice open source library for highlevel 3d rendering. At first I had some plans to bind OpenGL to gjs so that we could run three.js, but this turned out to be a hard. Instead I started converting three.js into C + GObject, using the Gtk+ OpenGL support and the vector/matrix library graphene that Emmanuele has been working on recently. Read more

Swiss crowdfund pays for signed PDFs LibreOffice

In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April. Read more

Tumbleweed, Factory rolling releases to merge

“With the release of openSUSE 13.2 due in November, we realised this was a perfect opportunity to merge our two openSUSE rolling-releases together so users of Tumbleweed can benefit from the developments to our Factory development process over the last few years,” said Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE board. “The combined feedback and contributions from our combined Tumbleweed and Factory users should help keep openSUSE rolling forward even faster, while offering our users the latest and greatest applications on a stable rolling release.” Read more

Fedora 21 Beta to slip

Today at Go/No-Go meeting it was decided to slip Fedora 21 Beta release as we did not have release candidate (RC) available in time. However we will try one day slip. Read more