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

Sabayon 15.04 Linux Distro Brings Xfce 4.12, Native Nvidia and AMD Video Drivers Support

The Sabayon development team had the pleasure of informing its users about the immediate availability for download of the latest monthly release of their Sabayon Linux operating system derived from the well-known Gentoo distribution. Read more

Fedora 22 Alpha Now Available For AArch64 & PowerPC64

The alpha release of Fedora 22 was released a few weeks ago for the primary CPU architectures while finally coming out today is the F22 Alpha for 64-bit ARM and PowerPC architectures. Peter Robinson announced this afternoon the Fedora 22 Alpha release for AArch64 and Power64 architectures. These alternative architecture spins of the very promising Fedora 22 are primarily focused on the Server Edition of Fedora Linux. AArch64 and Power64 users of Fedora can learn more about this first Fedora 22 development release via the mailing list announcement. Fedora 22 is expected to be officially released in May. Read more

SME Server 9.1 Beta 1 Is Now Available for Download, Based on CentOS 6.6

The Koozali SME Server development team, through Terry Fage, was pleased to announce today, March 30, the immediate availability for download and testing of the SME Server 9.1 Beta 1 computer operating system, which is now based on the upstream CentOS distribution, which in turn is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Read more

4MLinux Allinone Edition 12.0 Operating System Has It All

4MLinux Allinone Edition, a Linux operating system built from scratch that wants to provide a complete desktop experience while keeping the smallest size possible, has been upgraded to version 12.0. Read more