Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Newsmaker: Defender of the GPL

Filed under
OSS

Eben Moglen's life just got a lot busier. The Columbia Law School professor and attorney representing the Free Software Foundation has the new role of explaining and overseeing the update to the General Public License (GPL). That document, being revised for the first time in 15 years, is not only the embodiment of the free software movement's principles but also the legal foundation for thousands of open-source software programs from Linux to MySQL.

Moglen's client is FSF founder and leader Richard Stallman, who seeks to propagate his philosophical and technical goals through the GPL. The license requires that the source code underlying any software it governs may be freely seen, modified and redistributed; if changes are made to software that's distributed, those changes must also be published under the GPL.

The draft of version 3 of the GPL doesn't change that fundamental mechanism, but it does take a more aggressive stance when it comes to patent law. Unlike 1991's version 2, the update explicitly tackles the issue of software patents. It also takes a stand against digital rights management technology--which the FSF dubs "digital restrictions management"--that encrypts or locks software or content to govern its use.

Moglen discussed the changed license terms, his concerns about how Linux uses the GPL, and troubles with TiVo and Hollywood in an interview with CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland and Martin LaMonica at a GPL 3 conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

NVIDIA Linux Performance-Per-Dollar: What The RX 480 Will Have To Compete Against

There's a lot of benchmarking going on this weekend at Phoronix in preparation for next week's Radeon RX 480 Linux review. Here are some fresh results on the NVIDIA side showing the current performance-per-dollar data for the NVIDIA Maxwell and Pascal graphics cards for seeing what the RX 480 "Polaris 10" card will be competing against under Linux. Read more

RaspAnd Project Brings Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Raspberry Pi 3, Now with GAAPS

Android-x86 and GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has informed Softpedia today, June 25, 2016, about the immediate availability of a new build of his RaspAnd distribution for Raspberry Pi single-board computers. RaspAnd Build 160625 is the first to move the Android-x86-based distro to the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow mobile operating system created by Google. And in the good tradition of the RaspAnd project, both Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B are supported. Read more

BSD Leftovers

  • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 5 Released, Schedule So Far Going On Track
    The fifth alpha release of the huge FreeBSD 11.0 operating system update is now available for testing. FreeBSD 11.0 is bringing updated KMS drivers, Linux binary compatibility layer improvements, UEFI improvements, Bhyve virtualization improvements, and a wide range of other enhancements outlined via the in-progress release notes.
  • DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Sees Some Improvements
    The HAMMER2 file-system is going on four years in development by the DragonFlyBSD crew, namely by its founder Matthew Dillon. It's still maturing and taking longer than anticipated, but this is yet another open-source file-system.

Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" to Ship with GCC 6 by Default, Binutils 2.27

Debian developer Matthias Klose has announced that the new GCC 6 compiler, which will be made the default GCC compiler for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system, is now available in the Debian Testing repos. Debian users who are currently using Debian Testing can make GCC 6 the default compiler by installing the gcc/g++ packages from experimental. If installing it, they are also urged to help fix reported built failures in Debian Testing and Debian Unstable. Read more