Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2007 23:09 UTC, submitted by thebluesgnr
GNU, GPL, Open Source The FSF today released version 3 of the GNU GPL, the popular free software license. "Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user's freedom. The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program," said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. This article has some interesting replies from the BSD community (right in the middle).
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RE[2]: finally!
by BryanFeeney on Sat 30th Jun 2007 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE: finally!"
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All the bickering is over and now

Well, it was till Thom linked to that sensationally bad article from the Jem Report: which is the product of a fairly clever piece of trolling, or astonishingly ignorant and adolescent reporting.

It is wrong in almost every respect, and written with what is a clear bias.

I've written already, but I'll summarise some things here. The main issues with GPL v2 were

1) There were worries that it wouldn't stand up in foreign jurisdictions. This was an issue as developers all over the world were using it

2) There were worries people could incorporate GPL code into their products, sell those products, and prevent people using their changes as required by the spirit, and in theory the letter, of the license by abusing either the patent or DRM systems.

The fear that it wouldn't stand up abroad is why it was re-worded and why it now appears to be in legalese. The Jem Report author considers this to be a flaw, but what serious contract isn't written in legalese?! If I have to choose a license for my software, I'd prefer legalese to English, as ultimately it's lawyers that make the choice.

The patent and DRM restrictions are designed solely to plug the second loophole. They have been crafted after a lot of work. They do not seek to ban DRM entirely, only DRM that prevents you from reusing or altering the source-code to make derivative products.

All of this information is easily available from the Internet, and has been for some time. The GPL is not out to screw users, or to make cooperation impossible (indeed, they worked quite hard to try to make it compatible with the Apache license). It's just out to do what it's always done: protect those who share code from those who would try to use that code without sharing back. All that's changed is it's evolved to close new loopholes that have arisen.

The article was clearly written with a bias, without basic research, without consideration, and from what I can see, with a view to inflame passions. The question is, did OSNews pick such a flawed inflammatory article out of incompetence, carelessness, or a malicious desire inflame passions among its readers to maintain levels of traffic..

Edited 2007-06-30 02:02

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