Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 14:17 UTC, submitted by Oliver
General Development GCC 4.2.1 has been released, the last release of the GNU Compiler Collection under the GPL v2. "GCC 4.2.1 is a bug-fix release, containing fixes for regressions in GCC 4.2.0 relative to previous GCC releases. GCC 4.2.1 will be the last release of GCC covered by version 2 of the GNU General Public License. All future releases will be released under GPL version 3."
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RE[2]: Novell / Microsoft deal
by BryanFeeney on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Novell / Microsoft deal"
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The GPL "license" is effectively a conditionaly waiver of the owner's funadmental rights under copyright. If the GPL were ever declared invalid, the situation would revert to standard copyright, where no-one would have the right to redistribute the product.

This simple construction makes the GPL far stronger than the EULAs used in traditional proprietary software, which rely on licensing law, and are hobbled by the fact that you often have to buy the product before you can view the license, which breaches the basics of contract law, regardless of refund schemes.

Consequently it is unlikely any court will declare the GPL invalid, or that any organisation will try to do so. The basic simplicity of its construction lends it enormous legal strength.

Furthermore, the FSF is in no way trying to "take over" Microsoft: frankly that's a lot of astonishingly paranoid nonsense. The additional restriction to the GPL is that if you copy and paste GPL code when creating your own product, and you patent your additions, you must distribute the result under the GPL, and waive all rights to your patents on those additions, so that other users can copy and paste your code just as easily as you copy and pasted from the original author's code[1].

The issue for Novell really only comes into play if they knowingly mix GPL code and patented code together. Of course, if Microsoft has informed them of the patents, and they've accepted those patents' validity as part of the contract, then they will find themselves in an awkward position, effectively unable to redistribute GPLv3 products... until they create patches to work around the patent issues. If anything, this should help open-source software work around patents, insofar as possible in the current, uncertain patent climate

[1] Note there is always the possibility that you could ask the original author to relicense his code under a different license (e.g. commercial one), should you wish to avoid these constraints. And if they refuse, well then you just write everything from scratch yourself, instead of copy and pasting other peoples' work.

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