Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Latest GPL3 Status

The FSF has announced they will release the next draft of GPL3 on Wednesday March 28th – and it’s been a long time coming. The draft was originally expect out in October but was delayed when Microsoft and Novell announced Microsoft’s covenant not to sue Novell customers and contributors to Suse (Novell’s version of Linux). The FSF has spent a great deal of time trying to develop new language for GPL3 in response to that announcement, with the goal of stopping other similar deals. They have also spent time on the patent license that received so much attention from the corporate patent holders participating in the GPL3 review process.

So, changes in the draft will be significant on the patent side. We also expect to see changes in the DRM provision to limit its scope. In addition, there has been discussion of a change that will address incompatibility between GPL2 and GPL3 - some resolution is needed if the kernel remains under GPL2.

The date for the final release of the license is now July 1st. The FSF has committed to a 60 comment period for this draft and expects to turn the final draft quickly after that. Hopefully, the FSF will be able to meet those new dates.

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