GPLv3 Emerges After Long Debate, Opposition Muted
One of the early adopters of GPL 3 will be the Samba Server project, which supplies file translation code between Linux and Windows.
Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation launched GPL Version 3 on Friday from its Boston headquarters, with an eye toward restricting patent actions against free software. GPL 3’s impact will only slowly be felt as it is adopted as the license of choice on various open source projects. But its adoption is practically assured as developers close ranks in the face of Microsoft charges that Linux and other open source code projects violate 235 of its patents. The GPL 2 and its predecessors have been the license of choice on the majority of open source code projects. The GPL revolutionized the way software is written and distributed. Instead of setting fees and license limitations, the GPL granted developers a broad writ to use code freely and modify it, but it required those modifications to be given back to the developer community.
One of the early adopters of GPL 3 will be the Samba Server project, which supplies file translation code between Linux and Windows. Jeremy Allison, leader of the project, said Version 3 “a necessary update to deal with the new threats to free software that have emerged since version 2 of the GPL.”
Allison left Novell in protest and moved to a job at Google shortly after the Microsoft-Novell deal was announced last November. That agreement supplied protection to Novell SuSE Linux customers but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in follow up statements said no such protections were offered to other Linux users.
In an e-mail exchange with InformationWeek, he said the Samba team “will be discussing a move to GPLv3 now that the license is available” but he couldn’t predict how soon it will be adopted. Allison said the provisions of GPLv3 “will provide greater protection for the freedoms of individual contributors. In the long term, it will provide greater incentive for them to contribute code.”
Read more: InformationWeek