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GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released 242

Posted by Zonk
from the revisions-are-fun dept.
thppft! writes "The second discussion draft of the GNU General Public License version 3 was released, along with the first discussion draft of the GNU Lesser General Public License. Along with the text for the licenses , the GPLv3 website also includes an introduction by Eben Moglen along with markup changes to the rationale and the GPL itself."
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GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released

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  • Some more info (Score:5, Informative)

    by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:37PM (#15794862) Homepage Journal

    After my submission was rejected, I figured another submission based on this story was in the queue, so I put the below links together:

    Four transcripts which include the post-talk Q&A sessions from presentations by Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen:

    And two very useful docs:

  • Re:more than diff (Score:5, Informative)

    by foregather (578505) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:56PM (#15795001)
    If you are looking for more that fsfeurope's plain text diff, FSF is providing a strikethrough version of this second Draft, that highlights all the changed text from Draft 1, in LaTex [fsf.org], Postscript [fsf.org], and PDF [fsf.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:04PM (#15795048)
    GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

    Discussion Draft 2 of Version 3, 27 July 2006

    THIS IS A DRAFT, NOT A PUBLISHED VERSION OF THE GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.

    Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA
    Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
    Preamble

    The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other program whose authors commit to using it. You can apply it to your programs, too.

    When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

    To protect your rights, we need to make requirements that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. Therefore, you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.

    For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

    Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software, and (2) offer you this License which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.

    For the developers' and authors' protection, the GPL clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free software. For both users' and authors' sake, the GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed, so that their problems will not be associated erroneously with the original version.

    Some computers are designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them. This is fundamentally incompatible with the purpose of the GPL, which is to protect users' freedom to change the software. Therefore, the GPL ensures that the software it covers will not be restricted in this way.

    Finally, every program is threatened constantly by software patents. States should not allow patents to restrict development and use of software on general-purpose computers, but in places where they do, we wish to avoid the special danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, the GPL assures that patents cannot be used to render the program non-free.
    TERMS AND CONDITIONS
    0. Definitions.

    In this License, each licensee is addressed as "you," while "the Program" refers to any work of authorship licensed under this License. A "modified" work includes, without limitation, versions in which material has been translated or added. A work "based on" another work means any modified version, formation of which requires permission under applicable copyright law. A "covered work" means either the unmodified Program or a work based on the Program.

    To "propagate" a work means doing anything with it that requires permission under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a computer, or making modifications that you do not share. Propagation includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making available to the public, and in some countries other activities as well. To "convey" a work means any kind of propagation that enab
  • by MeanMF (631837) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:09PM (#15795070) Homepage
    The only GPL code that has any real traction in the enterprise is Linux. And they've already stated that they're perfectly happy with version 2 of the GPL.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:10PM (#15795075) Journal
    Looking through the new draft, they've made major improvements to the wording of things, which is good because in the first version the prose was thicker than molasses. Specifically, the part about releasing the keys necessary to run the source (the TIVO clause) is much clearer and easier to understand.
    The other changes seem to be patching holes in the logic that might have allowed someone to get around the GPL.
  • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:13PM (#15795098)
    And gcc. And Gnome. And all the GNU utilities. ANd thats only the list of things I've used in the past 15 minutes or so.
  • Biggest Change (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stalyn (662) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:15PM (#15795109) Homepage Journal
    The word DRM and the phrase Digital Restrictions Mangement no longer appear in the document. Instead they define a clause called "No Denying Users' Rights through Technical Measures" which is basically the new anti-DRM clause.

  • by rm69990 (885744) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:20PM (#15795139)
    The provision in the first draft was that if a project implemented a feature that had a command to download the source code, the web service provider had to keep this in-tact, otherwise, there was no requirement. In other words, it is completely up to the OSS project devs whether this requirement is present or not. Which is reasonable.
  • by lordcorusa (591938) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:28PM (#15795187)
    One of the things that was discussed regarding the GPL v3 was adding a provision that made web services considered distribution that would require eleasing [sic] the source as per the GPL...

    The short story is that this definition of distribution (distribution is now called "conveying" in license language) has been rejected by the FSF and does not appear by default in this draft of GPL3.

    The longer story: Some web services projects do want to include a link to allow users to download source, and they do want to limit server administrators from removing this capability. To appease this group, the FSF has added an optional license provision that forbids removal of such a feature. I repeat, this is an optional license feature that takes effect if and only if a given project explicitly activates it.

    I suspect that you are right and that most web service providers will not want to use up resources with users downloading web service source. So, I suspect that the market will cause any such projects to diminish in popularity. The important thing to note is that the FSF is not forcing this notion of distribution on any project using the GPLv3.

    On a related note, the GPLv3 drafts Section 7b contains a list of optional license restrictions (including the above mentioned restriction) that are permissible. All of these restrictions are things that the FSF does not believe are necessary to maintain a Free program, but that the FSF acknowledges won't seriously harm user freedom if individual projects choose to activate them. Mostly, this list is provided to improve the GPLv3's compatibility with other Free Software licenses which contain equivalent restrictions but are incompatible with GPLv2. This attempt at license compatibility with other Free Software licenses is a big improvement for the GPL.
  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:29PM (#15795192) Homepage Journal

    I had to forget something. Here's a transcript of comments by Alan Cox [fsfe.org].

  • Re:Applicable? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rm69990 (885744) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:32PM (#15795208)
    Yes, you're right that copyright law doesn't cover use. However, you DO have to have a license to modify the code as well, irregardless of whether you distribute it. As soon as the webmaster modifies the code for use in his web app, he must comply with the GPL. By removing that code that implements this feature, he is modifying the code outside of the terms of the GPL, and thus in violation.

    Remember, copyright law places limitations not only on distribution, but also on modification and creation of derivitive works, even if there is no distribution of those modified works. So that is how this clause works. If you made a derivitive of Windows for internal use without Microsoft's permission, you would be infringing their copyright, unless you had a license to do so.
  • Torvalds unimpressed (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:40PM (#15795256)
    Linux Watch has published some comments from Linus [linux-watch.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:18PM (#15795470)
    FUD. RTFL.

    Works created using GPL'd software, not containing the source or object code, explicitly do NOT fall under the license. Most programming language runtimes are licensed with a special exception to allow programs to run without falling under the GPL.
  • by Arker (91948) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:22PM (#15795493) Homepage
    MySQL owns the code they dual license. They're free to under it under whatever terms they like. Same for Trolltech and many others. If they decide to go to GPLv3 that won't affect their ability to offer the same code under a different license at all. In fact, I suspect they'll be in a hurry to switch to v3, as to whatever degree it's more restrictive of commercial use (I don't think it is at all, but that seems to be the impression people are getting, and in business perception is often more important than reality) that would just make it more likely that companies buy their commercial license rather than using it for free under the GPL.

    The Apache and (modified) BSD licenses in common usage are one-way compatible to GPL v2. That will remain true with v3.

    Honestly, most of the changes people are focusing on are inconsequential. For the most part v3 just clarifies things that are already in v2. Even tivoisation is probably illegal under v2, v3 just makes it absolutely clear so that they copyright holders will no longer have the prospect of a long and expensive court case to prove it.

    The one really scary clause in v3 seems to be the one that everyone overlooks. The license termination clause looks rather toothless in comparison to GPL2, and, outside of the guy that runs the GPL violations web site, no one seems to be paying much attention to that.
  • by Elladan (17598) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:22PM (#15795494)
    The idea of this requirement is to stop the client from having to differentiate itself to the server. So in this case, the client could (at your - the user's - option) send the same user agent string, or not. It's up to you.

    The point is to prevent people from putting out GPL systems that implement DRM client-executable authentication. An example would be if the client was required to transmit a SHA1 hash of its executable image to the server, and the server then decided whether to give you the page or not based on that.

    For such a system to pass the GPLv3 requirements, then the correct SHA1 hash for the version the server wants to talk to has to be included along with the source code, and the source code, when you build it, has to send that hash instead of a real hash. In other words, it has to keep working when you build your own copy, even if you change it.

    This requirement basically forbids that sort of thing entirely. You can give a hash, and the server can respond to that hash, but it can't be a secret hash. This is the sort of thing DRM systems sometimes do to make sure you can't access your data. For example, games like WoW and EQ do things like this to prevent you from using a GPLed game client.
  • So, if I used a GPLed programming language to make my website, must I offer the full source to that language? What if I use GPLed software to generate a movie, then put it on the web? Now, what if I use GPLed software to generate a random file, then put it on the web? What if that file is html? Where's the line?

    Mmmmmm!!! Delicious FUD cakes! Straight from Bullshit Lane Bakeries.

    The GPL has never, will never, and can never cover the generated output of any GPL'ed program. This can only occur in the mind of a poor deluded fool, such as yourself. The GPL covers only the source code, and binaries generated from the source code. Not, I repeat, not binaries generated from the binaries, or anything else they might produce.

    As for a "GPL'ed programming language", I don't even know what the hell that's supposed to mean. Languages exist independantly of the programs that interpret them, in theory at least. Language symantics cannot be copyrighted anymore than mathematical relationships can.
  • by eliot1785 (987810) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:30PM (#15795772)
    I just wanted to note that I think that posts critical of GPL v3 and the GPL in general seem to be modded down fairly quickly as "flamebait" and "trolling" even if they have good points. I don't think that is appropriate.
  • by lordcorusa (591938) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:45PM (#15795838)
    Oh, joy. Now, when trying to use multiple open source projects, we can't even assume that two GPLv3 projects have compatible licenses. "libAardvark is GPLv3 with restrictions 4, 7, and 19, and gLlamaBoy is GPLv3 with restrictions 1, 8, and 21-36. We'll have to rewrite one of them."

    Remember, any GPLvX code can automatically be linked to any other GPLvX code (although not necessarily to GPLvX-1 code). The allowable optional restrictions of section 7b do not impose contradictory burdens (that is, option 2 does not contradict option 3, etc) nor do they really add significant burdens to the vanilla GPLv3 (with the exception of 7.b.4 which is the web services option and the one everyone is still up in arms about). They are just minor differences in effect and the purpose of Section 7 is to allow modules with such minor licensing differences to be linked.

    In fact, not only is the purpose of this section to allow you to link code under all permutations of the GPLv3, it also allows you to link GPLv3 code to various Free Software licenses that were not previously linkable due to minor wording differences or patent retaliation clauses. In fact, the controversial 7.b.4 section was to allow linking with the Affero Free Public License. The big debate should not just be whether 7.b.4 is okay, but also whether the Affero Free Public License is really a Free license.
  • by lordcorusa (591938) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:03PM (#15795904)
    The one really scary clause in v3 seems to be the one that everyone overlooks. The license termination clause looks rather toothless in comparison to GPL2, and, outside of the guy that runs the GPL violations web site, no one seems to be paying much attention to that.

    The draft 2 clarification seems to make it better. The license says that the copyright holder has 60 days from the date of last violation to put the violator on notice. In cases of accidental violation, this means that if you fix the violation, a copyright holder can't come along 2 years later and say, "You were non-compliant 2 years ago, so your license terminated." Under the GPLv2, that situation could potentially happen (although to my knowledge, it hasn't yet).

    In situations of continual and/or deliberate violation, the 60 day limit would by definition be a rolling deadline, so the copyright holder could notify the violator, then terminate the license accordingly. The provision for termination under this case certainly is not "toothless".

    I don't see how this differs significantly from the GPLv2. It just provides a little shield for distributors who accidentally violated the GPL, but then fixed their violation and stayed clean afterward.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:36PM (#15795994)
    This version of the GPLv3 does absolutely nothing to address any of the serious problems the first one had with regards to making GPLv3 software commercially inviable.
    They claimed that (and could only claim that) with regard to bison because bison is a special case: Its output includes, like any parser generator's output, a large swath of its own source code.
    The FSF, however, has relicensed those parts of bison under a permissive license so that today you can use the output in any shape or form (including in proprietary programs).

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