Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
GNU is Not Unix

Guidelines for GPLv3 Process Released 147

Justin Baugh writes "The Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center have released a document detailing the guidelines and the process that will be used for revising the GNU GPL, and have launched a new website related to the V3 process. It was announced in a press release this morning that the FSF will be releasing the first discussion draft of the new license for comments at the International Public Conference for GPLv3 at MIT on January 16 and 17, 2006."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Guidelines for GPLv3 Process Released

Comments Filter:
  • New Clause (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Little-discussed new clause in GPLv3:

    "Every program licensed under this license must contain the phrase 'Micro$oft sux0rs!!!1' somewhere in the source code and/or documentation."
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:43AM (#14146307)
    .. namely the one in which you grant permission for your software to be distributed according to any future version of the GPL. I do know you are not required to include this clause, but both decisions can have consequences.

    Without it, it can be hard for the licensing to adapt to new requirements if not all the copyright owners can be found.

    With it, you are at the mercy of the Free Software Foundation, when it comes to new versions of the GPL. I trust the FSF completely not to have any hidden motives, but it still might be that a future version of the GPL does not suit you.

    A clause of "NAME OF FOUNDER OF PROJECT is free to upgrade this license to any future version of the GPL at his/her discretion" might be a better idea. This way, you CAN switch to new versions of the GPL even though you have thousands of contributors each with individual copyright on bits of the code, but you can also refuse to license the software under a future version of the GPL if it is not in your interest.
    • by Ckwop ( 707653 ) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:52AM (#14146379) Homepage

      A clause of "NAME OF FOUNDER OF PROJECT is free to upgrade this license to any future version of the GPL at his/her discretion" might be a better idea. This way, you CAN switch to new versions of the GPL even though you have thousands of contributors each with individual copyright on bits of the code, but you can also refuse to license the software under a future version of the GPL if it is not in your interest.

      This doesn't work. Suppose I fork your project. Now I am the project leader for my fork. Should I be allowed to relicense everyone elses under any GPL version because I forked?

      This is actually worse than the existing clause because that means I can relicense your code to any GPL version instead of just later versions.

      I actually question why we need a GPL V3 in the first place. The current GPL works perfectly well and I don't see any reason to bother using the new license at all.

      Simon

      • Eh.. NAME OF FOUNDER OF PROJECT was meant to be replaced by a specific name. That is why I emphasised it.

        If the Linux kernel had been released with the clause "Linus Torvalds is free to upgrade this license to any future version of the GPL at his/her discretion" it would NOT allow any forks to upgrade the license.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          But what happens when someone combines code from two GPL projects, one with the license upgrade rights held by Linus Torvalds, another with the same rights held by Steve Ballmer? What if you have code with 172 different license upgraders, each with rights to some parts of the code? Maybe everyone is still using GPL v2 when you start, but years later one guy upgrades all his code to GPL v3, and another to GPL v4. Now you've got a mix of GPL versions 2, 3 and 4, and maybe they aren't all quite compatible..
        • While interesting, you would have to have a bunch of clauses in how that right can (and eventually, in the case of death, must) be transfered to a different individual, or orginaztion.

          This would complicate the GPL, potentialy making it no longer international in nature. At the very least it would make it more difficult to understand for "normal people" which is, I think, a quality of the current revision(s).

          It is more-or-less this scenario that explains why some projects (usualy those sponsored by a commerc
          • It'd be totally redundant. There is already law written on how to transfer copyright. There's no need to put that into the GPL. Since the GPL rests solidly on current copyright law, there is no need to state who has the right to change the license. Obviously the copyright holder has the right.

            If you want to be the copyright holder, then get everyone in your project to assign the copyright to you. If they don't play along, then you have the option of refusing their patches.

            • If I add to your GPL'd code to improve the product, and release my modifications back to your branch of the product, I still own the copyright to what I wrote. You can't change the lisence for my code because you aren't the copyright holder, even if it has very little meaning outside the context of your project.

              That's what this whole discussion is about: the best way to implement an upgradable lisence structure without requiring every single contributor's involvment.

              If the lisence to the code states that i
      • I actually question why we need a GPL V3 in the first place. The current GPL works perfectly well and I don't see any reason to bother using the new license at all.

        Fortunately, a newer GPL can't automatically invalidate an old one. If you like the current one, by all means keep using it. I suspect you won't be alone in doing so.
        • Agreed that you can just stick to GPLv2. However, 'I don't see a need' both ignores Eben M's prior editorials on why GPL3 is needed [fsf.org] and presumes you're better-versed in international IP law than he is.

          A few threads arguing for clarifying ambiguities, delving into specifics geared toward their own pet concern, and language changes also need to temper their remarks with the thought that FSF is writing general-purpose legalese applicable to a few thousand projects in ~200 countries. I don't mean 'shut up and
      • If you think the current GPL works perfectly well, just ask the Nexenta folks.
    • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:53AM (#14146388) Homepage
      Some people seem to think that clause allows the FSF to release a license that subverts the original ideal behind the GPL. But the new license must be similar in spirit to the current version according to section 9 of the license.
    • oooops... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hummassa ( 157160 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:02AM (#14146456) Homepage Journal
      1. There is no clause obligating GPL licensers to license a work under the GPL version X "or any subsequent versions". As a matter of fact, most of the Linux kernel is licensed under the GPL v2 ONLY; arguably, as most of linux is a derivative work of the initial GPL v2 ONLY Torvalds job, they have to abide to the terms of the GPL v2.

      2. It's a matter of trusting the FSF (which I don't (*)) or trusting [INSERT PERSON HERE]; my proposal is simpler: Trust the LAW. It's the only thing that (much like a computer) will do exactly as told to (and, much like a computer, you may be saying different from what you mean).

      So, my suggestions will be (I'm signing in right now):

      1. keep all rights given by the GPLv2, so GPLv3 will be compatible;
      2. eliminate the "nonexistent linking clause", by:
          2.1. stating what is NOT TO BE CONSIDERED a derivative work;
          2.2. leaving all other definitions to the law.
      3. don't try to mess with patents or trademarks because this would be incompatible with #1.
      4. don't try to mess with choice of law or choice or venue because this would be incompatible with #1 AND non-free.
      5. change the language so it's more comprehensible and leave no ambiguity behind.
      • Re:oooops... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Misch ( 158807 )
        Are you going to explain the asterisk in your statement It's a matter of trusting the FSF (which I don't (*)), or are you going to be like a certain credit card company that I've dealt with... (changing terms from "90 Days Same As Cash" to "90 Days Same As Cash*")
        • Sorry about that ... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hummassa ( 157160 )
          (*) MHO:
          1. I respect RMS for his role in setting in motion the Free Software movement.
          2. (corollary) I respect RMS for his role in starting GCC (which I use) and EMACS (which I don't use).
          3. I respect the FSF and RMS for their roles in furthering the cause of Free software.
          4. I don't trust the FSF and RMS to know that sometimes even well-intentioned people do things contrary to their own beliefs.
          5. (corollary) The GFDL is non-free and sucks. Freedom should be equally applicable to all kinds of software: pro
          • So basically you don't trust them because you don't agree with them.
            Regardless, they made their position clear before you came around, they're still transparent and their position hasn't changed.
            • (3) Not really.
              1. So basically you don't trust them because you don't agree with them. -- No, actually I don't trust them because they are actively misrepresenting stuff.
              2. Regardless, they made their position clear before you came around, -- No, actually I am around for approximately the same time as them, and their position was not made clear (read the conflicting "that is to say" GPL clause); and when they "clarified" their position about things, it was to _remove_ rights from people who considered (by r
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:08AM (#14146506) Homepage
      A clause of "NAME OF FOUNDER OF PROJECT is free to upgrade this license to any future version of the GPL at his/her discretion" might be a better idea. This way, you CAN switch to new versions of the GPL even though you have thousands of contributors each with individual copyright on bits of the code, but you can also refuse to license the software under a future version of the GPL if it is not in your interest.

      Not to get overly philsophical, but did my patch join your program, or did your program join my patch? Copyright considers it a derivative work of both, and the concept of a "founder" doesn't exist in the legal sense. Every time you took a piece of code from another project, you would have to ask them to relicense it to acknowledge you as the founder. In many cases it makes no sense at all, because an application and a library wouldn't have any reason to recognize each other as founders. You would have to end up with an LGPLish upgrade clause in the GPL, which would be a total mess. Also, one of the fundamental freedoms of the GPL is to fork the code, and the initial founder may not at all represent the current developers of the code. If you want that kind of control, make it one of the requirements for contributing. Basicly, instead of assigning copyright, just assign a limited right to release under future GPL versions (which you could also do today with GPLv2, but I don't know of anyone that does). I think that the same people who distrust FSF the will also distrust your project, and retain all relicensing rights for their own judgement so I don't think it would work if you tried.
      • Basicly, instead of assigning copyright, just assign a limited right to release under future GPL versions (which you could also do today with GPLv2, but I don't know of anyone that does).

        I think there are projects which require you to give them a BSD-style license to it rather than complete copyright assignment.

    • How about the GPL be a template for a license and you actually put a copy of the license with the code. I know it's sounds crazy and all, but I don't want to wonder what will happen to some code 2 yrs or 10 yrs down the road because of a dynamic license on the internet.

      If you release your code with GPL V2 or whatever, that particular release goes with the text of GPL V2 and that's it. Maybe your next release of code can go with V3 and if I like the changes maybe I'll adopt it. If I don't, I'll stick with
      • How about (...) you actually put a copy of the license with the code. (...) I don't want to wonder what will happen to some code 2 yrs or 10 yrs down the road because of a dynamic license on the internet.

        The FSF recommends [fsf.org] that a GPL'ed program incudes this language

        You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA

        and virtually every software I know does

    • You can always state a specific version of GPL license to your code. And if GPL v3 ever comes out, you can change the license on your next version (you can even rerelease your current software version with another license). Remember, even dual licensing is OK.
    • I trust the FSF completely not to have any hidden motives

      You may trust the FSF but it seems there is reason not to trust RMS [topology.org]

      -everphilski-
      • Why? Because he seems to favor a BSD style license to the GPL? I would look on that as a disagreement among mature adults, not a reason to fear or distrust him.
      • Re: The link

        Wow... a bad analogy on so many levels...

        An analogy for the GPL would be the farmer who receives the gift of a GPL cow from a neighbour.

        The farmer is thoroughly welcome to not accept the cow into its herd.

        The cow is completely free, but all of the milk from the cow must be given away for free,

        Since the milk is content created by a process of running the GPL cow, it's not a derivitave work of the GPL cow, it's a completley separate creation. [fsf.org] Otherwise, it'd be like Microsoft claiming copyright o
    • You're not at the mercy of the FSF. Your code will still be licensed under GPL v2 or later. So if people think the GPL3 terms are too onerous, they can keep using GPL2 as before. The only downside is if the new version is *too liberal* and lets people do things with your code that you'd rather not allow.
    • You can sleep tight then, it's not part of the GPL.
    • That's basically an assignment clause. You can do that now if you get the contributes to assign copyright and questionably the courts may find that donating to a project obvious managed by one person is an assignment of copyright. That is they might find that people who donate to kernel.org are in fact assigning copyright in a vague sense. The assumption right now is that the individual authors retain all rights but I'm not sure the courts will agree. They might see this more like a book where the projec
  • by Anonymous Coward

    that giving away software for free would be a complex world full of politics and self-appointed American rule makers squabbling over who writes the best rules and who can make a simple task as complex as possible

    • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:16AM (#14146557) Homepage Journal
      The GPL is not giving your code away for free.

      The GPL is a license to ensure that your code and other code built using it remains open and usable by others.

      Just giving the code away for free would allow an evil company to take somebodies hard work and lock it up in an exe shell with a squad of lawyers protecting the source.

      Public Domain is noble but not wise.
      • The GPL is a license to ensure that your code and other code built using it remains open and usable by others who agree with your sharing philosophy. It is for those control freaks who don't share with people of other philosophies.

        This is why I don't assign GPL. If I publish my source code and someone wants to take their own copy of that code private and sell it as a value-added alternative, they don't "steal" anything from me. They don't make my copy unavailable. They don't make anyone else's copy un

    • Law is the programming language of society.
      Cruft happens.
  • Do no harm? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by guysmilee ( 720583 )
    Can some one explain the "Do no harm" bit? I am hoping it means GPL'd software can't be used in a weapon ... but i admit i just skim read ...
    • Just make your software 3 laws safe. Problem solved.
    • Re:Do no harm? (Score:4, Informative)

      by FuzzyDaddy ( 584528 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:56AM (#14146408) Journal
      No, it doesn't mean GPL'd software can't be used in a weapon. It means avoiding unintended consequences that might stifle the freedom of free software development. You'd still be free to make a Linux controlled guided missile.
      • Does that mean you need to provide the source code to the target ?
        • Re:Do no harm? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Tim C ( 15259 )
          No, it means that you need to provide the source code to the possesor of the weapon. I don't get the source to Linux just because the website I visit is running on a machine runing a Linux distro...
          • The GPL3 will probably permit the author to include in a software a way to get the source and will force forks to keep that functionality. For instance, if there is a link to the full source code of your PHP app, it must work in all forks. This means that theorically, if the original authors wanted, you could be required to drop the license on the targets before the missiles. This could change however, since it was just a draft idea.
        • Only if does not explode.
    • It means it can only be used for making free word puzzle games and innocuous digitally-animated films about everyday things that take on anthropormorphic qualities.

      If it is found to be used for weapons guidance systems, stock market trading, hacking, or spam emailing, it will automatically erase itself from the operating system and go home.
    • I think (hope) it refers to an objective for the GPL 3 revamp not an actual clause in the new GPL: IE the changes to GPL should do no harm to existing GPL'd projects.
  • Yes, but... (Score:1, Funny)

    by seguso ( 760241 )
    > Guidelines for GPLv3 Process Released Yes, but under what license are they?
  • Stallman explicitly states that he things that open source should be sold for money. What would stop me from purchasing a copy of the software for sale, change a byte or two, call it derivate work, and sell it for a lower price? Sorry forr n00bness here, but I've never seen a good answer for this one.
    • So where is the incentive for anyone to sell an open source product at all in order to recoup development costs?

      It seems like you will sell very few copies before the (minimal) derivate work shows up for free.
      • where is the incentive for someone to buy the product from the original developers vs someone else. personally I develop bespoke applications for big companies. Generally it is wierd stuff that nobody else would want. I provide my services at a respectable daily rate and the software I produce is licensed under the GPL (mostly, there are exceptions.) You can buy Redhat Linux from Redhat, you can get an identical product for free from Centos which isn't called "Redhat Linux" because "Redhat Linux" is a tra
        • Ah. Tnx.

          Basically, companies such as RH rely on their branding to give them an edge in the sell vs. gratis decision.

          How does your client feel that the code is GPLed?

          Do they consider the risk of you letting their competitors download the code for free from your website? In effect, your client's competitors will have their development paid for by your client.

          Just trying to sync(2) up the commercial world with the open source one.
          • I don't put up much code for download on my website. I do put some stuff there packaged up in a non client specific way if I should do something of general interest. The GPL does not require that the source is posted on a website. It does not require me to distribute program and source to anyone who asks for it. It does require me to distribute the source to anyone who has obtained a copy of the program and asks for the source. I can charge a reasonable amount for production of the source. Basically in my c
    • If it is licensed under the GPL then you don't even have to change a byte. You have complete rights to resell or give away the software. Although any derative works have to be sold under the GPL so anyone you give it do can resell or give it away.
    • by n0dalus ( 807994 )
      What would stop me from purchasing a copy of the software for sale, change a byte or two, call it derivate work, and sell it for a lower price? Sorry forr n00bness here, but I've never seen a good answer for this one.

      Maybe you haven't seen a good answer because you haven't read the GPL FAQ [gnu.org]?
      • If I distribute GPL'd software for a fee, am I required to also make it available to the public without a charge?
        No. However, if someone pays your fee and gets a copy, the GPL gives them the freedom to release it t
    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:35AM (#14146701) Homepage Journal
      Stallman explicitly states that he things that open source should be sold for money.
      Well, two nit-picks. One is that RMS probably wouldn't use the word "should". ie there's no obligation to sell free software, he just believes people should have the right, legally and morally, to do so.

      The second is that RMS doesn't use the term "open source" to describe "free software". Both are, in practice, loaded terms. Free Software is associated with an ideology RMS himself identifies (and is identified) with strongly. It has baggage in terms of being associated with the right to modify and/or redistribute software you've been given. By comparison, Open Source has baggage too - it's generally associated with the superiority of a development model where anyone can contribute, and the movement to sell this development model to businesses and other professional software developers in the hope it'll encourage the creation of free software. You may feel (and a lot of people would agree with you) that this is a trivial distinction when both, ultimately, refer to software that can be freely modified and redistributed, but RMS is as interested in the baggage as he is the destination, and as such he would distance himself from any comment implying any view of "open source" and what it should be.

      What would stop me from purchasing a copy of the software for sale, change a byte or two, call it derivate work, and sell it for a lower price?
      Nothing. In fact, you wouldn't even need to modify it. And some people [openbsd.org] actually fund the development of their Free Software projects by selling copies of their programs with licenses even more liberal than RMS proposes, and do so successfully. OpenBSD uses CD sales as one of a range of funding sources, with grants and gifts from concerned parties who want OpenBSD to provide them with the features they need to be developed. This is actually something the Free Software Foundation used to do with GNU, they'd sell tapes for several hundred dollars containing the latest versions. With the Internet, that became less useful (and not worth several hundred dollars to most people), but for a time it was a good source of funding.
      • The OpenBSD CD, as a collective work, is licensed under a non-liberal license (not even remotely free).
        • Well, technically you're refering to the lack of a license, not a "non-liberal" license.

          In any case, only the layout is unlicensed. Ripping the CD as an ISO and reburning it is something you're not given permission to do, so you can't do it. However, copying the files, which are all licensed under Free Software and Open Source compliant licenses, is perfectly legal.

          And even if this wasn't true, and once receiving the CD you aren't allowed to redistribute the content, which you are, because Theo doesn't

    • Simple... NOTHING
      This is one of the flaws of the GPL. For some projects it makes sense. If a Big Company wants an application to track the service life of widgets and they will pay for all the development costs then GPL is fine. They get the source and all is happy. If you have a project that lots of people will contribute time and resources to then it is also a good solution.
      What GPL does do is let you create a product and spread the development cost over large number of users.
      A video game is a prime examp
      • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:49AM (#14146810)
        A video game is a prime example. It takes a long time to write a good game but you can only sell it for $35-$50. You could make the game engine open source and still be blessed by RMS. RMS for some reason things that it is fine for the "content" of a video game not be open source. I have no idea why he feels that way.

        RMS is a hacker. RMS thinks the innovative 3D engine in Quake is really cool, and wants to be able to play around with it to see what else he can make it do. He wants to create new things based on Quake: I recall, once the source was released, there was a mod that made Quake into a flight sim, another that gave you a warped fish-eye view, there was ttyQuake which was just deeply wrong, there were ports of Quake to every machine that would sit still long enough...

        But RMS doesn't give a damn about the levels iD happened to provide along with Quake - why should he? To a hacker, they're irrelevant. Suppose Microsoft were to say 'right, you can have the code to the Windows kernel, NTFS, SMB, the Word and Excel file formats, all under GPL. But the fonts, sound effects and wallpapers, those we're keeping.' Well, who cares? We can create our own fonts and wallpapers, dammit...

      • My company is developing some software that we will release as OSS. I doubt that we will use GPLv.3.

        Depends if you can wait 'til Spring 2007 ;)

        I think it goes too far.

        How far? There is not even a public draft. Do you mean GPLv2?

        And I don't like that the FSF can change it anytime in the future.

        They can't. Once the text is out, it is definitive.
    • what is worth more? Your knowledge about said software or the original authors'?
      And besides, the guy to which you sold your "derivative work" for less can also sell it for even less, and take away your costumers! He can even post the code on the Internet for free!
      People who sell Free Software are usually selling more commodity (the CD, the paper manuals), services (support, upgrades) than the software /per/ /se/.
    • First, Stallman doesn't explicitly state anything in terms of the open source movement. He started the free software movement over a decade before the Open Source Initiative started the open source movement and he explains why he does not agree with the philosophy behind the open source movement [gnu.org].

      What you're talking about would be better referenced by reading what RMS actually said about distributing free software for a fee [gnu.org].

      To answer your question, there's nothing prohibiting you from distributing free

    • What would stop me from purchasing a copy of the software for sale, change a byte or two, call it derivate work, and sell it for a lower price? Sorry forr n00bness here, but I've never seen a good answer for this one.

      Support packages.

      You know when you buy a Red Had server and something breaks... Who are you going to call if that Red Hat software broke on your server and you bought it from a company who didn't sell you a support package? Well you better hope you've got a good IT on hand...
  • Tell me why oh why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mu22le ( 766735 )
    What's wrong with version 2?
    Why do we need v3?
    Expecially since a lot of people seem scared by what could come out this time.
    • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:50AM (#14146830)
      We need version 3 because a lot of commercial developers are wary of the version 2 license: cleaning up some of the language and making very clear what it means for the future, along with some minor concessions for wary developers, can encourage them to use the software and participate in its development.

      We see this now with Novell and their evolution client, and we've seen copyright vagaries with X-windows, SSH, Kerberos, and other technologies in the past. Good clear language with weird exceptions addressed carefully is the hallmark of OSS.
    • The main problem is the importance of software patents in the US. The GPLv2 doesn't deal with patents. More recent licenses do (ASL2, EPL, ...). A GPLv3 is needed to take the new situation in consideration. It would be also nice if ASL2, EPL, ... become compatible.
    • by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      Version 2 leaves significant ambiguity with regard to applications used over a network. If I install fooForums that is GPL, and I modify it then put it on my website, am I distributing a modified GPL work? I'm sure distributing parts of it (the HTML etc). Right now it's not clear if the person modifying the app has any obligation to distribute source.

      One of the possibilities for GPLv3 is a clause that would allow authors of network based server side applications to include links in the app to download so
    • We need new language (ostensibly, language that would appear in version 3) to address what RMS has called "some kind of patent retaliation clause", "something to deal with this case of public use on a server the public connects to", and something that is "designed to prohibit putting the software into something that won't let the user, that refuses to run a modified version if the user installs one". RMS has said that the library exception has been "reworked".

      But generally, the GPL will stay the same: "S

  • I know that most slashdot articles are usually not more then just "X exists go there [weblink]". I would expect from an article that it would at least gives a summary of what has been changed instad just a bunch of pointers and you have to compare them for yourself. Needles to say that not everybody is an expert english speaker and might have troubles to actually determine what has been changed and what it means for the enduser. I don't really expect a full juristical treatise on this, but it would have bee
    • Nothing has changed yet in the GPL. This is just an announce for the process that will lead to the GPL v3. So you can involve yourself in the discussion.
    • Nothing has changed yet.. this is a work-draft. Even with carefull wording like "the not-yet-implemented proposals for change include foo, bar and bas" will materialize in the brain of the usual slashdot troll as "foo, bar and bas changed for good, and now we can never go back"...
      In delicate political and social matters like this one, I can only tip my hat to the notion that the good authors of slashdot stay *well* out of what has even a remote chance of getting flamed up.

      Just my .02

      ~Macavity
  • Just present a proposal GPL v3
    This constant announcement of nothing is annoying.

    So they're going to talk about the GPL v3 before releasing this, big freaking deal.
  • Since the GPL is, effectively, a EULA, it's not legally binding? So why so much fuss?
    • It is, in fact, explicitly not a EULA. It says that you are entirely free to use, install, copy for personal use, and modify The Program as a part of 'fair use'. What the GPL addresses are terms of redistribution, both of The Program and any Derived Works, which is something that is (strictly speaking) required for the redistribution of any copyrighted works, whether or not they are GPL.

      It's only legally binding if you choose to redistribute it, otherwise it's irrelevant.

    • I suspect I'm feeding the trolls, but I'll answer your question anyway.

      EULAs impose additional restrictions on the software beyond the restrictions that would naturally arise due to copyright. These restrictions almost always regard how the programs may be used or redistributed. The EULA for Internet Explorer, just as an example, technically forbids you from running it under WINE, even though there is no reason by copyright law that it would be illegal to do so. The EULA of server software frequently restri
  • The NY Times (reg req and all) has a story covering this [nytimes.com] that seems worth reading. They say RMS is a "person of emphatic views".
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/30/technology/30li c ense.html?pagewanted=print [nytimes.com]

    The New York Times had an article on the impact of the revision called "Overhaul of Linux License Could Have Broad Impact."

    some quotes:

    "Industry analysts estimate that the value of hardware and software that use the Linux operating system is $40 billion."

    "The revision process promises to be intriguing because of the man behind the G.P.L., Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation.

    The G.P.L., according to Mr. Sta
  • I wonder why the FREE software Foundation develops the GPL in a closed manner and makes such a fuss out of it. Why can't we get the draft today and fix it. Sorry, I don't understand.

    I know that Richard Stallman does not like personal registration, so why do we have to register with our full name to receive news about the GPL?

The end of labor is to gain leisure.

Working...