GPL: OSI’s President blesses GPLv3 draft

Michael Tiemann, President of the Open Source Initiative, today posted about the last draft of the GNU General Public License, just released by the Free Software Foundation.

As result from the FSF Press Release changes include:

tiemannTiemann by pdcawley

  • First-time violators can have their license automatically restored if they remedy the problem within thirty days.
  • License compatibility terms have been simplified, with the goal of making them easier to understand and administer.
  • Manufacturers who include the software in consumer products must also provide installation information for the software along with the source. This change provides more narrow focus for requirements that were proposed in previous drafts.
  • New patent requirements have been added to prevent distributors from colluding with patent holders to provide discriminatory protection from patents.

Tiemann commenting the draft wrote:

I have read the newly released draft of GPLv3 carefully, and I believe it is a stunning accomplishment. (Disclaimer: not only am I no Einstein, I am also not a lawyer. However, my 20 years of experience with free software, the GPL, and 18 years of commercial experience should count for something.) My reading tells me three things. First, the GPLv3 is familiar; it is not as if everything we know must be relearned. Second, the GPLv3 deals with corner cases which, if left unfixed, will collapse, taking all our good work down with them; collapse is bad enough, but predictable collapse is shameful. Thirdly, the GPLv3 reaffirms that in spite of all the growth and all the success that the free software movement has enjoyed these past 20+ years, the goal of the Free Software Foundation remains centered on software freedom, and that the only prohibition they uphold is against those who seek to undermine such freedom. It is encouraging to see an organization maintain principle in the face of prosperity.

This morning, with GPLv3 on one monitor and the OSD on the other, I read a license that should have no trouble achieving OSI certification. Based on my reading, I encourage the Free Software Foundation to submit their final draft when they are ready so that the whole open source community can review, discuss, and recommend to the OSI board whether they, too, see what I see. If so, we should see a much-needed update added to the roster of OSI-approved licenses, and we will be in a position to encourage those whose business depends upon fairness to offer them a licensing choice that is both sound and safe.

Technorati Tags: GPL, GPLv3, OSI, FSF, Tiemann