Thursday, May 10, 2007

A bit closer to making up

Some good news for GPLV3 watchers: Apache and GPLV3 compatibility is closer to reality after differences over the patent-termination clauses in GPLV3. Some more details are available, including the following:
An inconsistency with the Apache license involves a potential interpretation of Apache rules that would have rendered it incompatible with GPL version 3...An indemnification clause in the Apache license stipulates that if a software provider offers a warranty on its software, then the provider would have to indemnify other contributors to the program from being liable for that warranty. The clause is vague on what kind of indemnification would have to be provided....It could be construed as an additional restriction that is not part of GPL 3, he said. The GPL requires that code offered under the GPL cannot be combined with code that carries additional restrictions....
With V3 due in August, a reconciliation with a big-daddy like Apache can only mean good things. An interesting subtext to this discussion (well, perhaps its been more explicitly expressed than subtexts usually are), is the need to avoid the public-relations fiasco that would result from prominent projects and personalities' public disapproval and attendant rejection of the V3. The latest draft seems to have addressed many of those worries (if it could calm down a Torvalds frothing at the corners, then it must have done something good) - and it seems the upward trend continues with SUN continuing to make encouraging noises about their move to GPL (Java for now, and possibly Solaris later).


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