Sunday, June 03, 2007

RMS on why V3 is good for you

RMS writes pretty well and here he is, doing his best to explain why upgrading to GPL V3 is a good idea. There are some useful clarifications in here (I'm not sure whether it will do much for those folks that have very fundamental disagreements with V3 but it will definitely help those who are confused by some of the discussion that the new version has generated). First, RMS points out that despite incompatibility between V2 and V3
GPL version 2 will remain a valid license, and no disaster will happen if some programs remain under GPLv2 while others advance to GPLv3.
He then goes on to explain why this incompatibility should not be such a nuisance, for
license incompatibility only matters when you want to link, merge or combine code from two different programs into a single program. There is no problem in having GPLv3-covered and GPLv2-covered programs side by side in an operating system.
He then goes on to explain its stance against Tivoization and DRM. And closes with a brief discussion of that patent deal:
Microsoft made a few mistakes in the Novell-Microsoft deal, and GPLv3 is designed to turn them against Microsoft, extending that limited patent protection to the whole community. In order to take advantage of this, programs need to use GPLv3. Microsoft's lawyers are not stupid, and next time they may manage to avoid those mistakes. GPLv3 therefore says they don't get a “next time”. Releasing a program under GPL version 3 protects it from Microsoft's future attempts to make redistributors collect Microsoft royalties from the program's users.


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