Share and Share Alike
These include making a decision about Web services. Currently, if developers write an application using GPL parts and if that application is distributed, users must abide by the GPLs requirements of share and share alike, Moglen said. But the right of private modification is also an important right that needs to be sustained, he said. Another important area is trusted computing, "which means computers you cannot trust," Moglen said, adding that if the FSF uses its leverage correctly, it could affect what kinds of trust are recognized in the network."[Trust is] a critical point and extends well beyond the IT industry," said Zymaris. "We, as IT professionals, must act as stewards for the coming century, which, more than any previous era, will be built atop information technology. If we want a free society in the future, we must prevent any organization or collective from attaining such a level of immense control over the platforms of the future." Moglen declined to specify when GPL 3 will debut. "We need it to be right, and the community needs to be available and adopt it and make good out of it," he said. There is also a great deal of work to be done to allow the large number of stakeholders who have grown up around the GPL to have an opportunity to express Opinions and to have their thoughts taken into account in trying to frame the best possible license, Moglen said. The FSF may start soliciting the input of the open-source community as early as this year. The primary goal is ensuring that code licensed under the current version of the GPL, Version 2, can be combined with code licensed under Version 3, said officials of the Boston-based FSF. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
"But if we dont use our leverage correctly, we could wind up in a world where free software is injured very badly, where you can modify code but you cannot do anything with that modified code because the hardware will not run that code because it cannot be signed Microsoft or IBM," he said. "If that happens, free software will be excluded from hardware, and that is not an outcome we can tolerate."