GPLv3 Authors Comment on Final Draft
The GPL authors talk about how they addressed Microsoft/Novell, patents and other issues in the GPLv3's final draft.At long last, the final draft of the GNU General Public License Version 3 is out. While companies and attorneys are taking their time in reacting to this latest version, two of the GPLv3s three primary authors have shared their opinions on the almost-completed work. In a public letter, "Why Upgrade to GPL Version 3," Stallman, Richard Stallman, the GPLs chief author and founder, opens by explaining why open-source developers should upgrade their programs to the new Version 3 GPL. In the past, prominent Linux developers objected to the new license. More recently, a Microsoft-sponsored study claimed that open-source programmers actually dont want GPLv3-style patent protection.
In response to such concerns, Stallman stated, "Software patents are a vicious and absurd system that puts all software developers in danger of being sued by companies they have never heard of, as well as by all the megacorporations in the field. Large programs typically combine thousands of ideas, so it is no surprise if they implement ideas covered by hundreds of patents. Megacorporations collect thousands of patents, and use those patents to bully smaller developers. Patents already obstruct free software development."