Where, Oh Where, Is the GPLv3?
The GPLv3 should have been out by now. What happened? (Linux-Watch)Almost two years ago, the FSF (Free Software Foundation) started work on the first update of the GNU GPL (General Public License) in over a decade. A last-minute hitch, though, is keeping the license from appearing. The FSF announced at the May 2005 LinuxWorld Expo that the GPLv3 would be out soon . The project has taken a little longer than expected. At last report, the GPLv3 (GNU General Public License 3) was to be out by early 2007. According to Peter Brown, the FSFs executive director, "We continue to work on the details of the GPLv3 as it relates to the situation presented by the Novell and Microsoft deal. We are researching issues related to potential unintended consequences of the language we plan to adopt. As soon as we are satisfied with the results of our research we plan to bring forward the next draft."
As written, the patent clauses in the Novell/Microsoft agreement do not violate the current terms of the GPLv2. The leader of the FSF and chief author of the GPL, Richard Stallman, explained at a GPL meeting in Tokyo in November 2006: "What has happened is, Microsoft has not given Novell a patent license, and thus, section 7 of GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent license that is rather limited to Novells customers alone."