As expected, the Free Software Foundation has released the long-awaited GNU General Public License Version 3, the third generation of the worlds most popular free software license.
“Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the users freedom,” said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF, during a noon EDT online presentation.
“The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program.”
According to the FSF, the GPLv3 strengthens this guarantee, by ensuring that users can modify the free software on their personal and household devices, and granting patent licenses to every user.
It also extends compatibility with other free software licenses and increases international uniformity.
Jeremy Allison, a Google employee and member of the Samba team, which has long been a GPLv3 supporter, stated on Sambas behalf that he sees the new license as “a great improvement on the older GPL,” and that it is “a necessary update to deal with the new threats to free software that have emerged since Version 2 of the GPL.”