GPL 3 on The Good Side?
Members of the Free and Open Source Community and its associated ecosystem are giving the thumbs up to the first draft of the new GPL 3 license.
Barely a week old, GPL 3 is a draft intended to solicit discussion and comment.
While IBM and Novell think that it’s still a bit early to tell, others, such as the leader of the community-based Debian GNU/Linux distribution, are a bit more vocal in their satisfaction with the direction the draft is taking.
Unlike commercial Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell’s SUSE Linux, Debian’s core distribution adheres to a strict interpretation of Free Software as defined in the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
Brendan Robinson, the current leader of Debian told internetnews.com in an e-mail interview that he likes the new GPL draft. Though, he did admit that the amount of secrecy around the initial draft process had him very nervous.
“I’m glad to say that my fears are assuaged,” Robinson said. “I was impressed with both the large and small changes. Many of the changes the FSF has made were simply clarifications, but I can remember many of those same points of ambiguity being raised in discussions on the Debian-legal mailing list.
“Whether Debian was the first to note any of them, I’m not sure,” he added, “but this first draft reassures me that the FSF has been listening and paying attention to the community.”
Among the improvements that Robinson highlighted is the expanded license compatibility language that makes it easier to have non-GPL-licensed materials alongside with GPL-licensed materials.
“If adopted in the final version, it will smooth the process of integrating materials under common free but non-copyleft licenses that have requirements on retention of attribution that differ from the GPL in detail but not in spirit,” Robinson explained.