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Views on the GPLv3 hoo-har

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OSS

There has been a lot of hoo-hah recently regarding the pros and cons of certain aspects of the drafts of Version 3 of the GNU General Public License from the Free Software Foundation. The originator of the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds himself, is playing a role here.

Unfortunately, each side has taken to the ploy of misrepresenting the other’s points. Arguments are getting heated to such an extent that you need to wear an asbestos suit just to look at the issues. However, on examination, not only do I find that both sides have valid issues but I also believe an obvious solution exists that will make most, if not all, satisfied and the world a less flame-ridden obstacle course.

First, the problem. The GPL (versions 1 and 2) was designed to guarantee four freedoms of copyleft for the work and its derivatives. These are:

Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose
Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs, access to the source code is a precondition for this
Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits

Access to the source code is a precondition for the above, especially freedoms 1 and 3.

Full Story.

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