Future of GPL? Linux? and Open source?

You all should have heard or read about GPLv3. I don’t care about the stand point of any one, what they think? why they don’t agree with each other? what ever it is all I care about is the future of Open Source development. MySQL has also rejected to release the new version under GPLv3. Samba Team is agreed to license their code under GPLv3 while on the other hand Linus and his fellow hackers don’t agree with the idea ‘anti-DRM’ behind GPLv3 and hence they denied to license the kernel under GPLv3. I hope this will not led us to a ‘GNU vs Linux’ war. Open Source community is really getting matured right now. So we are not ready for any new flame wars between the community.

In a clearification of GPLv3 FSF has made following points,

1. The FSF has no power to force anyone to switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3
on their own code. We intentionally wrote GPLv2 (and GPLv1) so we
would not have this power. Software developers will continue to
have the right to use GPLv2 for their code after GPLv3 is
published, and we will respect their decisions.

2. In order to honor freedom 0, your freedom to run the program as
you wish, a free software license may not contain “use
restrictions” that would restrict what you can do with it.

Contrary to what some have said, the GPLv3 draft has no use
restrictions, and the final version won’t either.

GPLv3 will prohibit certain distribution practices which restrict
users’ freedom to modify the code. We hope this policy will
thwart the ways some companies wish to “use” free software –
namely, distributing it to you while controlling what you can do
with it. This policy is not a “use restriction”: it doesn’t
restrict how they, or you, can run the program; it doesn’t
restrict what they, or you, can make the program do. Rather it
ensures you, as a user, are as free as they are.

3. Where GPLv2 relies on an implicit patent license, which depends on
US law, GPLv3 contains an explicit patent license that does the
same job internationally.

Contrary to what some have said, GPLv3 will not cause a company to
“lose its entire [software] patent portfolio”. It simply says
that if someone has a patent covering XYZ, and distributes a
GPL-covered program to do XYZ, he can’t sue the program’s
subsequent users, redistributors and improvers for doing XYZ with
their own versions of that program. This has no effect on other
patents which that program does not implement.

Software patents attack the freedom of all software developers and
users; their only legitimate use is to deter aggression using
software patents. Therefore, if we could abolish every entity’s
entire portfolio of software patents tomorrow, we would jump at
the chance. But it isn’t possible for a software license such as
the GNU GPL to achieve such a result.

We do, however, hope that GPL v3 can solve a part of the patent
problem. The FSF is now negotiating with organizations holding
substantial patent inventories, trying to mediate between their
conflicting “extreme” positions. We hope to work out the precise
details of the explicit patent license so as to free software
developers from patent aggression under a substantial fraction of
software patents. To fully protect software developers and users
from software patents will, however, require changes in patent law.

Richard stallman in an interview said,

The purpose of the GNU GPL is to defend for all users the freedoms that define free software. It doesn’t make sense in terms of open source. It’s the result of implementing the philosophy of free software in the most strong way that we can. So all the version of the GPL have prevented middlemen from restricting subsequent users by changing the licence. Some free software licences permit that, for example the X11 licence permits that. The various BSD licences permit that. But the GPL was specifically designed not to permit that – you cannot add restrictions making the program non free.

Now, what we didn’t have 15 years ago was the threat of making the program effectively non free by technical restrictions placed around it. That’s what Tivoisation is. Tivoisation means taking a free program and distributing a binary of it, and also providing the source, because the GPL requires that. But when the user changes the source code and compiles it and then tries to install the changed program he discovers that that’s impossible because the machine is designed not to let him. more…

Linus Torvalds vs GPLv3,

I don’t think there will necessarily be a lot of _practical_ fallout from it, so in that sense it probably doesn’t matter all that much. It’s not like we haven’t had license “discussions” before (the whole BSD vs GPL flame-war seemed to go on for years back in the early nineties). And in many ways, it’s not like the actual split between the “Open Source” and the “Free Software” mentality is in any way new, or even brought about by the GPLv3 license.

So while I think there is still a (admittedly pretty remote) chance of some kind of agreement, I don’t think that it’s a disaster if we end up with a GPLv2 and a new and incompatible GPLv3. It’s not like we haven’t had licenses before either, and most of them haven’t been compatible.

In some ways, I can even hope that it clears the air for all the stupid tensions to just admit that there are differences of opinion, and that the FSF might even just stop using the name “GNU/Linux”, finally admitting that Linux never was a GNU project in the first place. more…

Alan Cox clearly said,

There is no such thing as GNU/Linux. For an article like this it’s really important to understand and clarify that (and from the US view also as a trademark matter).

I mean there is no abstract entity even that is properly called “GNU/Linux”. It’s a bit of spin-doctoring by the FSF to try and link themselves to Linux. Normally its just one of those things they do and people sigh about, but when you look at the licensing debate the distinction is vital. (its also increasingly true that FSF owned code is a minority part of Linux) more…

Read more what other kernel developers are saying about the issue…
Greg Kroah-Hartman
Andrew Morton
Dave Miller

Whats your opinion? What is the future? How you see this issue?

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4 Responses to “Future of GPL? Linux? and Open source?”

  1. Bruce Says:

    Hi, Hameed!

    Sorry for posting off-topic here. Feel free to delete this post… But I could not find your email address anywhere.

    I have a question for you. As you know, I have a wordpress blog too ( http://brucewagner.wordpress.com )

    Can you please tell me how you got the RSS icon listed next to “Hameed’s Diary”….?

    And how you added all of the “Quick Subscriptions” buttons…?

    THANKS!

  2. Hameed Khan Says:

    Althought I’ve posted answer on bruce forum. But I am posting here again so if anyone else wants to know about it. These are sidebar widgets.. you can find them in Presentation Tab. Add Rss widget and the feed icon will automatically appear with your feed title. And quick subscription buttons are by adding links manually i.e html code in text widget. Hope this helps.

  3. Bruce Says:

    Hameed,

    Thanks!

    I don’t have your email address though… (You might want to add it to your blog’s sidebar?)

    Could you please email me so I can converse with you about the sidebar widgets you use in iTechnology? My email address is: bruce@brucewagner.com

    Also, could you please email me a TXT file containing the HTML code contained in the text widget you use for “Quick Subscriptions”…?

    Then I can just Replace your RSS URL with mine..

    Thanks SO Much!

    Bruce

  4. toqeer Says:

    it is very good operating system for everything in the computer and for the internet.

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