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GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the revisions-are-fun dept.

242

thppft! writes "The second discussion draft of the GNU General Public License version 3 was released, along with the first discussion draft of the GNU Lesser General Public License. Along with the text for the licenses , the GPLv3 website also includes an introduction by Eben Moglen along with markup changes to the rationale and the GPL itself."

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Some more info (5, Informative)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794862)

After my submission was rejected, I figured another submission based on this story was in the queue, so I put the below links together:

Four transcripts which include the post-talk Q&A sessions from presentations by Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen:

And two very useful docs:

Re:Some more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794972)

The requested URL /projects/gplv3/diff-draft1-draft2 was not found on this server.

That's the oddest diff I've ever seen! Sort of odd formatting, but it is correct that "The requested URL /projects/gplv3/diff-draft1-draft2 was not found on this server" doesn't appear in the first draft.

those links work fine, now at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795112)

those links work fine, now at least

Re:more than diff (5, Informative)

foregather (578505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795001)

If you are looking for more that fsfeurope's plain text diff, FSF is providing a strikethrough version of this second Draft, that highlights all the changed text from Draft 1, in LaTex [fsf.org] , Postscript [fsf.org] , and PDF [fsf.org]

Re:more than diff (1)

metaforth (989521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795166)

So if I read it will I have to open source my brain?
--
Clown Car Discounts [blogspot.com]

Re:more than diff (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795573)

Do you have a doc file of it?

Re:Some more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795185)

Thanks for the links. Lord knows what use an audio file is to understanding the story. I don't, because I can't listen to it.

And, why pdfs? This is the web, give me a web format! I'm not printing anything off slashdot!

Blind discussing the blind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794893)

"GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released"

Well considering the number that can't get the original right. This discussion should be interesting.

Re:Blind discussing the blind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794910)

I think it's more aptly, "The blind giving eye exams to the blind"...

Re:Blind discussing the blind. QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795024)

I would suggest, "The blind lecturing the sighted on how to properly see."

Ok, that's all well and good but...? (-1, Offtopic)

Antiochius (959975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794904)

When will a practical GNU HURD kernel for x86 machines be released?

Re:Ok, that's all well and good but...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794944)

When will a practical GNU HURD kernel for x86 machines be released?
In related news, it has been announced that GNU HURD will be the only supported operating system for Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Ok, that's all well and good but...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795084)

Now that was pretty damn funny, I don't care who you are!

Marge, change the channel...zzZZzzZZzz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794915)

Seriously.

Dear Slashdot (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794923)

In the future, please warn when linking to audio files.

Re:Dear Slashdot (3, Funny)

ameoba (173803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795210)

You must be new here - nobody ever actually reads the articles.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795665)

With all the dupes, if you read one, you read them all.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

CrankyOldBastard (945508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795379)

Why was this modded as Funny? I too would like links to audio files clearly marked as such.

v3, eh? (1, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794951)

What, did they fix all the bugs in the previous version already?

Re:v3, eh? (1, Funny)

P0ldy (848358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794982)

No, but they're expecting to take care of that with a service pack to v3.

Re:v3, eh? (1)

hunterkll (949515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795302)

Man, when I saw that I thought of the joke japanese people made with the japanese constitution drawn up after WW2... "What, it's been translated to japanese already?"

What Constitutes Distribution (2, Interesting)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794998)

One of the things that was discussed regarding the GPL v3 was adding a provision that made web services considered distribution that would require eleasing the source as per the GPL (as opposed to applications which are used internally but not distributed, where there is no source code distribution requirement). If they do choose to include such a provision, it could stifle the development of new and innovative web applications as the financial incentive for development would be removed.

Microsoft is already waging a scare campaign comparing the source distribution clause of the GPL to a virus. Why should the open source community give tbem more ammunition to attack the GPL while limiting the use of GPL code in web applications?

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795067)

People put code out under the GPL because they want changes to be redistributed. The fact that you could use the code as a webservice was never intended as a feature of the GPL, it was a loophole. It allowed a way for people to redistribute GPLed code as a service without releasing changes. If this change makes it into GPL3 it will be a good thing. IMO, its one of the two most important changes needed in the GPL (the other being patents).

Your option, if you don't like this, is not to use GPLv3 code in your webservice, just like everyone else using GPLed code. You no onger get to have your cake and eat it too.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795234)

So, if I used a GPLed programming language to make my website, must I offer the full source to that language? What if I use GPLed software to generate a movie, then put it on the web? Now, what if I use GPLed software to generate a random file, then put it on the web? What if that file is html? Where's the line?

It's a bad idea that would just drive people towards other licenses.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795470)

FUD. RTFL.

Works created using GPL'd software, not containing the source or object code, explicitly do NOT fall under the license. Most programming language runtimes are licensed with a special exception to allow programs to run without falling under the GPL.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (4, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795578)

So, if I used a GPLed programming language to make my website, must I offer the full source to that language? What if I use GPLed software to generate a movie, then put it on the web? Now, what if I use GPLed software to generate a random file, then put it on the web? What if that file is html? Where's the line?

Mmmmmm!!! Delicious FUD cakes! Straight from Bullshit Lane Bakeries.

The GPL has never, will never, and can never cover the generated output of any GPL'ed program. This can only occur in the mind of a poor deluded fool, such as yourself. The GPL covers only the source code, and binaries generated from the source code. Not, I repeat, not binaries generated from the binaries, or anything else they might produce.

As for a "GPL'ed programming language", I don't even know what the hell that's supposed to mean. Languages exist independantly of the programs that interpret them, in theory at least. Language symantics cannot be copyrighted anymore than mathematical relationships can.

What Constitutes Distribution-Web APIs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795249)

"It allowed a way for people to redistribute GPLed code as a service without releasing changes."

Since when has exposing an API been against the GPL?*

*Let alone what that does to the whole "distribution or linking" argument.

"Your option, if you don't like this, is not to use GPLv3 code in your webservice, just like everyone else using GPLed code. You no onger get to have your cake and eat it too."

The flip side of that statement is that the world exercise that "option" and choses to not use anything GPL. The winner most certainly is not the GPL as far as web services are concerned (and that feeling could extend to other areas as well).

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (2, Insightful)

eliot1785 (987810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795744)

"People put code out under the GPL because they want changes to be redistributed. The fact that you could use the code as a webservice was never intended as a feature of the GPL, it was a loophole. It allowed a way for people to redistribute GPLed code as a service without releasing changes. If this change makes it into GPL3 it will be a good thing. IMO, its one of the two most important changes needed in the GPL (the other being patents)." But does GPLv3 actually do anything about this? I juat gave it a couple of skims and couldn't find anything to that effect. It does seem to be just based on distribution.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795108)

GPL v2 is already anti-patent. If, under the GPLv2, you release code which implements a patented algorithm, you have to allow others to do the same, thus making your patent royalty-free. If you don't own the patent, you can't release the code anyway. The GPLv3 clarifies a lot of stuff already covered by GPLv2.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795163)

No, not exactly. That requirement ONLY kicks in if there is a court order restricting distribution, or if the patent holder asserts their rights against the project. The simple existence of the patent doesn't mean you can't distribute the code. Section 7 of the GPL makes clear that it only kicks in "if conditions are imposed on you".

free as in "free to shoot yourself in the foot"? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795518)

It must be a great comfort to know that the new GPL allows you to distribute code that violates patents thus enabling you to be sued.

Re:free as in "free to shoot yourself in the foot" (3, Insightful)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795673)

Ummm, the old GPL allowed you to as well. In-fact, I was talking about the GPL v2, and it was the GPL v2 that I had open in-front of me when I wrote that comment. The GPL v3 increases the restrictions, but against the patent holding companies. Could you please actually read it (both 2 and 3)?

Commercial software companies are unable to filter every single patent in the world to make sure they are not infringing any of them, what makes you think a 2 developer team would be able to? For the GPL to require anyone to do so would be impractical...hell, to require Microsoft to do so would be impractical. The patent system is broken, and it is impossible to do what you think the GPL should require developers to do. The FSF found a balance, only requiring a ceasing of distribution once the patent holder requires it.

Do you honestly think every distributor of software, both proprietary and open source, knows every single patent in the world and whether or not they infringe it? If you do, you are incredibly naive.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795126)

TNSTAAFL?

I may be an OSSer, but I have nothing against commercial code, per se. How about this?: choose the set of rules you wish to operate under. If you want to keep the code closed to make money, pay money for your code base. If you wish to use GPLed code, pay for it with GPLed code. And there's always BSD.

The GPL does not exist to promote the development of new and innovate web applications. It exists to promote the development of new and innovate code available to The People. Nor is the GPL the source of Microsoft's FUD. It is not its duty to ammeliorate it, but to oppose it.

Personally I don't really care whether you agree with it or not, but that is what the damned license is for.

KFG

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795277)

If I get it, the new version puts more restrictions on combining proprietary and open source code libraries. Is this not correct? If it is, how would this affect applications/companies like MySQL? Don't they have two versions (if I am not mistaken), a GPL version and a commercial version. They are in business to make money. Will this prevent them from releasing their RDBMS for free under the GPL (or vice versa, prevent them from releasing a closed source version)? Even if MySQL might not work this way, are there any open source applications that could be killed off by this/like this? Would something like GNUv3 scare Sun from Open Sourcing Java, or would they use their own licence? If so, would that license be incompatible with GNUv3 and prevent people using it with open source projects? What about the Apache license... will they be compatible? Will it be compatible with BSD projects or create a rift?

I'm just curious about the broader ramifications. Most of the meaningful open source code base is contributed to by people working for private companies (the Linux kernel, Open Office, etc... I know I will be slagged for not including several hundred examples). Might this affect how they operate and reduce their contribution? Can anyone provide some insight into this aspect?

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795410)

Will this prevent them from releasing their RDBMS for free under the GPL. . .?

If they ever write one it might be something to take into consideration. :)

Would something like GNUv3 scare Sun from Open Sourcing Java, or would they use their own licence?

They already have their own license, yes.

What about the Apache license... will they be compatible?

That's something that's actually come up in the discussions and is being dealt with.

KFG

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795466)

how would this affect applications/companies like MySQL? Don't they have two versions (if I am not mistaken), a GPL version and a commercial version.

MySQL is the copyright holder, that is what gives them the right to dual license under the GPLv2 and a commercial license, and nothing in GPLv3 can take away their rights as the copyright holder to license their work as they wish.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (2, Informative)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795493)

MySQL owns the code they dual license. They're free to under it under whatever terms they like. Same for Trolltech and many others. If they decide to go to GPLv3 that won't affect their ability to offer the same code under a different license at all. In fact, I suspect they'll be in a hurry to switch to v3, as to whatever degree it's more restrictive of commercial use (I don't think it is at all, but that seems to be the impression people are getting, and in business perception is often more important than reality) that would just make it more likely that companies buy their commercial license rather than using it for free under the GPL.

The Apache and (modified) BSD licenses in common usage are one-way compatible to GPL v2. That will remain true with v3.

Honestly, most of the changes people are focusing on are inconsequential. For the most part v3 just clarifies things that are already in v2. Even tivoisation is probably illegal under v2, v3 just makes it absolutely clear so that they copyright holders will no longer have the prospect of a long and expensive court case to prove it.

The one really scary clause in v3 seems to be the one that everyone overlooks. The license termination clause looks rather toothless in comparison to GPL2, and, outside of the guy that runs the GPL violations web site, no one seems to be paying much attention to that.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (4, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795610)

I may be an OSSer, but I have nothing against commercial code, per se. How about this?: choose the set of rules you wish to operate under. If you want to keep the code closed to make money, pay money for your code base. If you wish to use GPLed code, pay for it with GPLed code.

I have to disagree with you on this one. I'm not convinced that transmitting the output of, say, phpBB2 is the same as distributing the source of phpBB2. If I install it and modify a page, should I be obligated to make my patch available to anyone who views that page? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way, but a real issue that the GPLv3 introduces.

The same could be said of any other GPLv3ed software that uses some kind of templating system to generate output. Word processors, code generators, database frontends, drawing programs: those all incorporate parts of themselves into their end products. Should graphics drawn with The GIMP be GPL because they contain circles made by The GIMP's copyrighted code? If not, then what's the fundamental difference between The GIMP and phpBB that should restrict the output of one and not the other?

I apologize if this comes off like a troll, but I'm really curious. I don't understand this viewpoint but would be interested in seeing it logically supported.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (2, Informative)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795139)

The provision in the first draft was that if a project implemented a feature that had a command to download the source code, the web service provider had to keep this in-tact, otherwise, there was no requirement. In other words, it is completely up to the OSS project devs whether this requirement is present or not. Which is reasonable.

Applicable? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795168)

I don't understand how the user of the software (in this case, the webmaster) is bound by that requirement. The GPL is not an EULA, as I understand it. I don't have to agree to the GPL to use GPL'd software, only to distribute it.

Re:Applicable? (3, Informative)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795208)

Yes, you're right that copyright law doesn't cover use. However, you DO have to have a license to modify the code as well, irregardless of whether you distribute it. As soon as the webmaster modifies the code for use in his web app, he must comply with the GPL. By removing that code that implements this feature, he is modifying the code outside of the terms of the GPL, and thus in violation.

Remember, copyright law places limitations not only on distribution, but also on modification and creation of derivitive works, even if there is no distribution of those modified works. So that is how this clause works. If you made a derivitive of Windows for internal use without Microsoft's permission, you would be infringing their copyright, unless you had a license to do so.

Re:Applicable? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795252)

Interesting. I can see how that makes sense, which is a lot better off than I was a minute ago. Thanks!

But don't we generally think that application of copyright law is bad / stupid / evil? Is the FSF now going to assert that I can't make FLACs of my CDs, or that I can't edit curse words out of my movies?

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795360)

The GPL has relied upon copyright law since its inception (or has applied it). If it didn't, you wouldn't have to abide by it.

Re:Applicable? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795570)

"But don't we generally think that application of copyright law is bad / stupid / evil?"

Dude, are you a robot? Form your own opinion. I personally have no problems with Copyright law, and only have problems with the newer incarnations of Patent law that allow ideas to be patented, but I suggest you google for information on the subjects to decide for yourself.

Re:Applicable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795260)

What if the code is not modified, but just linked in? Then their is no modification _and_ no distribution. Are such web services permitted under GPL.3?

And how can the GPL define distribution? The GPL exists as a licensing agreement under copyright law, which defines distribution.

BTW: There is no such word as irregardless.

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795324)

Well durrr, if there was no modification then the command allowing the download of source code would still be present in the program, sherlock. By removing this command, there IS modification by that very act, and thus the GPL applies....what is so difficult to understand about that???

And where exactly did I say the GPL is defining distribution. If you would kindly re-read my comment, I am saying that it is the modication, NOT distribution, that is making the GPL kick in. In-fact, I explained pretty clearly that modifying copyrighted works is covered under copyright law, GPL or no GPL, and whether or not there is distribution. Did you finish my comment before replying?

And btw: I don't really care.

Re:Applicable? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795481)

Simply put a little proxy in front of the web app and have it filter out the link.

Re:Applicable? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795421)

No, you are wrong. Copyright places no restriction on the modification of a work. I can scribble in, say, a cookbook all I want and commit no violation of the terms, even if I then use that modified cookbook to prepare a meal for someone. Likewise, modifying software has no bearing on copyright (outside fascist DMCA provisions, of course.)

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795638)

Section 106(2) of the U.S. Copyright Act provides a copyright holder with the exclusive right to "prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work". It mentions nothing about distributing said derivative work, just that the exclusive right to make those works belongs to the copyright owner.

I have looked through more of the copyright act, and am unable to find a section that says that if you don't distribute that work, it is legal. Please point me in the right direction. Thanks!

Re:Applicable? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795721)

I was just reading the same section myself; after a discussion in freenode's #gnu, I must concede your point. I suppose that makes my cookbook example illegal as well.

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795767)

Not necessarily, your cook-book example would likely be covered under fair use. No court in the world would award a copyright holder damages based on you jotting notes in a book. In-fact, I don't even know if that would qualify as creating a derivative work. Colleges and Universities encourage their students to do just this. If you re-typed the cook-book with your modifications included, then I could see that as creating a derivative work. Modifying a copyrighted computer program to add or remove functions is on a different level. Again, I could be wrong of course.

Re:Applicable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795214)

You're right that users that don't distribute don't have to (it's not a EULA as you say) but it means that when they redistribute (and when redistributing includes making the web service available to others) then they have to continue having that API.

Re:Applicable? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795242)

and when redistributing includes making the web service available to others

But it doesn't include that; you're not redistributing any code. The earlier sibling post (to yours) describes what they must be thinking with this clause.

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795345)

No, it's when they modify the GPL'd code, not when they redistribute, that causes them to have to comply with that section of the GPL.

Re:Applicable? (1, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795539)

So the GPL is a EULA now? Isn't that what we've been railing against for the last several years? Modification of your own copy of any work is explicitly outside the scope of copyright law. Either GPL is a license on distribution or it is an end user license. You can't say that it isn't a EULA if you add license terms that turn it into one. Anyone who says differently is kidding him/herself.

Re:Applicable? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795696)

What section of copyright law places local modifications outside the scope of copyright law? As I stated in another comment, copyright law grants a copyright holder the "exclusive right to prepare a derivative work"...but it does not mention, in that section, distribution. I could be wrong, but I have a copy of the copyright act on my computer and looked through it and couldn't find anything supporting your position.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795201)

The provision in the first draft was that if a project implemented a feature that had a command to download the source code, the web service provider had to keep this in-tact, otherwise, there was no requirement.


While this may be reasonable in certain situations, there are cases where no distribution is involved and therefore no further copying ever takes place (the best example of this being a set of server-side scripts). In such cases the requirement to provide the source code through a special command is contingent upon use ("public use") rather than copying, which in my opinion is contrary to the spirit of the original GPL.

Does this requirement still exist in the current draft of the GPL v3?

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795240)

Does this requirement still exist in the current draft of the GPL v3?

Not by default, however it was added to the list of permitted "additional requirements":
4) terms that require, if a modified version of the material they cover is a work intended to interact with users through a computer network, that those users be able to obtain copies of the Corresponding Source of the work through the same network session;

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795289)

So? Redistribution isn't the only action requiring a license under copyright law. Creation of derivative works (ie. a webmaster removing the code implementing said feature), even with no distribution, requires a license to do so, and the derivative work must comply with the license. Hence how this clause works. It isn't contingent upon public use, it is contingent upon modification of the original work, an action that has ALWAYS been covered by the GPL.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795477)

Unless the source code is embedded in the executable itself, removing the source code from your servers does not constitute modification of the software. For that reason, such a feature is clearly contingent upon use rather than modification or redistribution.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795519)

Furthermore...

It isn't contingent upon public use, it is contingent upon modification of the original work, an action that has ALWAYS been covered by the GPL.

Although the GPL has always covered modification, it has never covered modifications when from the act of redistribution. You were always able to make local modifications without being forced to disttribute those modifications to the public.

correction (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795553)

Although the GPL has always covered modification, it has never covered modifications isolated from the act of redistribution. You were always able to make local modifications without being forced to disttribute those modifications to the public.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (4, Informative)

lordcorusa (591938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795187)

One of the things that was discussed regarding the GPL v3 was adding a provision that made web services considered distribution that would require eleasing [sic] the source as per the GPL...

The short story is that this definition of distribution (distribution is now called "conveying" in license language) has been rejected by the FSF and does not appear by default in this draft of GPL3.

The longer story: Some web services projects do want to include a link to allow users to download source, and they do want to limit server administrators from removing this capability. To appease this group, the FSF has added an optional license provision that forbids removal of such a feature. I repeat, this is an optional license feature that takes effect if and only if a given project explicitly activates it.

I suspect that you are right and that most web service providers will not want to use up resources with users downloading web service source. So, I suspect that the market will cause any such projects to diminish in popularity. The important thing to note is that the FSF is not forcing this notion of distribution on any project using the GPLv3.

On a related note, the GPLv3 drafts Section 7b contains a list of optional license restrictions (including the above mentioned restriction) that are permissible. All of these restrictions are things that the FSF does not believe are necessary to maintain a Free program, but that the FSF acknowledges won't seriously harm user freedom if individual projects choose to activate them. Mostly, this list is provided to improve the GPLv3's compatibility with other Free Software licenses which contain equivalent restrictions but are incompatible with GPLv2. This attempt at license compatibility with other Free Software licenses is a big improvement for the GPL.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795601)

On a related note, the GPLv3 drafts Section 7b contains a list of optional license restrictions (including the above mentioned restriction) that are permissible. All of these restrictions are things that the FSF does not believe are necessary to maintain a Free program, but that the FSF acknowledges won't seriously harm user freedom if individual projects choose to activate them.

Oh, joy. Now, when trying to use multiple open source projects, we can't even assume that two GPLv3 projects have compatible licenses. "libAardvark is GPLv3 with restrictions 4, 7, and 19, and gLlamaBoy is GPLv3 with restrictions 1, 8, and 21-36. We'll have to rewrite one of them."

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (2, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795645)

It may be optional, but it shouldn't even be optional. It shouldn't be there. The problem with it is that there is no answer to this question:

At what point does a forked version of a piece of code cease to be the original program?

Assume, for a moment, that PHPBB includes such a feature and includes that restriction. What happens when I take it and add functionality? They can no longer download the source that is running. The option to download the source isn't going to give customers what's running anyway, so they might as well just download it from the PHPBB web site manually. It isn't that hard to do a Google search.

What if, for a more extreme example, I write my own bulletin board application from scratch, but use PHPBB's code for handling BBCode ([b]foo[/b] style notation)? I am technically violating the license. I am using PHPBB while removing the code that displays the link to get the source code. Of course, I'm also removing 99.9% of the rest of the code in PHPBB, but the point still remains that this is a license violation, and to include that link as-is (To download the source for this bulletin board, visit LINK_GOES_HERE) would be really absurd (and patently lying if the wording can't be completely rewritten).

Basically, this option completely ignores good programming practices---namely modularity and code reuse. Anyone who attempts to use this option should be summarily banned from ever contributing code to ANY project ever again. Seriously. It's that bad. It means that the code contributed under that license can never be practically used in any form other than in its entirety as a full piece of software. This is both contrary to the letter and spirit of the GPL, as it effectively does not result in the contribution of usable code back to society as a whole. It is anything BUT "free" software at that point.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795219)

Your argument is essentially an argument for non-free software. You're saying "forcing people to share code will prevent them from building code". How is that different from arguing against Free Software in general? It's not.

Re:What Constitutes Distribution (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795716)

If they do choose to include such a provision, it could stifle the development of new and innovative web applications as the financial incentive for development would be removed.

Yse, and that pesky GPL is keeping me from putting proprietary magic into the kernel, which could stifle the development of new and innovative [kernel features] as the financial incentive for development would be removed.

Basicly, you can make the exact same argument for the current GPL and come to the conclusion that you should use the BSD license instead. The truth is that web applications would be enriched by all the source contributions that would have to be made, in the same way that other applications have.

Extending this to include web applications is completely logical and is quite necessary to keep the GPL meaningful, otherwise GPL applications would be hidden behind a thin web interface (or even some sort of remote desktop) specificly for the purpose of not releasing the source code.

Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (-1, Flamebait)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795038)

The FSF is managing to kill any possible future that the GPL has in the enterprise all by them selves!
From basements to IT departments, now -with all their anti-drm and anti-patent BS the GPL will go back to it's roots: being used exclusively in the basements of unwashed dorks.

GJ Stallman! Woooooo!

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (1, Informative)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795070)

The only GPL code that has any real traction in the enterprise is Linux. And they've already stated that they're perfectly happy with version 2 of the GPL.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795098)

And gcc. And Gnome. And all the GNU utilities. ANd thats only the list of things I've used in the past 15 minutes or so.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795627)

Yes and No. The Linux Kernel people have stated they are happy with version 2. But the Linux Operating system consists of a lot more then just the kernel, and a large percentage of the software including gnome, gcc tool chain and the gnu utilies use the GPL so I would say the GPL v3 is very relevant.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (0, Flamebait)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795164)

Come on, the anti-GPL crowd can do better than this clueless FUD.

If you really want to sink FOSS, you'll have to come up with something that doesn't sound like a post on Digg.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795223)

I'm not anti-FOSS, I'm pro-freedom. Freedom to do whatever it is that you like with the applications on YOUR computer: wether it's watch dvds that I bought off of ebay under loonix or writing applications that only plays legitamately obtained music I should be able to do ANYTHING on my computer.

Screw Stallman and Gates BOTH.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (4, Insightful)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795243)

Ummm, if you would learn to bloody read, you would know that the FSF TONED BACK the anti-drm provisions to state that DRM is completely fine, as long as the DRM doesn't impede on a licensees right to access to source code. In other words, if the DRM doesn't affect a licensees rights under the GPL, the DRM is fine, even if it restricts music files, video files, etc.

As for the anti-patent stuff, please explain how YOU would word the license to allow people to distribute works covered by others' patents to all third-parties, royalty free, while giving them the right to do the same. It's simply impossible if the patent holder required royalties, the patent license and GPL would conflict.

I love when people don't RTFA, and make themselves look like idiots in the process.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (0, Redundant)

Sixtyten (991538) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795331)

You're forgetting that this is Slashdot. Reading articles before making comments about them is frowned upon.

Re:Microsoft doesn't need to do anything... (-1, Troll)

samkass (174571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795760)

It's too bad your comment was worded in such an inflammatory nature, because your point is right-on. This version of the GPLv3 does absolutely nothing to address any of the serious problems the first one had with regards to making GPLv3 software commercially inviable. It will guarantee that GPLv2 will never die (since a lot of publishers will not want to give up the rights they had under GPLv2), and thus be Yet Another Open Source License, of which we have enough already, thank you.

In other words, GPLv3 is pointless work done only for Stallman's personal satisfaction with no practical value.

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795048)

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

Discussion Draft 2 of Version 3, 27 July 2006

THIS IS A DRAFT, NOT A PUBLISHED VERSION OF THE GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.

Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
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The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other program whose authors commit to using it. You can apply it to your programs, too.

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

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What are the changes? (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795075)

Looking through the new draft, they've made major improvements to the wording of things, which is good because in the first version the prose was thicker than molasses. Specifically, the part about releasing the keys necessary to run the source (the TIVO clause) is much clearer and easier to understand.
The other changes seem to be patching holes in the logic that might have allowed someone to get around the GPL.

Biggest Change (5, Informative)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795109)

The word DRM and the phrase Digital Restrictions Mangement no longer appear in the document. Instead they define a clause called "No Denying Users' Rights through Technical Measures" which is basically the new anti-DRM clause.

Re:Biggest Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795183)

The "privacy invading works" provision has been removed also. The DRM section in general was why Draft 1 would have been pretty much unenforceable [ncjolt.org] .

Re:Biggest Change (4, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795286)

IMHO this is a very good move. It's a sad thing, but no one knows or cares what DRM is. However, everyone cares if his/her computer won't do what he or she wants. This makes it much easier for a normal person to understand things. Including a plain language explanation is an important strength of this license.

What about this... (4, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795233)

So I haven't read through the entire draft just yet, but this section jumped out at me:

The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the same range of circumstances. (For instance, if the work is a DVD player and can play certain DVDs, it must be possible for modified versions to play those DVDs. If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.) (emphasis mine).

Should it really be fair to restrict some online service to have to treat all clients the same way just because one version was derived from another? Lets say I modify the source code of some browser that is covered by GPLv3. My version has some quirks that make it interpret css differently from the first browser. Would it then be illegal for a website to serve up different css based on my user agent string?

Re:What about this... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795356)

It'd be illegal to force a different UA string in the first place.

Re:What about this... (1)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795504)

It'd be illegal to force a different UA string in the first place.

I was thinking about that. But what if the name of the original browser is trademarked and derivative works are required to call themselves something different, wouldn't that require you to use a different UA string? And what's the point of a UA string if you're not allowed to change it for different versions of a browser. Would it be illegal to allow end users to change the UA string? Are they violating the GPL by doing so?

Re:What about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795381)

My interpretation: if the client sends the same data then the server shouldn't try black magic.

Re:What about this... (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795464)

The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the same range of circumstances. (For instance, if the work is a DVD player and can play certain DVDs, it must be possible for modified versions to play those DVDs. If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.)

Here's a not-so hypothetical. I want to run a server using Trusted Computing technology so that clients can detect what my software configuration is. In that way they can have greater confidence that my server will follow certain rules and greater trust in the service I provide. I voluntarily add this transparency to my server - it publishes its own source code and the TC technology lets people very that this source is what is running there.

Would I be unable to use any GPLv3 software on this server? Or on any system which revealed what software version was running? It would allow client systems to refuse to interoperate with other versions of the software, if they didn't like what the server would do if it ran those versions.

And since ultimately TC relies on crypto keys that are buried in hardware and can't be exported, it would be impossible to comply with the requirement to publish any such keys.

I would be very disappointed if the world of GPLv3 software were off limits for such a user friendly application, and it became impossible for servers to offer this level of transparency. This is what I've been looking forward to ever since Trusted Computing was announced.

Re:What about this... (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795714)

Disclaimer: IANAL

> Here's a not-so hypothetical. I want to run a server using Trusted Computing technology so that clients can detect what my software configuration is. In that way they can have greater confidence that my server will follow certain rules and greater trust in the service I provide. I voluntarily add this transparency to my server - it publishes its own source code and the TC technology lets people very that this source is what is running there.
I won't rely on that. How are you going to make sure the server is not distributing some other source code? I cannot see what you mean.

> Would I be unable to use any GPLv3 software on this server?
You can use GPLed software for whatever purposes you want. One of the sections explicitly states that: section 9, Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.

> Or on any system which revealed what software version was running?
What do you mean "revealed"? Every program is free to say: I run the latest and greatest. :) Besides it is NOT a good security practice to trust a system you cannot control.

> It would allow client systems to refuse to interoperate with other versions of the software, if they didn't like what the server would do if it ran those versions.
You are always free to refuse to operate with clients, e.g. passwords and other methods of identifications. HOWEVER, you are (practically) not allowed to refuse connections based on the client software in use, for example: sign the binaries you distribute, so only they could be used. If you do that and you distribute GPLv3-ed client software, you MUST transfer the keys, so any client can be signed to interoperate with your server. If that was not restricted, you would transfer the source code, but it would be impossible to compile it into the program. So the keys are PART of the source code.

> And since ultimately TC relies on crypto keys that are buried in hardware and can't be exported, it would be impossible to comply with the requirement to publish any such keys. ... and, as stated in the license (section 12, Not Surrender of Other's Freedom), if you cannot comply with the license, for example by technical means, DRM, court order, you are NOT ALLOWED TO CONVEY THE PROGRAM AT ALL.
By the way, how am I supposed to check the keys if they are inside YOUR computer? Oh, you mean I will need TC? @#$K O@@!!! (censored)

> I would be very disappointed if the world of GPLv3 software were off limits for such a user friendly application, and it became impossible for servers to offer this level of transparency. This is what I've been looking forward to ever since Trusted Computing was announced.
Look, if you mean friendly as in we-sign-things-haha-no-interoperability, no, GPLv3 does not allow this. Either you make your own client, or if you use GPLed code, you must allow essentially any program to interoperate. That is just a way to prevent "stealing" of GPLed code by making it essentially proprietary.
Transparency and TC? Get real, please. It's sole purpose is to hide stuff.

I am looking forward to Tristed Computing, so I could hack the keys to sign the apps and change them, so only I can sign what I want to run on MY computer. Linux.

GPLv3 is just a draft, but I doubt that it will change that much.

Re:What about this... (3, Informative)

Elladan (17598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795494)

The idea of this requirement is to stop the client from having to differentiate itself to the server. So in this case, the client could (at your - the user's - option) send the same user agent string, or not. It's up to you.

The point is to prevent people from putting out GPL systems that implement DRM client-executable authentication. An example would be if the client was required to transmit a SHA1 hash of its executable image to the server, and the server then decided whether to give you the page or not based on that.

For such a system to pass the GPLv3 requirements, then the correct SHA1 hash for the version the server wants to talk to has to be included along with the source code, and the source code, when you build it, has to send that hash instead of a real hash. In other words, it has to keep working when you build your own copy, even if you change it.

This requirement basically forbids that sort of thing entirely. You can give a hash, and the server can respond to that hash, but it can't be a secret hash. This is the sort of thing DRM systems sometimes do to make sure you can't access your data. For example, games like WoW and EQ do things like this to prevent you from using a GPLed game client.

Re:What about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795499)

If your work communicates with the service in the same way then it should be able to work in the same way. It doesn't say anything abou tif you want your work to work in a different way ... it's just giving you the option. For instance, if i just extend the length of my hash, but functionally it is the same, things should work as expected.

Re:What about this... (2, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795524)

Should it really be fair to restrict some online service to have to treat all clients the same way just because one version was derived from another?

Should it really be fair to limit the definition of "linking" to its use in the 1980's long before the invention of SOAP, REST, CORBA, DCOM and other network protocols (OK RPC was around back then, but limited to very simple APIs). Should it really be fair that someone can circumvent the GPL by wrapping their "internal" modified code as a webservice and exposing it that way?

Re:What about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795613)

if an online service wants to restrict people to using only their own product then they can bloody well spend the time and money to write proprietary (non gpl) software in house. if they want to use free, gpl software then yes it is fair to force them to play nice with others.

Re:What about this... (1)

YoungHack (36385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795745)

> Should it really be fair to restrict some online service to have to treat all clients the same way just because one version was derived from another? Lets say I modify the source code of some browser that is covered by GPLv3. My version has some quirks that make it interpret css differently from the first browser. Would it then be illegal for a website to serve up different css based on my user agent string?

No. In the situation you describe, the derived work could fake its user-agent string, and in fact the service could not distinguish the difference. What would be illegal is having some kind of crypto that a derived program could not participate in--i.e. if connecting to the service failed unless a special HMAC of the program was correct.

No derived program could then communicate with the service in such a way "that the service cannot distinguish."

Re:What about this... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795750)

If your user agent is unchanged, it can not distinguish between a modified and non-modified client. Anything the application sends or calculates itself does not matter to this clause. This clause is specificly designed for one thing only, and it is to make remote attestation incompatible with the GPLv3. Since the remote attestation keys can't be forged (they're signed up the whole trusted computing chain, and not under the application's own control) it's impossible to make a modified version that would present the same keys.

Torvalds unimpressed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795256)

Linux Watch has published some comments from Linus [linux-watch.com] .

Re:Torvalds unimpressed (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795674)

i take sides with Torvalds on this, GPL-3 is just kludge.

Fight fire with fire? (2, Insightful)

Sixtyten (991538) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795263)

The irony is that the GPL is making restrictions in order to fight them.

Yet another boring whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795390)

So kindly enlighten us with a better scheme that accomplishes the same goals without making restrictions.

Re:Fight fire with fire? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795677)

That's really just wordplay.

It's like how addition of a positive amount can be characterized as subtraction of a negative amount. Yes, Frank is removing -5 carrots by adding 5 carrots to the stock, but to accuse Frank of "removing carrots from the stock" is misleading. You make it sound like he's stealing carrots, when he's actually contributing carrots.

In the same sense, saying "the GPL is making restrictions" is misleading, bordering on lying; the only "restrictions" the GPL is adding are restrictions on restrictions -- the opposite of restrictions.

Opinion on ... documents available? (1)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795482)

The "GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Rationale" says "See Opinion on Denationalization of Terminology" and "See Opinion on Digital Restrictions Management". Are these opinions available? I cannot find them by searching gplv3.fsf.org, fsf.org, or google.
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