New Discussion Draft of GPL3 is Posted

By John Ottaviani

The Free Software Foundation posted draft 3 of GPL3 on its website today.

The General Public License (GPL) is one of the most widely used open source licenses. Version 1 was released in 1981, and Version 2 in 1991.

I have not had time to review the new draft yet. However, it reportedly has made GPL3 more compatible with GPL2. One of the criticisms of the prior drafts was that it could cause a “fork” in GPL licensing, with some products remaining under GPL2 and other derivatives of those products falling under GPL3. There are also changes to the patent licensing and digital rights managment provisions to address concerns in the open source community with these provisions in earlier drafts.

According to FSF’s press release, changes in this draft also include a provision where first time violators can automatically have their license restored if they remedy the breach within thirty days.

There is a 60 day comment period for this draft. Then the comments will be considered and a “last call” draft will follow with thirty days for discussion The final GPL 3 will then be approved by FSF’s board of directors.