On the Reuters/Slashdot story on the GPLv3
Georg C. F. Greve
greve at fsfeurope.org
Tue Sep 6 19:08:58 UTC 2005
it is unfortunate that while other journalists had the presence of
mind to realise confusion of a single journalist for what it was,
Slashdot did not.
For your information, since Slashdot did not react to my request of
clarification, I have posted the attached clarification to LWN.net to
hopefully limit the spread of misinformation somewhat.
Also I'd like to add one more thing: So far I considered the "internet
taxation" misinformation a secondary issue, much less important than
the GPLv3 issue itself.
Unfortunately, when adding a fix for the worst misinformation about
patents, the journalist also added more quotes and material to the
issue on DRM and "internet taxation".
To make clear you know where this comes from and where I stand, let me
point out that I did not advocate internet taxation when speaking with
the journalist, nor do I think it is a good idea: Indeed I had long
fights with people who suggested something like this during the United
Nations World Summit on the Information Society.
The journalist asked me whether I knew of any alternatives to DRM, to
which I said that many people advocate all sorts of different
concepts, including cultural flatrates or production on demand
models. When asked whether a cultural flatrate could be considered a
kind of tax, I said this might be one way of looking at it.
I did not endorse any of these models, only said that alternatives to
DRM are thinkable and that we should consider them, because I do
consider DRM a very bad idea.
I am deeply sorry for that mess: It was the first time we worked with
that particular journalist. My apologies for any confusion I may have
there seems to be confusion spread about the GPLv3, based on a Reuters
article published today and copied to several locations, including
MSNBC from where Slashdot grabbed it. Unfortunately in this article
Reuters displayed some items of pure speculation as facts and in doing
so oversimplified them to the extent that they became false.
The true news is what you can see in this release: We have begun
preparing the GPL Version 3 process for real and there will be a long
discussion throughout 2006 about the changes made. Since that process
will be quite a lot of work, the Free Software Foundations are very
happy that Stichting NLnet supports this process and hope that others
will do the same.
As to what the GPL version 3 draft will contain: Noone has that
information right now, it is all in Richard Stallmans head, who has to
gather the ideas and get to work on the draft. Until that draft has
been published, everything is pure speculation and your guess is as
good as mine.
Reuters picked up strongly on two of the the points which were made
before by Eben Moglen in the eweek article and quoted me falsely. They
later did some slight improvement in terms of reducing the
oversimplification, but still portrayed things in a rather one-sided
way, in particular making mere speculation seem fact, while ignoring
the true facts.
So the best thing you can do is to ignore that article.
It is FUD and I am deeply sorry for this, for I have been centrally
(if falsely) quoted as the contributor of it.
That has been a most unpleasant experience.
Georg C. F. Greve <greve at fsfeurope.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe (http://fsfeurope.org)
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom! (http://www.fsfe.org)
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