My concerns about GPLv3 process

simo simo.sorce at
Sun Jan 29 00:21:29 UTC 2006

On Sat, 2006-01-28 at 20:40 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> Debian has put off resolving the FDL bugs in main for so long, but
> now it is addressing them more, and I doubt vapourware will change
> that. Please publish the draft, even if its revision is post-GPLv3.

I don't thinking publishing a draft would make any sense, it would only
add to the confusion and would raise very harsh critics if it were
changed a lot of time after being published.

> > I think that the GPLv3 process is a good compromise between openness and
> > control of the results.  Apache Foundation recently updated its license
> > and afaik the Apache community had such an open and participated
> > process.  Am I wrong?  How would you have done the process?
> I agree that it compromises on openness. Who are secret juntas
> A-E and will their proceedings be public?

IIRC I was told the FSF will publish the members list. The committes
will decide themselves if the proceedings will be public or not. I know
some of these have already decided for being public, but some of them
are still forming so I'd wait some more and see.

> I would have used an international, multi-site, multi-speaker
> tour to introduce the draft and process. The process should
> be something familiar to hackers, such as a powerful bug tracking
> system with severities and topic tags to track issues, allowing
> multiple protocols to be used and not requiring a particular
> browser featureset, with volunteers acting as helpers, proxies
> and intermediaries when people won't or can't participate openly.
> How the devil could that have got out of control? It uses
> skills that FSF should already have available, unlike a
> large political caucus structure, which looks strange for
> hackers and easy for the uncooperative to subvert.

I do not understand what are you talking about. The web site tool is
very powerful and very useful both for putting comments and for
searching/browsing or aggregating them into issues, you should try it
out. And where's the large political caucus structure ??

> The process being used so far is a conference in the homeland
> of the DMCA, a Big-Business-friendly launch press release, a web
> site with poor accessibility, and committees to filter comments
> into group statements for leaders to consider. It all seems
> rather similar to the Vienna process to me.  Sorry, but if it
> looks like a duck, I ask: will it quack like a duck?

So what's the point in this rant ?

I think you should calm down and look at the outcome, and partecipate by
leaving insightful comments on the draft, that would help. It's not at
all like the Vienna process, and it does not pretend to be "democratic",
but it is open to comments as it should be.
The License is that of the FSF and I think the FSF has all the rights to
decide which process to use to design a new license. The FSF has
demonstrated innumerable times their ideas, and I think you can put at
least some trust in their intentions.


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