[FSFE PR][EN] GPL Version 3, Draft #2 Published: Updating Free Software's Top Licence

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Thu Jul 27 20:20:32 CEST 2006

               GPL Version 3, Draft #2 Published Today

                 Updating Free Software's Top Licence

After six months of public comment, the second public discussion draft of
GPLv3 is now online - responding to public input about patents, Digital
Restrictions Management, and global enforceability among other things.

Version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), published in 1991,
is the most widely used Free Software licence, and possibly the most
widely used single licence in the World.

The public process for drafting version 3 began on January 16th when a first
discussion draft was published.  The final, official version 3 is slated for
release in early 2007.  Today, the 2nd public discussion draft has gone

To explain the proposed changes, and to raise awareness of the
process, members of Free Software Foundation Europe have been
travelling around Europe, and to the international GPLv3 conferences
in Boston, Brazil, and Barcelona.

The GNU GPL aims to ensure that everyone that receives a copy of the
software, also receives permission to study it, to change it, and to
distribute modified or unmodified copies.  The GNU GPL is the real world
implementation of this ideal, and not only has the tactic proved practical,
but the GNU GPL has also been so-far found enforceable World-wide.  Version
3 is an evolution - and upgrade, not a rewrite - on the current licence.

 Georg Greve, President of FSFE commented: "People sometimes have the
  feeling that the GNU GPL has been around forever, and they would not be
  entirely wrong. Published in 1991, the GNU GPL has proven to be
  exceptionally successful throughout the past fifteen years." Greve
  continued, "with such an exceptional success, one will change as little as
  possible. But there are changes in the legal and technical environment, as
  well as the position of Free Software and its community, that made some
  changes advisable. The process to update the licence is aiming at a global
  GPLv3 drafting team, and everyone is invited to participate."

 Ciaran O'Riordan added: "This is a new type of project for the Free
  Software community, so we're pleased it's going so well.  The GPL lays
  down the terms under which people can distribute free software.  It
  requires that everyone respect certain freedoms for others, and this
  applies the same for individuals, project teams, networks, right the way
  up to multinationals.  There will be no change in these goals of the GPL -
  the freedoms to help yourself and for everyone to help each other are
  ethical imperatives and won't be compromised.  The added value of version
  3 is being created by everyone working together to preserve freedom
  against problems that didn't exist in 1991, and to make it as solid and
  unambiguous as possible - the World over."

More information about the draft and how the public participates is at:


And the official GPLv3 website is at:


About the Free Software Foundation Europe

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable
   non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
   in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and
   redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition -
   allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness
   of these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and
   giving people freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
   central issues of the FSF Europe, which was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.


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