Cryptography Lessons
Tracy r reed   |  

GPLv3 released today

The GNU General Public License, the software license which has enabled companies like Interactivate, Google, Redhat, and others to thrive and for guys like me to have a career, has just had a new version released. It's funny how such a notable event which affects so much software that so many big companies critically depend on will pass with barely a mention in the industry trade press. The first version of the GNU General Public License appeared in 1988. Version 2 was released in 1991. Version 2 survived the PC explosion, Internet explosion, dot com boom and bust, and appears to be weathering the legal attacks from SCO and others quite well. While other companies change their license like most people change underwear the GPLv2 has endured for 16 years. But now the recent litigious trend due to the proprietary software industry having their business model obsoleted by Free Software plus the patent issues among others have caused some additional language to be added and other language clarified to further protect the rights of software users. Most of the GPL licensed software we use will automatically transition to the GPLv3 by virtue of the "or any later version" language included in GPLv2. The Linux kernel will not because it does not include the "any later version" language but I have a feeling it will be manually moved to GPLv3 some day. The text of GPLv3 can be found here: