[Info-gplv3] GPLv3 Update #2

GPLv3 Information info-gplv3 at gplv3.fsf.org
Wed Feb 8 18:09:49 EST 2006

On January 16th, the leaders of the Free Software Foundation, Richard
Stallman and Eben Moglen, welcomed over 300 people in an auditorium at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the first in a series of
international conferences dedicated to producing the next version of
the GNU General Public License.

As a subscriber to this mailing list, you received a copy of the new
license draft simultaneous with its release at the conference---but if
you weren't also in the room, you missed Professor Moglen's detailed
walk-through of the new text, and Richard Stallman's description of
the threats faced by the free software community to which the new
license must respond.

You can now download the video of the opening presentation at

Since then, comments on the license draft have been welcomed at
<http://gplv3.fsf.org/comment>, but the commenting process actually
began during the remainder of the two-day conference during a series
of panels exploring the specific issues raised by Moglen and Stallman
and inviting dialogue with the audience. 

The two most thought-provoking panels were the the panel on Digital
Restrictions Management (DRM), and the panel on internationalization.

The DRM panel included FSF's David Turner, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation's Staff Technologist and DRM expert Seth Schoen, and the
Wikimedia Foundation's Legal Officer Jean-Baptiste Soufron. They
detailed the threats posed by Treacherous Computing (often
misleadingly called Trusted Computing) and discussed with the audience
ways that the new GPL will deal with them. 

The related license provisions have been highlighted in the news
recently as a result of concerns expressed by the Linux
developers. Stallman has responded to these concerns:

    GPLv3 would not require Linux developers to publish the private
    keys that they use to sign Linux source versions to show they are
    authentic.  But GPLv3 would require the manufacturer of the Tivo
    you bought to give you the key needed to sign a binary so it will
    run on your Tivo.  That means you will really be able to run the
    modified versions on your Tivo and they will really run.

    The Tivo was the first well-known case of a machine that included
    free software but refused to run the users' modified versions, but
    it surely won't be the last.  It happens that Linux is one of the
    programs that were tivoized in this way.

    We hope that the developers of Linux will adopt the GPLv3, so as
    to make future Linux versions resistant to tivoization in the

Identifying any unintended consequences of the new GPL is a vital part
of the update process, and the FSF welcomes everyone to comment on the

Since the GPL seeks to provide protection for free software worldwide,
the panel discussion hosted by a group of free software luminaries
from around the world, including Juan Carlos Gentile (Hipatia);
Enrique Chaparro (FSF Latin America); Stefano Mafulli (FSF Europe);
and Niibe Yutaka (Free Software Initiative of Japan), was another
essential component. They focused on key differences between languages
and jurisdictions that will need to be considered, and on the need to
translate not only the license itself but also the documents
surrounding the drafting process.

More conferences are planned for the future, and we will be sure to
let you know the dates as they become available.  Please support the
continuation of this process by making a donation at
<https://www.fsf.org/donate>, or by becoming an FSF associate member
at <http://member.fsf.org>. As a benefit, you will then be able to
attend our annual membership meeting on April 1st in Cambridge,

At the conference, in addition to the license, we also released a new
t-shirt and hoodie featuring the GPLv3 logo. You can show your support
by ordering them at <http://www.gnu.org/gear/gplv3-tshirt.html>.

John Sullivan, FSF
Program Administrator

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