FSF updates open-source licence

By Derek Sooman on
The Free Software Foundation has redrafted its new software licence. Version 3 of the GPL (GNU General Public License) will address two very important issues, those being software patents and digital rights management (DRM). These changes (if adopted) represent the first major overhaul of the GPL in 15 years, and affect a variety of popular software including Linux, Samba and MySQL.

The draft includes a provision requiring some software distributors to "shield" software users against some patent infringement claims, and it also prevents GPL-licensed software from being used in DRM copy-protection software, called "digital restrictions management" software by the FSF.

"We are trying to do what we can, in a limited way, to use the freedoms that our licence gives us to actively work against the spread of DRM restrictions," said Eben Moglen, an FSF board member and one of the authors of the draft.

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