A major reworking of the GPL is due next week. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) will release and describe the first public draft of version three of the document, in a move that is expected to kick off a long discussion over the key foundation of open source programming. FSF founder and Open Source mastermind Richard Stallman said in an earlier interview that the follow issues are to be addressed by the new GPL:
-A provision to protect GPL software projects against "pirates armed with patents." For example, there might be penalties prohibiting use of GPL software if a company files a lawsuit alleging that GPL software infringes its patents.
-A mechanism to govern the use of GPL software on devices with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that could curtail software freedoms
-A mechanism to govern how GPL software is used on servers that provide services publicly available over the Internet. That is a gray area regarding whether GPL software is used internally within an organisation or distributed externally; modifications to software GPL must be available only if the software is distributed. For example, a GPL-governed program might be customised before it's used in a service such as one for creating online maps.
-Modifications to make the GPL more compatible with other free software or open source software licences.