Free Software Foundation releases GPL 3

After 18 months of debate--and 16 years following GPL 2's release--the General Public License has finally turned 3.

After 18 months of revision, the Free Software Foundation has released version 3 of the General Public License (GPL).

The license is both a legal foundation and a manifesto of the free and open-source programming movement. Not all are fully happy with the new version though, including Linux leader Linus Torvalds.

The text of the new license can be read on the FSF's GNU Project Web page.

The new license is geared to adjust to changes in the software industry that have arisen in the 16 years since GPL 2 was released. One of the biggest changes: the free and open-source programming movement has been transformed from an academic, legal and philosophical curiosity to a powerful force in the commercial computing industry.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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