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U.K. Linux guru backs GPL 3

Linus Torvalds may have his doubts, but fellow Linux leader Alan Cox is supporting the next version of the GPL.

Alan Cox, a leading U.K. Linux developer, has expressed his support for the next version of the General Public License.
Alan Cox
Linux developer

The first public draft of GPL 3 was released a couple of weeks ago, with a final version due by spring 2007.

Cox told ZDNet UK that he thinks that many of the changes in GPL 3 are sound: "The majority of it looks very sensible, such as letting copyright information be displayed in an About box rather than relying on command line instructions (as is the case in GPL 2). Some of the more contentious stuff has sensibly been made optional."

"One of the other nice things is the work to make the GPL compatible with other licenses. That's really important; it will allow people to share more code," Cox added.

His viewpoint is in direct contradiction to that of Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, who said last week that he won't convert Linux to GPL 3, as he objects to its proposed digital rights management, or DRM, provisions.

Cox said the DRM provisions "don't really matter" to the Linux kernel, as DRM is generally used by applications.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.