Richard Stallman wants your help with GPL V3.0

The hope is to model how an massive international process with a clear result should run.

Richard Stallman
The Free Software Foundation has put out an all points call for help in revising the General Public License.

Version 3.0 of the license, known as "copyleft," is due to be written and published next year. The first draft of that license will be available for review and discussion at the International Public Conference for GPLv3, to be held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass January 16-17.

While it's Stallman's face on the invitation (the picture is from the invitation page) George C.F. Greve at FSFEurope notes that Eben Moglen will actually be in charge of coordinating the process.

Stallman's own goals here are pretty clear. According to a document now being distributed by FSF, the goals are:

  1. A Global License. The current license was written mainly with U.S. law in mind.
  2. Backward compatibility, to protect current freedoms in Version 2.0 to see and change code.
  3. Have no unintended consequences, by which he means do no harm to existing rightsholders, and
  4. Consult the community so everyone knows they were heard.

Along with the first proposed version of the license, the January meeting will also feature a "rationale document" explaining the reasons for each change. The second version of the new license is due in June, with a final version expected in October, although it could be September and could be March, 2007.

What I find most intriguing here is the emphasis on process. The hope is to model how an massive international process with a clear result should run. Time will tell if they can deliver on that promise.


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