The latest GPL FUD is Version 3.0

Summary:The market success of GPL products, the fact that Lloyd's is now writing insurance in the space, the acceptance of the GPL's assumptions, all point to the health of the open source movement.

In my role as Ask Bloggie I got an e-mail recently illustrating the latest in open source FUDware. (FUD, for the uninitiated, stands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. It's the equivalent of throwing mud in the face of a market opponent.)

Anyway, on to the FUD:

Couple questions:

  1. Is it possible to change the license of the Linux kernel from GPLv2 to GPLv3 w/o getting the permission of thousands of people?
  2. What do the active Linux Kernel developers think of GPLv3? Do they even want to change?

Elmer FuddThe question is FUD because Version 3.0 of the GPL won't be developed until next year. (A draft isn't expected for months.) You're worrying about something that hasn't happened yet. The very idea that 3.0 won't be backward-compatible with 2.0 is, as the lawyers say, "assumng facts not in evidence."

This is very phony FUD. Bad FUD. Elmer FUD.

The person overseeing the 3.0 process, Eben Moglen, said the other day all reports of GPL problems are overblown. The market success of GPL products, the fact that Lloyd's is now writing insurance in the space, the acceptance of the GPL's assumptions, all point to the health of the open source movement.

I've got another marker, however. When the FUD gets silly, the argument is ending.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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