The Free Software Foundation has released version 3 of their General Public license which is directed at addressing some of the issues that the FSF fears threatens free software. But the main purpose may have been to stem the tide of those Linux distributors who have chosen to join forces with Microsoft. The FSF states in their press release:

“Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user’s freedom. The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program,” said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF.

Version 3 of the GNU GPL strengthens this guarantee, by ensuring that users can modify the free software on their personal and household devices, and granting patent licenses to every user. It also extends compatibility with other free software licenses and increases international uniformity.

It should be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to this latest development. Microsofts of the opinion that Linux itself violates some 235 patents that Microsoft holds. Though never proven, the threat has hung heavy over some Linux distributors, who have inked agreements with the Redmond firm.

So what do you think? Will this help of hinder the Linux cause?

Comments welcome.

Full article here 

The website also links to the full version 3 revisions for the GPL.

[tags]linux, microsoft, gpl, revision 3, license, [/tags]