After more than a year of work, it appears that GPL v3 is almost ready for adoption. I don’t mean this simply from a timetable perspective, I mean it from what the document says and what it will do for the computer industry. I congratulate Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, the FSF, and all others who contributed their work and thousands of hours on this important license.
Note that I said “almost” above. In part this is because we have some time to go before that “Last Call” draft, but also because I understand that there are a few issues that are still controversial to some people. Moreover, some of those issues may cause further language deletions, additions, or just changes.
For our part, we’re pretty satisfied with where we are. We also think that of the possible changes that might be made to the bits that people are arguing over, IBM can live with the expected alternatives. Others may have concerns, but we think we’re almost there.
Should there be unexpected and substantive changes to the draft license, I reserve the right to yell and scream. But right now the path from here to final adoption looks pretty smooth from where we’re standing.
The GPL is of critical importance to IBM’s business because of our huge investment in GNU/Linux and other free software that uses the license. Our customers and we depend on free and open source software to run our businesses, and there is no going back. The open process of evolving the software industry, while messy at times, sure beats the alternative.