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Linux.com: The GPLv3 Process: Public Consultation and Private Drafting

Aug 25, 2006, 19:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"How is the third version of the GNU General Public License (GPLv3) being written? Considering how much the revised license and its success or failure could affect the free and open source software communities, the question is almost as important as the final content. Yet, until now, the answer has been largely unknown.

"The only public information on the process has been the Process Definition document released in January 2006, and whatever can be gleaned indirectly from the rest of the GPLv3 site. Now, as reactions to the second draft are pouring in and the process of writing the third draft begins, a more complete answer is coming clear. NewsForge talked to several of those involved in the process. In particular, Richard Fontana, a lawyer at the Software Freedom Law Center and one of the main writers of the revised license, offered his perspective. Although Fontana considers himself bound by his professional ethics as a lawyer to respect the confidentiality of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation as his clients, his comments offer the first clear indications of the process. From Fontana's description, it is a process that involves unprecedented consultation for a legal document, followed by intense work by a handful of experts to produce a text that they hope will find a consensus in the communities..."

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