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GPLv3, Clarity and Simplicity

May 15, 2007, 02:15 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Allison Randal)

"The first I heard about plans for a GPLv3 revision was from Bradley Kuhn early in 2005 at a meeting I organized for The Perl Foundation (a public review of the Artistic License 2.0). My first thought was 'Great! We can finally clean up some of those ambiguities in the GPL, and make it easier to understand and more legally precise.' These were my primary goals in driving the Artistic 2.0 revision, so it's understandable that I expected something similar from the GPLv3. I don't know that clarity and simplicity was ever a goal that Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, or any of the GPLv3 team desired to achieve. Looking at the near-finished draft, I have to say it's unlikely that they ever considered simplicity a priority, if they considered it at all.

"I can't fault them for failing to achieve a goal they never had in the first place. But clarity and simplicity are important goals for an open source license..."

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