Esta semana tem sido particularmente agitada no mundo do Software Livre.

Depois de uma entrevista publicada com Richard Stallman na Exame Informática deste mês, o Guru do Software Livre, Fundador da FSF aguçou-nos a curiosidade para ver o que esta nova release da GPL (Gnu Public License) traz. Essencialmente, o que fica descrito (abaixo) é que quem usar esta licença protege as suas criações do aproveitamento de outros como no caso da Microsoft + Novell ou ainda “Tivoazização” (fenómeno que ainda não dispomos em Portugal – usar software livre para disponibilizar conteúdos mas proibir os utilizadores finais de fazerem o mesmo).

Isto é uma boa novidade para todos os amantes da liberdade da informação e partilha de conhecimento. Para quem isto não diz nada, aposto que Google, Blogspot, YouTube, MySpace, Creative Commons, etc… já diz qualquer coisa.

GPL 3 officially released

By Ryan Paul | Published: June 29, 2007 – 07:57PM CT

After four drafts, broad discussion, and extensive public review, the FSF has finally published the official, much-anticipated GPL revision 3 (GPL 3). The new version aims to clarify aspects of the previous version, strengthen unencumbered redistribution by imposing new patent licensing requirements, and protect the user’s right to modify GPL software on embedded systems.

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The GPL is the most popular open-source software license, and it is used by many high-profile open-source software projects, including the Linux kernel. Unlike proprietary software licenses, the GPL explicitly guarantees users the right to modify, repurpose, and redistribute software. “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,” says FSF president Richard Stallman in a statement. “Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program.”

Many contentious issues addressed in the GPL 3 caused controversy and debate throughout the draft process. An unexpected patent agreement between Microsoft and Novell compelled the FSF to revise the patent licensing language in a late GPL 3 draft in an effort to block similar deals in the future.

Despite the controversy and debate, the highly transparent draft process has ensured that the GPL 3 is the product of broad consensus. “By hearing from so many different groups in a public drafting process, we have been able to write a license that successfully addresses a broad spectrum of concerns,” says FSF executive director Peter Brown in a statement. “But even more importantly, these different groups have had an opportunity to find common ground on important issues facing the free software community today, such as patents, tivoization, and Treacherous Computing.”

Now that the GPL 3 has been released, it is likely that it will be broadly adopted within the open-source software community. Although Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds initially rejected the possibility of migrating the kernel from the GPL 2 to the GPL 3, the developer has recently stated that the possibility is once again under consideration.


Free software is a matter of liberty not price.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), established in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users’ rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system, used widely in its GNU/Linux variant.

Author: Pedro Amado

Professor Auxiliar na Faculdade de Belas Artes Universidade do Porto lecionar Ferramentas Digitais, Web Design, Design de Interação e Creative Coding

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