revised GPL?

kmself at kmself at
Sat Oct 28 23:53:02 UTC 2000

on Sat, Oct 28, 2000 at 07:18:28PM -0400, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. (rod at wrote:
> Your message has engaged my curiosity. Why are  discussions about open
> source/FSF licenses being held in secret? It seems to me that we all should
> be informed of not only the status of these discussions, but also the folks
> who are doing 'the discussing.'  I know IBM has a license, but it seems odd
> to hear that they are an insider on an issue as important as this one is for
> the open source movement. Please enlighten us further.

The discussions aren't, AFAIK, secret.  I'm not close to the
process, so I'm not particularly familiar with what arrangements
have been made.

Stallman and Eben Moglen (the FSF's attorney) tend to prefer having
people come to them to talk rather than the other way around -- it's
easier to deal with someone who's convinced that what you're doing is of
interest to them, to having to convince them first.  The FSF's usual
communications channels are their website(s), the gnu.* Usenet
discussions.   GPL issues are usually announced on gnu.misc.discuss,
though RMS doesn't typically get involved in discussions there, and
there are a number of long-standing trolls who make conversations
somewhat painful.  

Though the FSF does have a PR firm (Leslie Proctor at Alexadner Ogilvy),
I imagine their budget is fairly thin.

Discussion of GPL v.3 has been ongoing for several years, and RMS does
post occasional updates.  Again, he or the FSF would be the best source
of additional information.

...and we haven't even mentioned the CLWG ;-P [1]

Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.          
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal

[1] CLWG:  The Common Licensing Working Group.  Formed after the 1999
O'Reilly Perl / Open Source Conference, as a forum for larger commercial
organizations and free software community to discuss licensing issues,
with a desired outcome of identifying a set of relatively standard or
common licensing terms.  Not formally disbanded, but largely inactive
for most of this year, with several of the key members announcing
dual-licensing initiatives, frequently including the GNU GPL or LGPL
among licensing options.

The group was, again, not wholly secret, but as I liked to describe it
"A shadowy foundation operating on the edge of the law" (OK, all you
Knight Rider fans, come out of the closet NOW).  Just remember, there
*is* no K5 Cabal.
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