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The Controversy Over GPL 3

In This Issue: The Controversy Over GPL 3
1. Editor's Note: New GPL License Is Coming; Linus Torvalds Wishes It Weren't
2. Today's Top Story
    - The Controversy Over GPL 3
    Related Stories:
    - Sidebar: Torvalds Talks About GPLv3
    - Blog: In Search Of GPL Version 3: The Long Road To Nowhere
3. Breaking News
    - Colorado Woman Sues To Hold Web Crawlers To Contracts
    - Cisco, Microsoft Gear Up For Growing Battle
    - Privacy Starts Making Sense For Google
    - Net Neutrality Debate Remains Contentious
    - New Way To Save Energy And Money In The Data Center
    - Intel To Ship A More Secure vPro Business Desktop Platform
    - Mozilla To Push Out First Firefox Security Update Beta
    - SanDisk Doubles Capacity Of Memory Card
    - Corporate America More Dangerous Than Hackers?
    - State Lawmakers Consider Bans On Driving While Texting
    - SAP Introduces RFID Tracking Of Individual Product Units
    - Unwanted Wireless Signals Bounce Off This Paint
    - PS3 Game Consoles To Support Scientific Research
4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
    - It's Not The U.S. Patent And Propaganda Office, Is It?
    - Is Social Networking Destined To Go Bust?
    - Why CIOs Can't Help But Care About The Environment
    - Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - Enabling Technologies For Power And Cooling
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made." -- Oscar Wilde


1. Editor's Note: New GPL License Is Coming; Linus Torvalds Wishes It Weren't

I was surprised in an e-mail exchange with Linus Torvalds at the depth of his criticism of the next version of the General Public License. I thought his differences with the Free Software Foundation would just fade away. Now I believe that it's not a simple issue to resolve.

InformationWeek is querying knowledgeable parties on the nature of the upcoming 3.0 revision of the GPL, the software license that has played such an important role in changing our computing landscape.

We are all indebted to Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation for their willingness to stand the defensive rights of copyright on their head. The GPL creates a more open, shared software environment. To not recognize the beneficence of this stroke is to have been asleep for the past decade, or longer.

Having said that, I'm struck by the contrast between the lofty ambitions that Stallman and the Free Software Foundation are now placing behind GPL 3.0 versus Torvalds' common sense.

The GPLv2 license adopted 16 years ago did something straightforward. It granted people the right to use the software for free in exchange for meeting one or two simple requirements: 1) Don't sue someone who's using the GPL software you're redistributing for violating one of your patents. 2) Do include any modifications you've made to the software as you redistribute it.

"I absolutely love the GPLv2 because it embodies that 'develop in the open' model," wrote Torvalds. The emphasis is his; I can honestly say he rarely uses the word "love" in connection with anything from the Free Software Foundation.

He notes GPLv3 has been criticized as a Free Software Foundation political platform. He agrees and quarrels with FSF's conception of "proprietary software as being something evil and immoral. Me, I just don't care about proprietary software. It's not evil or immoral. It just doesn't matter."

For more on Torvalds' views on the best way to write software, the ban on digital rights management, and the politics of GPLv3, read the rest of this editor's note here. And you can follow along on my road to nowhere as I sought to get an explanation from the authors of how GPLv3 was shaping up, by clicking here. Which side of the GPL debate do you fall on? Tell us who has it right, Stallman or Torvalds, by commenting at either blog entry.

Charles Babcock
Cbabcock@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

The Controversy Over GPL 3
The next version of the open source license is dividing the community, and it isn't even out yet.

Related Stories:

Sidebar: Torvalds Talks About GPLv3
The creator of Linux explains why he won't embrace the next version of the open source license.

Blog: In Search Of GPL Version 3: The Long Road To Nowhere
A month ago, I started down a path that I hoped would lead me to a great prize: an explanation from the authors of how the General Public License version 3.0 was shaping up. Little did I know that this journey would contain more curves than San Francisco's Lombard Street.


3. Breaking News

Colorado Woman Sues To Hold Web Crawlers To Contracts
Web site owner Suzanne Shell's lawsuit against the Internet Archive poses a question: "Can software programs be held liable for their actions?"

Cisco, Microsoft Gear Up For Growing Battle
With Cisco planning to buy WebEx and Microsoft acquiring Tellme Networks Inc., the two tech giants increasingly look like rivals as they compete to bundle e-mail, phones, and other communication tools into a single system.

Privacy Starts Making Sense For Google
Storage cost savings may have prompted the search company to think about anonymizing selected server logs.

Net Neutrality Debate Remains Contentious
The haggling over whether Internet service providers should be able to charge more money for some traffic, or whether the law should mandate equal access, is increasingly contentious. Here's a guide to the players.

New Way To Save Energy And Money In The Data Center
365 Main has managed to cut its data center energy consumption by 12.5% a month without cutting performance, saving tens of thousands of dollars in 2006.

Intel To Ship A More Secure vPro Business Desktop Platform
The next-generation vPro would have enhanced security within its desktop management capabilities and introduces Intel's new Trusted Execution Technology.

Mozilla To Push Out First Firefox Security Update Beta
Mozilla is beginning to treat its security and stability updates like it does its major version releases, issuing beta releases to its tester community. The first security beta is due out within 24 hours.

SanDisk Doubles Capacity Of Memory Card
The higher-capacity card reflects both competitive pressure and the demand for more storage as consumers turn to digital cameras for shooting large quantities of still pictures and video.

Corporate America More Dangerous Than Hackers?
One researcher says it's corporate America, not hackers, that's putting our personal and financial information in jeopardy, and it's now at the rate of 6 million lost records a month.

State Lawmakers Consider Bans On Driving While Texting
State legislators in Arizona, Connecticut, and Washington are singling out text messages as they try to cut driver distractions.

SAP Introduces RFID Tracking Of Individual Product Units
The database software lets you follow that $300,000 Bentley or bottle of ibuprofen from the manufacturer to the customer's door.

Unwanted Wireless Signals Bounce Off This Paint
You can brush it, roll it, or spray it ... and when it's applied over a weekend, the only way you'd know about it is that your cell phone won't work.

PS3 Game Consoles To Support Scientific Research
PS3 systems will be able to help study the causes of cancer, Alzheimer's, and other diseases by connecting to Folding@home, Stanford University's computing project that simulates protein folding.

All Our Latest News

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4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/digitallife/

It's Not The U.S. Patent And Propaganda Office, Is It?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has done a really terrible job the last few years. But just when you think it's surely hit bottom, it sinks even lower. This week Patent Office Director Jon Dudas released a study that says peer-to-peer file-sharing services may be setting up children for copyright infringement lawsuits and compromising national security. What's that got to do with patents, you ask? My point exactly.

Is Social Networking Destined To Go Bust?
Michael Hirschorn takes an in-depth look at online social networking and predicts that sites like MySpace will soon go bust.

Why CIOs Can't Help But Care About The Environment
Trendy as the idea of "Green Computing" is these days, most CIOs aren't under any real pressure to make their operations more earth-friendly. However, the pressure to cut costs means they have little choice but to act more green.

Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care
Mitch Wagner's first panel for South by Southwest was titled, "Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care." Four advocates discussed the reasons for using open source. Pleasantly, there was almost no Microsoft-bashing and only a little discussion of using open source because it's socially the right thing to do. "One of the myths that keeps people away from open source is that it smells a little bit like patchouli," said one audience participant. Instead, the panel offered hardheaded, practical reasons why using open source makes sense. The arguments will be pretty familiar to open source advocates, but they'll be compelling to anyone who's sitting on the fence, currently committed to proprietary software and worried about the risks of using open source.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

Deloitte Consulting seeking Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA

Toyota seeking Information Systems Specialist - Server Development and Support in Georgetown, KY

ITT Corporation seeking Sr. System Analyst in Fort Wayne, IN

Agilent seeking IT Manager MA&D Program Management in Santa Clara, CA

Agilent seeking IT Technical Support Specialist in Spokane, WA

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Enabling Technologies For Power And Cooling
This IDC technical briefing outlines the critical factors for power and cooling and analyzes the HP next-generation blade portfolio, the BladeSystem c-Class.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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