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New GPL licence touted as saviour of Linux, Android

The Register - The Free Software Foundation reckons its new version of the General Public Licence removes the problems bedevilling version two, but not everyone is convinced the problem even exists.

The FSF reckons that Linux developers need to move quickly to GPLv3 if they're to avoid Android (and similar Linux-based platforms) getting tied up in legal battles, despite the fact that many are claiming such battles are no more than figments in the eyes of publicity-hungry bloggers.

 

At issue is the clause in version two of the GPL which states that anyone breaching the restrictions irrevocably surrenders their rights under the licence. As just about every Android licensee has, at some point, failed to provide source code (or written notice of source code provision), then (the argument goes) they are all in breach of the GPLv2 and thus open to copyright suits from every Linux developer.

This was highlighted by IP attorney Edward Naughton, expounded by Florian Mueller, and reported by us. All this attention has prompted the FSF to explain that its latest licence fixes the problem completely.