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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the third
  5. international GPLv3 conference, Barcelona; 2006-06-22</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <div style="float:right;">
  9. <a href="gplv3.html"><img SRC="/graphics/gplv3-logo-red.png"
  10. ALT="GPLv3 logo" BORDER="0"
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  12. </div>
  13. <h1>Transcript of Richard Stallman at the 3nd international GPLv3
  14. conference; 22nd June 2006</h1>
  15. <p>
  16. See our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page for information
  17. on <a href="gplv3#participate">how to participate</a>. And you may
  18. be interested in
  19. our <a href="">list of
  20. transcripts on GPLv3 and free software licences</a>.
  21. </p>
  22. <p>The following is a transcript of Richard Stallman's presentation
  23. made at
  24. the <a href="/campaigns/gplv3/europe-gplv3-conference.html">third
  25. international GPLv3 conference</a>, organised by FSFE in Barcelona.
  26. The conference page has materials from the other presentations.
  27. </p>
  28. <p>Please support work such as this by
  29. joining <a href="">the Fellowship of FSFE</a>,
  30. and by encouraging others to do so. Transcription of this
  31. presentation was undertaken
  32. by Ciaran O'Riordan.
  33. The video was made and processed by Sean Daly.</p>
  34. <p>Richard Stallman launched
  35. the <a href="/documents/gnuproject.html">GNU project</a> in 1983,
  36. and with it the <a href="/documents/freesoftware.html">Free
  37. Software</a> movement. Stallman is the president of FSF - a sister
  38. organisation of FSFE.</p>
  39. <p>Video and audio recordings are available:</p>
  40. <ul>
  41. <li>Audio: <a href="fsfe-gplv3-richard-stallman.vorbis.ogg.torrent"></a></li>
  42. <li>Video: <a href="fsfe-gplv3-richard-stallman.theora.ogg.torrent"></a></li>
  43. </ul>
  44. <p>The speech was made in English.</p>
  45. <h2>Presentation sections</h2>
  46. <ol>
  47. <li><a href="#begin">The presentation</a></li>
  48. <li><a href="#free-software">What is a Free Software licence</a></li>
  49. <li><a href="#copyleft">Copyleft</a></li>
  50. <li><a href="#copyleft-history">History of copyleft</a></li>
  51. <li><a href="#licence-incompat">How licence incompatibility happens</a></li>
  52. <li><a href="#future-compat">&quot;Or any later version&quot;</a></li>
  53. <li><a href="#liberty-or-death">Liberty or Death</a></li>
  54. <li><a href="#why-update">Why update the GPL?</a></li>
  55. <li><a href="#decision-process">The decision process</a></li>
  56. <li><a href="#tivoisation">Tivoisation and Digital Restrictions Management</a></li>
  57. <li><a href="#patents">Software patents</a></li>
  58. <li><a href="#compatibility">Extended compatibility</a></li>
  59. <li><a href="#affero-clause">Affero clauses</a></li>
  60. <li><a href="#lgpl">The future of the LGPL</a></li>
  61. <li><a href="#new-wordings">Rewording exceptions, propagation</a></li>
  62. <li><a href="#termination">Licence termination</a></li>
  63. <li><a href="#near-future">What happens in the next 2 months</a></li>
  64. <li><a href="#draft2-preview">A preview of the new changes coming in Draft 2</a></li>
  65. <li><a href="#less-about-keys">Removing the bit about distributing keys</a></li>
  66. <li><a href="#net-or-mail">What's better? The Internet or mail order?</a></li>
  67. </ol>
  68. <h2>Questions and Answers session sections</h2>
  69. <ul>
  70. <li><a href="#q1-about-using-mail">Q1: Why require Internet distribution?</a></li>
  71. <li><a href="#q2-compatibility">Q2: What might GPLv3 be compatible with?</a></li>
  72. <li><a href="#q3-lgpl-when">Q3: When will LGPL v3 be out?</a></li>
  73. <li><a href="#q4-will-lgpl-disappear">Q4: Will LGPL disappear?</a></li>
  74. <li><a href="#q5-options-complexity">Q5: Is complexity a possible problem?</a></li>
  75. <li><a href="#q6-when-official-gplv3">Q6: When will GPLv3 officially exist?</a></li>
  76. <li><a href="#q6b-how-transition">Q6b: How will the transition happen?</a></li>
  77. <li><a href="#q7-drm">Q7: DRM and GPLv3</a></li>
  78. <li><a href="#q8-proliferation">Q8: Is licence proliferation being tackled?</a></li>
  79. <li><a href="#q9-gpl-and-law">Q9: Does the GPL trump national law?</a></li>
  80. <li><a href="#q9b-choosing-v2-or-v3">Q9b: Can distributors choose v2 or v3?</a></li>
  81. <li><a href="#q10-translations">Q10: Will there be translations</a></li>
  82. <li><a href="#q11-banning-bad-use">Q11: Should GPLv3 ban unethical acts?</a></li>
  83. </ul>
  84. <h2 id="begin">The presentation</h2>
  85. <p>
  86. [1:03]
  87. </p>
  88. <p class="indent">
  89. Richard Stallman: When should I start?
  90. </p>
  91. <p>
  92. Sean Daly: Whenever you're ready
  93. </p>
  94. <p class="indent">
  95. Well, I guess [pauses 3 seconds]... I'll start now.
  96. </p>
  97. <p id="free-software">[Section: What is a Free Software licence]</p>
  98. <p class="indent">
  99. The most important thing to know about any version of the GNU General
  100. Public License, or &quot;GNU GPL&quot;, is that it's a Free Software licence.
  101. This is crucial to understanding it. The purpose of the GNU GPL is to
  102. assure user's freedom, because the goal of the Free Software movement
  103. is the liberation of cyberspace.
  104. </p>
  105. <p class="indent">
  106. &quot;Free Software&quot; means that the users have four essential freedoms.
  107. Freedoms that every user of software should have.
  108. </p>
  109. <ul>
  110. <li>Freedom 0 is the freedom to run the program, as you wish, however you
  111. wish, for any purpose.</li>
  112. <li>Freedom 1 is the freedom to study the program's source code, and
  113. change it so that it does what you wish.</li>
  114. <li>Freedom 2 is the freedom to help your neighbour. This is the
  115. freedom to distribute copies when you wish, including publishing
  116. them. and</li>
  117. <li>Freedom 3 is the freedom to help your community. This is the
  118. freedom to distribute modified versions when you wish, including
  119. publishing them.</li>
  120. </ul>
  121. <p class="indent">
  122. If you have all four of these freedoms, then the program is Free
  123. Software, for you. If one of these freedoms is substantially missing,
  124. then the program is proprietary software, XXX &quot;privativo&quot;, because it
  125. denies the users these essential freedoms. A &quot;privativo&quot; program is a
  126. social mechanism for subjugating its users, which is what makes it
  127. unethical and anti-social, and that's the reason why I launched a
  128. movement to put an end to that practice of keeping people in
  129. subjection.
  130. </p>
  131. <p>
  132. [3:53]
  133. </p>
  134. <p id="copyleft">[Section: Copyleft]</p>
  135. <p class="indent">
  136. Free Software respects these four freedoms for users. It's easy to
  137. write a simple Free Software licence that basically says &quot;you can do
  138. anything you want&quot;. The X Window System traditionally was distributed
  139. under such a licence, but this is not the best way to liberate all the
  140. users because one thing that some people do when they get software
  141. under such a licence is they make a modified version or improved
  142. version and they distribute it as software privativo, and when that
  143. happens, their users do not have the four freedoms. They are
  144. subjugated. So this is a practice that undermines the freedom of the
  145. whole community. Therefore, having seen this, at the beginning of the
  146. GNU project, I conceived a way of preventing this problem from
  147. occurring.
  148. </p>
  149. <p class="indent">
  150. This method we called copyleft or &quot;izquierdo
  151. copia&quot; because
  152. you can think of it as copyright flipped over. Whereas copyright is
  153. typically used for software developers to subjugate the users, to keep
  154. them divided and helpless, copyleft protects all the users and makes
  155. sure they are free, and the way it does this is by forbidding the
  156. middle men from taking away the freedom from the subsequent users.
  157. Copyleft says whenever the code reaches you, the freedom must also
  158. reach you, along with the code, and it does this by saying that nobody
  159. can put himself in between you and the developer to strip off the
  160. freedom and pass along to you a proprietary program.
  161. </p>
  162. <p id="copyleft-history">[Section: History of copyleft]</p>
  163. <p class="indent">
  164. The GNU GPL is a descendant of the first copyleft licence. I wrote
  165. the first copyleft licence in 1985 and it was called the GNU Emacs
  166. General Public License, and I put it on GNU Emacs. It was a licence
  167. that said &quot;this is the licence for GNU Emacs&quot;, and here's how it
  168. worked, it said &quot;GNU Emacs is copyrighted,&quot; now, copyright law says
  169. that if something is copyrighted, people are not allowed to copy and
  170. modify it but then the licence said &quot;you are authorised to copy this,
  171. you're authorised to publish, you are authorised to modify this, you
  172. are authorised to publish your modified versions, but there's a
  173. condition&quot; and the condition is you must respect the same freedoms for
  174. everyone else. So the condition says &quot;whatever version you
  175. distribute, must be available as source code and must carry this same
  176. licence&quot;. That is copyleft. When you say &quot;you can change this any
  177. way you want, but the modified version has to carry this same
  178. licence&quot;
  179. that provision is copyleft. That's how we make sure that every user
  180. gets the freedoms that are spelled out in this licence.
  181. </p>
  182. <p class="indent">
  183. A copyleft licence for software also must require that the users get
  184. effective access to the source code. Giving users permission to copy
  185. and modify binaries without access to the source code does not
  186. effectively give users freedom #1 - the freedom to change the program
  187. to do what they wish.
  188. </p>
  189. <p>
  190. [8:50]
  191. </p>
  192. <p class="indent">
  193. This first copyleft licence was called the GNU Emacs General Public
  194. License because it was only for Emacs. It said in it &quot;this is the
  195. licence for GNU Emacs, GNU Emacs is available under this licence&quot;.
  196. </p>
  197. <p class="indent">
  198. In 1989, I revised it so that it could operate on any program without
  199. any change. So, the licence did not say which program it was about,
  200. instead, you would simply drop this licence into any program and put
  201. notices on the source files saying &quot;this file is under the GNU General
  202. Public License&quot;, and then it would be. Anyone could use the same
  203. exact licence in any program. This was a very important advance, and
  204. not just because it was more convenient. Before that, we had the GNU
  205. Emacs General Public License, and the GCC General Public License, and
  206. they were identical except for the name. It only takes about fifteen
  207. seconds to edit the name, that's not the point. The point is that the
  208. GNU Emacs General Public License and the GCC General Public License
  209. were different and they were incompatible.
  210. </p>
  211. <p id="licence-incompat">[Section: How licence incompatibility happens]</p>
  212. <p class="indent">
  213. The GNU Emacs General Public License said all modified versions must
  214. be under the GNU Emacs General Public License. The GCC General Public
  215. Licence said all modified versions must be under the GCC General
  216. Public License. What if you wanted to merge Emacs and GCC? There was
  217. no legal way to do that, because this one says the combined work must
  218. be under this licence, and this one says it has to be under this
  219. licence, and they're the same licence. It's impossible for the
  220. licence of the combination to be this one, and at the same time be
  221. this one. So by designing a single licence that could be dropped in
  222. identically to Emacs and GCC, we made these two programs
  223. licence-compatible.
  224. </p>
  225. <p id="future-compat">[Section: &quot;Or any later version&quot;]</p>
  226. <p class="indent">
  227. Another advance in the first version of the GNU GPL was a provision
  228. for upgrades. We knew that we would need to change it some day, so we
  229. put in a provision that said &quot;if your program say it's covered by
  230. version 1 or any later version of the GNU GPL, then, on some later
  231. date when version 2 is released, your program will automatically,
  232. immediately be usable under version 2&quot;. This was very important to
  233. avoid incompatibilities. Whenever you change a copyleft licence, the
  234. new version and the old one are incompatible because each one says
  235. &quot;modified programs must be released under this licence&quot;, so GPL
  236. version 1 says &quot;modified versions must be under GPL version
  237. 1&quot;,
  238. and GPL version 2 says &quot;modified versions must be under GPL version
  239. 2&quot;.
  240. </p>
  241. <p class="indent">
  242. They can't be both, so we would have had a big incompatibility problem
  243. between the programs under GPL version 1 and the programs under GPL
  244. version 2. To prevent that, we designed this way for people to let
  245. their programs advance automatically to GPL version 2. It's a very
  246. good thing that most people did that because in 1991 we designed
  247. version 2 of the GNU GPL. All the GPL covered software, or just about
  248. all, advanced to version 2. The changes in version 2 were fairly
  249. small.
  250. </p>
  251. <p id="liberty-or-death">[Section: Liberty or Death]</p>
  252. <p class="indent">
  253. There was one particular important change, which was the addition of
  254. section 7. The &quot;Liberty or Death&quot; clause, as I've generally thought
  255. about it, which says that if someone has conditions imposed on him
  256. that don't allow him to distribute the software in a way that respects
  257. all the freedoms stated in the GPL, then he can't distribute at all.
  258. </p>
  259. <p>
  260. [14:16]
  261. </p>
  262. <p class="indent">
  263. If somebody sues you and offers you a settlement saying &quot;you can
  264. distribute the software, but only as object code&quot;, or &quot;you can
  265. distribute the software but you'll have to make people who get it
  266. promise not to modify it&quot; at that point, the only thing you can do is
  267. stop distributing it. It is better for our software to be wiped out
  268. than for it to become &quot;privativo&quot; because the whole purpose of the
  269. Free Software movement is to liberate the users in cyberspace. If we
  270. fail to achieve that, then we've achieved nothing.
  271. </p>
  272. <p class="indent">
  273. Now, some people who were being a bit too literal minded might say
  274. &quot;isn't it better to give people software with some freedoms than no
  275. software at all?&quot; The problem is, if you think you have that option,
  276. you won't fight as hard as you can. This clause in the GPL
  277. essentially means we've burnt our boats. We're going to win or we're
  278. going to fail completely, but we won't lose because we told ourselves
  279. we could content ourselves with something less than freedom.
  280. </p>
  281. <p class="indent">
  282. However, in the past few months, Eben Moglen pointed out to me that
  283. even if such an event happens, it doesn't really kill off the program.
  284. It might interfere with its use in certain places by certain parties,
  285. but the program will remain in existence and free for a lot of other
  286. people, so it turns out that the name &quot;Liberty or Death&quot; is a bit
  287. exagerated and we're going to change the name of that paragraph. But
  288. it's still, in its spirit, it's the right way to think about the
  289. issue.
  290. </p>
  291. <p class="indent">
  292. [17:14]
  293. </p>
  294. <p id="why-update">[Section: Why update the GPL?]</p>
  295. <p class="indent">
  296. It was a few years ago that we became aware of certain issues calling
  297. for more work on the GPL. It was about four years ago that I began
  298. working with Eben Moglen on designing a new version of the GPL, and we
  299. did a lot of work, and then we laid it aside, but last year we decided
  300. that things were becoming urgent, so we decided we're going to get it
  301. done now and we made plans to spend several months working on it
  302. together.
  303. </p>
  304. <p id="decision-process">[Section: The decision process]</p>
  305. <p class="indent">
  306. We released the first discussion draft in January after several months
  307. of working together on the text, and, we also designed a careful plan
  308. for how to request and then study and act on the feedback from various
  309. parts of our community. Various kinds of users and contributors. We
  310. did not decide to let the community decide what goes into GPL version
  311. 3. There is a fundamental reason for this. Because Free Software is
  312. very often attractive for purely practical reasons, we have collected
  313. tens of millions of users who choose Free Software purely for
  314. practical benefits and do not appreciate the freedom that we have
  315. given them. These are the kind of people that assume that you should
  316. choose between Free Software and proprietary software based on
  317. practical convenience, which is another way of saying that they value
  318. freedom at zero. How sad. How can freedom ever be safe, when people
  319. don't appreciate it. People have had to fight for freedom, over and
  320. over.
  321. </p>
  322. <p class="indent">
  323. And when people do not value their freedom, they are very likely to
  324. lose it. But that's the fact. Most of our community does not
  325. appreciate freedom. Most of the World, lets go of vital freedoms
  326. whenever some crooked politician tells them &quot;I'm going to protect you
  327. from terrorists, give up your freedom, let me protect you.&quot;
  328. </p>
  329. <p class="indent">
  330. So, if we wanted to do a good job of protecting freedom with version 3
  331. of the GNU GPL, we could not let the majority of our users decide what
  332. goes into that licence, but we need to listen to what they have to say
  333. because there are lots of potential problems and we're not smart
  334. enough to see them all.
  335. </p>
  336. <p class="indent">
  337. [20:52]
  338. </p>
  339. <p class="indent">
  340. We need to get a lot of feedback, so we've worked out a way to try to
  341. do them both.
  342. </p>
  343. <p id="tivoisation">[Section: Tivoisation and Digital Restrictions Management]</p>
  344. <p class="indent">
  345. There are several primary areas where version 3 is
  346. different from version 2. One is in regard to tivoisation. Now,
  347. you've probably never heard the term &quot;tivoisation&quot;, because I made it
  348. up, but it's an extremely important threat to our freedom. It's
  349. named after a product called the &quot;TiVo&quot;, which is capable of recording
  350. many television channels at once and then the user can watch any of
  351. the shows later on.
  352. </p>
  353. <p class="indent">
  354. However, it's also designed to restrict the user in certain ways.
  355. There's no way to copy a recording out of the TiVo, and I think it
  356. erases them after a certain amount of time, and it also reports
  357. everything the user watches. So it's spying on the user all the time.
  358. </p>
  359. <p>
  360. [22:30]
  361. </p>
  362. <p class="indent">
  363. The TiVo, as it happens, contains a small GNU+Linux operating system.
  364. It contains, therefore, several Free Software packages under the GNU
  365. GPL and the GNU GPL requires them to make the source code available to
  366. the users, and I believe they do. The users can then modify the
  367. source code, compile it, and install it in the TiVo. At which point,
  368. it won't run, because the TiVo contains a special mechanism that
  369. notices if the programs have changed and refuses to run at all. It
  370. just shuts down. That is tivoisation: designing machines so that if
  371. the user installs modified versions they can't really function.
  372. </p>
  373. <p>
  374. [23:43]
  375. </p>
  376. <p class="indent">
  377. Tivoisation turns freedom number 1 into a sham. Freedom 1 is the
  378. freedom to study the source code and change it so that the program
  379. does what you want. With tivoisation, this freedom becomes purely
  380. theoretical. Yes, you can change the program so that it could be
  381. run in some other machine, and that might be useful for someone, but
  382. you can't change it and run it on the TiVo, and this is a deliberate
  383. restriction that they impose on the public.
  384. </p>
  385. <p class="indent">
  386. The usual motive for tivoisation is because they are doing something
  387. else nasty, and that something else is called DRM - Digital
  388. Restrictions Management [repeats in Spanish &quot;Gestion Digital
  389. Restrictiones&quot;?], in other words, the functionality of refusing to
  390. function. Where the machine says: &quot;I don't wanna let you see this
  391. file&quot; - &quot;I don't wanna let you copy part of this file&quot;
  392. - &quot;I don't
  393. wanna print this file for you, 'cause I don't like you&quot;. That is
  394. DRM.
  395. </p>
  396. <p class="indent">
  397. Freedom number 1 is the freedom to change the program to do what you
  398. want. If you want to change the program so that you can't view
  399. certain files anymore, if you want to change the program so that you
  400. can't copy part of certain files, or you can't print certain files,
  401. you should be free to do that. GPL version 3 respects your freedom to
  402. do that. You can then distribute that modified version. GPL version
  403. 3 respects and defends your freedom to do that, but it will not let
  404. you take those same freedoms away from people who get that modified
  405. version.
  406. </p>
  407. <p>
  408. [26:03]
  409. </p>
  410. <p class="indent">
  411. GPL version 3 is designed to prohibit tivoisation, and the way we do
  412. this is by saying that whoever distributes the program, must provide
  413. whatever keys are necessary to install modified versions of the
  414. program such that they can really do the job.
  415. </p>
  416. <p class="indent">
  417. Freedom 0 says you have the right to run the program as you wish for
  418. any purpose. This means you have a right to take your copy and use it
  419. on your computer for whatever purpose. This does not mean that you have a
  420. right to impose your purpose on other users. If your purpose is to
  421. restrict other people, and you want to do it by giving them a GPL
  422. covered program then you're out of luck because they, at that point,
  423. are the ones entitled to freedom using their copies. They're entitled
  424. to the freedom to change the program and run it for any purpose of
  425. their's and you have no right to control what they do. That's what we
  426. say to some people who demand the right to use our software to impose
  427. DRM on the public.
  428. </p>
  429. <p>
  430. [27:50]
  431. </p>
  432. <p class="indent">
  433. Yes they have the right to implement DRM and distribute the software,
  434. but they don't have the right to impose it on the general public in a
  435. way that they cannot escape from. The GPL version 3 draft has other
  436. measures in it to try and stop DRM as well, but again, not by
  437. prohibiting people from implementing those malicious features but
  438. rather by helping to safeguard users from evil laws that most
  439. countries in Europe have already adopted, which forbid users to do
  440. that. There's a law in spain, I'm almost certain.
  441. </p>
  442. <p class="indent">
  443. Spain has implemented the EUCD right? Pablo? Tomorrow? oh. Is there
  444. a battle going on here. In France there is a big battle over the
  445. implementation of the [EUCD]. I'm afraid, if there's no battle in
  446. Spain, they're surely going to do something much worse than the
  447. directive requires. The directive requires making it illegal to
  448. distribute, at least commercially, software that is capable of freeing
  449. users from the restrictions imposed by DRM.
  450. </p>
  451. <p class="indent">
  452. GPL version 3 contains language specifically designed to say that this
  453. power is waived, giving users permission to make the other software
  454. that interoperates.
  455. </p>
  456. <p>
  457. [30:00]
  458. </p>
  459. <p id="patents">[Section: Software patents]</p>
  460. <p class="indent">
  461. Now, another area that GPL version 3 is designed to work on is that of
  462. patents. The main motive for what we used to call the &quot;Liberty or
  463. Death&quot; clause, is the danger of patents.
  464. </p>
  465. <p class="indent">
  466. &quot;Software patents&quot; mean, simply patents that restrict what people can
  467. put in software. In general, a patent describes one or more ideas in
  468. fairly general terms. Ideas for how to build something, or how it can
  469. operate, and then says everyone is forbidden to use those ideas until
  470. the patent expires. When these ideas can be ideas you can implement
  471. in software, running on general purpose computing facilities, then
  472. it's a software patent and software patents are extremely dangerous
  473. because they mean you can write a program yourself and then get sued
  474. by somebody you never even heard of. Not just once but maybe twenty
  475. times or a hundred times by twenty or a hundred different people
  476. you've never heard of, because a large program combines lots of
  477. different ideas, thousands if not even more.
  478. </p>
  479. <p class="indent">
  480. If 10% of the ideas are patented, that means the large program will
  481. infringe hundreds of patents, if not more. One large program has been
  482. carefully studied by a lawyer in the US, who looked for all the
  483. software patents that might prohibit some part of it. That program is
  484. Linux, the kernel of the GNU+Linux operating system. He found 283
  485. different patents applying to various techniques and features
  486. implemented somewhere in Linux. So this shows what the problem is
  487. like. Other Free Software licences written in the past decade often
  488. contain an explicit statement granting patent licences from developers
  489. and distributors to the users. We decided it was most reliable to do
  490. that too.
  491. </p>
  492. <p>
  493. [32:59]
  494. </p>
  495. <p class="indent">
  496. Previously, we had figured that anyone that distributed the program is
  497. implicitly saying he wasn't going to then sue you for doing what he
  498. had told you you could do, but we concluded it's safer to make this
  499. explicit, so GPL version 3 draft has an explicit patent licence.
  500. We're doing some rewriting of how it works, which you'll see when the
  501. next draft is published, but it's going to contain an explicit
  502. statement so that the developers and distributors can't sue people who
  503. then use the program that they distributed.
  504. </p>
  505. <p>
  506. [33:51]
  507. </p>
  508. <p id="compatibility">[Section: Extended compatibility]</p>
  509. <p class="indent">
  510. Another main area of improvement in version 3 is extended
  511. compatibility with certain other licences. First of all, we've
  512. decided to make explicit in the licence what it means for other
  513. licences to be compatible. That, we hope, will clarify a lot of
  514. uncertainties people have had, which we have so far addressed with the
  515. Frequently Answered Questions list.
  516. </p>
  517. <p class="indent">
  518. The idea is that there are some other Free Software licences which are
  519. compatible with the GPL meaning that if a program is released under
  520. one of those licences, that licence gives, effectively, permission to
  521. relicence under the GPL. There are two ways that can happen. Some
  522. licences explicitly say &quot;you can also use this program under the GNU
  523. GPL&quot;. In other cases, it's because the licence is so permissive that
  524. to relicence it under the GNU GPL is permitted.
  525. </p>
  526. <p>
  527. [35:30]
  528. </p>
  529. <p class="indent">
  530. In any case, we've decided to explicitly describe this and then extend
  531. it a certain amount. We've made a list of certain kinds of additional
  532. requirements that may be added, some of which are trivial and we think
  533. they're ok anyway but we might as well state it, but some are
  534. non-trivial, and this is a real substantive change. For instance,
  535. we've stated that it's ok to have a requirement saying that certain
  536. trademarks must not be used except as trademark law would normally
  537. permit.
  538. </p>
  539. <p class="indent">
  540. This is a condition for use the code under copyright law, but it
  541. refers to trademark law. The reason is that there's some important
  542. Free Software licences that have a requirement like that, so this way
  543. we're making them compatible with the new version of the GNU GPL.
  544. </p>
  545. <p class="indent">
  546. Another kind of requirement that we see is patent retaliation. There
  547. are some Free Software licences that say anyone who sues for patent
  548. infringement under certain conditions loses the right to use this
  549. software. Now, these requirements vary because they vary according to
  550. the precise conditions that they state. So there are different kinds
  551. of patent retaliation clauses.
  552. </p>
  553. <p class="indent">
  554. We have worked out which kinds of patent retaliation clauses seem
  555. legitimate to us, and we have explicitly allowed for those kinds of
  556. clauses. And that will make some additional licences compatible with
  557. the GNU GPL.
  558. </p>
  559. <p>
  560. [37:45]
  561. </p>
  562. <p id="affero-clause">[Section: Affero clauses]</p>
  563. <p class="indent">
  564. And there's another kind of clause that we're making compatible and
  565. that's what we call the &quot;Affero clause&quot; because it was first used in the
  566. Affero GPL. The Affero GPL is a modified version of the GNU GPL which
  567. has an additional requirement designed to make sure that if somebody
  568. runs a modified version on a publicly accessible server, that the
  569. users of the server can also get the modified source code. In effect
  570. it's a requirement on public use of the program.
  571. </p>
  572. <p class="indent">
  573. We thought about putting some kind of clause like that into GPL
  574. version 3 but we decided that would be too drastic to put it on all
  575. GPL covered programs, so I thought, lets make it a conditional
  576. requirement that has to be activated by something you do in the
  577. program - you put something in the program to make that requirement
  578. apply to it, and then I realised, once we designed this extended
  579. compatibility provision, that the easiest way to implement that was
  580. just to use the extended compatibility provision. So this way, people
  581. will be able to put that kind of extended compatibility requirement on
  582. their programs, on their code. That way, it will be there for their
  583. code and programs that contain their code, but other than that, for
  584. other GPL covered programs, it won't apply.
  585. </p>
  586. <p class="indent">
  587. This way we don't need to design any special kind of control
  588. mechanism. If you want that clause on your code, you put it on your
  589. code.
  590. </p>
  591. <p>
  592. [39:56]
  593. </p>
  594. <p id="lgpl">[Section: The future of the LGPL]</p>
  595. <p class="indent">
  596. One of the nice things this has enabled us to do is: we have been
  597. able to rewrite the Lesser GPL - the GNU LGPL - so that it uses this
  598. clause. The GNU Lesser GPL will not have to restate most of the
  599. things in the GPL, it will say it's the GNU GPL plus these added
  600. permissions. One of the other benefits we get from this is that we
  601. make it clear that any time someone adds extra permissions on top of
  602. the GNU GPL, that when you modify the program you can take off those
  603. added permissions. You can release your version under the strict GPL
  604. and nothing more.
  605. </p>
  606. <p class="indent">
  607. We've also made it clear that it's impossible, it's
  608. self-contradictory, to try to add any requirements that are not in our
  609. list of what's allowed. From time to time people do that. They say
  610. &quot;This program is available under the GNU GPL except you can't use it
  611. commercially.&quot; This is a self contradiction. The result is
  612. nonsense. You can't tell, even, what that really means because it's
  613. not clear what the licence would be for modified versions.
  614. </p>
  615. <p>
  616. [41:54]
  617. </p>
  618. <p class="indent">
  619. With GPL version 3, it's going to be clear that any added restrictions
  620. that the GPL doesn't allow for can be removed.
  621. </p>
  622. <p>
  623. [Richard is asked to stop, the tape is changed, then Richard
  624. continues]
  625. </p>
  626. <p class="indent">
  627. Thank you. Most people who are recording a speech aren't organised
  628. enough to warn me to pause, and as a result there are gaps in the
  629. recording which could easily be avoided.
  630. </p>
  631. <p>
  632. [42:28]
  633. </p>
  634. <p id="new-wordings">[Section: Rewording exceptions, propagation]</p>
  635. <p class="indent">
  636. So, those are the main areas - the big areas of change - but there are
  637. some smaller ones. We've done some rewriting of what we call the
  638. &quot;system library exception&quot;, to try to make it clearly cover the
  639. possibility of distributing a version of our software with a non-free
  640. operating system, but at the same time to limit it so that this can't
  641. be abused. The kind of abuse we're concerned about would be to find a
  642. way to make extensions in the functionality in the program itself
  643. which are part of the non-free operating system because the goal of
  644. copyleft is that all the modifications and extensions to the program
  645. must themselves be free.
  646. </p>
  647. <p class="indent">
  648. We've done a lot of rewriting designed specifically for
  649. internationalisation of the licence. Instead of talking about
  650. &quot;copying&quot; and &quot;distribution&quot;, we use the term
  651. &quot;propagation&quot;.
  652. &quot;Propagation&quot; means, basically, copying and everything else that might
  653. have the same results as copying.
  654. </p>
  655. <p>
  656. [44:27]
  657. </p>
  658. <p class="indent">
  659. Then we give conditions in terms of propagation, rather than copying,
  660. and we also have the concept of propagation that can result in others
  661. having copies, and we make conditions for that instead of
  662. &quot;distribution&quot;.
  663. </p>
  664. <p class="indent">
  665. This, to a substantial extend, insulates the GPL from differences
  666. between copyright laws in different countries, so that we'll get the
  667. same result, as far as is legally possible, in all countries.
  668. </p>
  669. <p class="indent">
  670. Another area where we made some change is in the issue of distributing
  671. binaries now and providing source code later, on request. We've
  672. decided that if somebody is distributing the binaries as part of a GPL
  673. covered program, he must continue providing the source code on request
  674. for as long as he continues to provide any other kind of customer
  675. support for that product because, obviously, it won't be very
  676. difficult to include this particular kind of customer support.
  677. </p>
  678. <p>
  679. [46:15]
  680. </p>
  681. <p id="termination">[Section: Licence termination]</p>
  682. <p class="indent">
  683. And we made a change in the way termination of the licence works. In
  684. GPL version 2, if someone violates the licence, it terminates
  685. automatically. At that point, if he wants to have permission once
  686. again, to distribute or modify the program, he needs to ask for it - or
  687. copy the program or anything that he needs the licence to do - he must
  688. ask to get permission back again.
  689. </p>
  690. <p class="indent">
  691. For version 3, we've made a change. The change is that the developer
  692. has to tell the user that he has done something wrong, and he has to
  693. do this within 60 days of some violation. If the user continues to
  694. violate the licence, the developer can always send this notice, but if
  695. the user stops violating the licence, and then 60 more days go by, at
  696. that point it's no longer possible for the developer to notify him
  697. anymore.
  698. </p>
  699. <p class="indent">
  700. So, in other words, if the user recognises the violation and stops,
  701. there's a sort of statue of limitations. Once the developer has put
  702. the user on notice, at that point the developer can terminate the
  703. licence at any time. What that means is that the user has to start
  704. negotiating with the developer and saying &quot;please don't terminate my
  705. licence, what do you want from me?&quot; What this means is that if
  706. someone continues to violate the licence, this change really makes no
  707. difference. You'll have to say &quot;I see you're violating the
  708. licence&quot;,
  709. and then you can terminate it.
  710. </p>
  711. <p class="indent">
  712. But, if somebody violates the licence by mistake and he sees it and he
  713. fixes it, then 60 days later, if he hasn't been notified, he doesn't
  714. have to worry.
  715. </p>
  716. <p>
  717. [49:14]
  718. </p>
  719. <p class="indent">
  720. If someone has been violating the licence with an entire GNU/Linux
  721. distribution, which, right now, if you did that, there are thousands
  722. of GPL covered programs in a GNU/Linux distribution, which means your
  723. licence for all of them has been terminated automatically and how in
  724. the World are you going to contact all those developers to beg them to
  725. give you permission again?
  726. </p>
  727. <p class="indent">
  728. Whereas, with this change, what will happen is, some of them will say
  729. &quot;We see you're violating the licence, this is the notice&quot;. At that
  730. point you'll say &quot;Oops&quot;, you'll fix it, and during the 60 days
  731. that follow, some additional developers may decide to put you on
  732. notice. But since they see you did it by accident, and that you've
  733. fixed it, they'll probably say &quot;ok, I won't terminate your
  734. licence&quot;
  735. and then you're ok. The point is that with the thousands of other
  736. developers who didn't do anything, you are not in trouble. With the
  737. ones who have put you on notice, at least you know where to reach
  738. them, so that they can say eventually &quot;ok, we see that you've fixed
  739. it, we won't terminate your licence, you're ok.&quot;
  740. </p>
  741. <p class="indent">
  742. This provision was designed to help people who accidentally violate
  743. the requirements and fix it, without interfering with the ability to
  744. enforce the licence legally against willful violators.
  745. </p>
  746. <p>
  747. [51:04]
  748. </p>
  749. <p id="near-future">[Section: What happens in the next 2 months]</p>
  750. <p class="indent">
  751. In another month or so, we're going to release the next discussion
  752. draft and at that point we will once again ask for public comment on
  753. the changes. We will be doing this through the site <a href=""></a>,
  754. the same site as before. That site contains a mechanism that people
  755. can use to pick a part of the text of the licence and associate their
  756. comment with it.
  757. </p>
  758. <p class="indent">
  759. At that point, some discussion committees will start looking at these
  760. comments and studying the issues that they raise, and passing them on
  761. to me to work on together with Eben Moglen and the other lawyers that
  762. work with him and thus we'll once again see what further change is
  763. needed. When we publish the new discussion draft, we will also
  764. publish a new Rationale Document giving the explanation of the changes
  765. that we will have made since the first draft. We will also publish - I
  766. think it will be ready at the same time but I'm not sure - responses
  767. to all the issues raised by the comments we received on the first
  768. draft.
  769. </p>
  770. <p id="draft2-preview">[Section: A preview of the new changes coming in Draft 2]</p>
  771. <p class="indent">
  772. I'll give you a bit of a preview of the changes that will probably be
  773. in the next discussion draft, a very general preview.
  774. </p>
  775. <p>
  776. [53:03]
  777. </p>
  778. <p class="indent">
  779. We decided to rename the &quot;Liberty or Death&quot; for the program clause to
  780. &quot;No Surrendering Others' Freedom&quot;, which is a precise description of
  781. what it does. You're not allowed to surrender freedom on behalf of
  782. people who are going to get the program from you.
  783. </p>
  784. <p>
  785. [a mobile phone rings]
  786. </p>
  787. <p class="indent">
  788. If you are carrying a portable surveillance and tracking device,
  789. please turn it off. They have already tracked you here. They already
  790. know that you are listening to me, so there is no need for you to keep
  791. telling them that you are still here. And if they want to listen to
  792. what I am saying, we're going to publish the video recording anyway.
  793. They don't need to turn on your portable surveillance device to do it.
  794. </p>
  795. <p>
  796. [54:13]
  797. </p>
  798. <p id="less-about-keys">[Section: Removing the bit about distributing keys]</p>
  799. <p class="indent">
  800. So, we decided to get rid of a requirement that some people have
  801. confused, which says that you must distribute all the keys that are
  802. necessary for another program to read this program's output, because
  803. we figured that as long as we succeed in preventing tivoisation, we
  804. can always modify the program so that it writes its output in
  805. unencrypted form some place else, and then you can write another
  806. program to read it without needing any keys at all.
  807. </p>
  808. <p class="indent">
  809. Some people have got the idea - we don't think it's true - that this
  810. part of GPL version 3 prohibits things such as the GNU Privacy Guard,
  811. who's purpose is encryption for privacy, and that's not the goal at
  812. all. The goal again was fighting against imposing DRM in such a way
  813. that you can't escape from it. That's another change that some people
  814. will like.
  815. </p>
  816. <p id="net-or-mail">[Section: What's better? The Internet or mail order?]</p>
  817. <p class="indent">
  818. We're going to ask people to consider the idea of allowing someone to
  819. distribute binaries in a physical product and keep the corresponding
  820. source code available on a network server instead of offering mail
  821. order.
  822. </p>
  823. <p class="indent">
  824. Version 2 of the GPL says, one option is to distribute only binaries,
  825. together with a written offer to send the sources later. The first
  826. draft of version 3 has a similar provision. What we're considering
  827. now is an option that says you can distribute just the binary, but you
  828. must tell people &quot;here's where they can get the source code on the
  829. Net&quot;, and that must be kept available for three years plus whatever.
  830. </p>
  831. <p class="indent">
  832. The argument for this is that nowadays, for everyone in the World,
  833. this is more convenient than mail order. In the past it wasn't. In
  834. the past it was very often that downloading the data would have been
  835. unbearable for most people. Nowadays, I'm told that there are
  836. services which will download something off the Net and mail it to you
  837. on a CD and it doesn't cost very much, so, this is something we will
  838. be asking people to give feedback on.
  839. </p>
  840. <p>
  841. [57:51]
  842. </p>
  843. <p class="indent">
  844. We found it necessary to redesign the mechanism of the explicit patent
  845. licence, so the next draft will work differently but it will do the
  846. same job. And we introduced the concept of &quot;conveying&quot;, to mean the
  847. for propagating copies to others. Where GPL 2 talks about
  848. &quot;distribution&quot;, and draft 1 talks about &quot;propagating in such a way
  849. that others may get copies&quot;, we will be talking about
  850. &quot;conveying&quot;
  851. copies. It should make the thing much easier to read.
  852. </p>
  853. <p class="indent">
  854. We're still putting the finishing touches on the second draft.
  855. </p>
  856. <p class="indent">
  857. And, I guess that's it.
  858. </p>
  859. <p>
  860. [applause]
  861. </p>
  862. <p class="indent">
  863. Now I will answer questions.
  864. </p>
  865. <p class="indent">
  866. There's one other thing I should say. It's a very general thing.
  867. Governments that impose harsh restrictions on their citizens, backed
  868. up by cruel punishments, on behalf of corporations, are showing that
  869. they are not really on the citizens' side. They're not working for
  870. us, they don't represent us except with lip service. They represent
  871. the corporations and their goal is to rule us. These governments are
  872. democratic only in name. And since governments get their legitimacy
  873. from ruling on behalf of the people and protecting the people's
  874. rights, these governments lose their legitimacy.
  875. </p>
  876. <p class="indent">
  877. I'm very sad to say that almost all governments around the World have
  878. done this. Government of the people, by the flunkies, for the
  879. corporations. And it makes me very sad.
  880. </p>
  881. <p class="indent">
  882. So now I'll answer questions.
  883. </p>
  884. <p>
  885. [1:01:16]
  886. </p>
  887. <p id="q1-about-using-mail">
  888. Q1: In GPL version 2, for non-source distribution, there are three
  889. options, but two real options. One of them is to distribute the
  890. source code with the binaries, the other is to distribute an offer for
  891. the source code with the binaries. Under version 2, both of these
  892. options are permitted for Internet distribution as well.
  893. </p>
  894. <p class="indent">
  895. RMS: That's never been our understanding, and that's why we made it
  896. clearer. The option of offering to provide source code later is not
  897. supposed to be for Internet distribution, it's for physical
  898. distribution.
  899. </p>
  900. <p>
  901. Q1b: Can you explain to me what the reasoning is there?
  902. </p>
  903. <p class="indent">
  904. RMS: If you're distributing on the Internet, there's another option in
  905. GPL version 2, which is, you put the binary and the source up on the
  906. Net, side by side, and you let people copy them, one or both, as they
  907. wish. That's the option for Internet distribution.
  908. </p>
  909. <p>
  910. Q1c: might that not use a lot of bandwidth? Might someone prefer to
  911. send a CD?
  912. </p>
  913. <p class="indent">
  914. RMS: It uses as much bandwidth as the user wants. The point is, you
  915. put both on the server and the user can download the binaries and the
  916. user can download the source, one or the other or both. So the user
  917. decides, the user downloads as much as he wants. It says explicitly,
  918. you don't have to make sure that the users get the source if they get
  919. the binaries, you just have to put them both up for download.
  920. </p>
  921. <p>
  922. Q1d: I was actually thinking more, and this is a complaint I've heard,
  923. but, not that we necessarily have to listen to it, but upload
  924. bandwidth, at least in the United States, most broadband services are
  925. designed so that you are a consumer. Their downsteam bandwidth is
  926. much greater than their upstream bandwidth.
  927. </p>
  928. <p class="indent">
  929. RMS: Well, you know, I pity the poor distributor who has a server and
  930. can't get the source code to it.
  931. </p>
  932. <p>
  933. [laughter]
  934. </p>
  935. <p class="indent">
  936. But he can find some way. He can go to some place where they have
  937. more bandwidth. He can buy more bandwidth. He can mail a CD to his
  938. server site. There's something he can do. He can wait a bit longer
  939. before he releases it. Aren't the binaries generally much bigger than
  940. the source code anyway?
  941. </p>
  942. <p>
  943. Q1e: I don't think so, any more actually. But they're about the same,
  944. they're in the same order of magnitude.
  945. </p>
  946. <p class="indent">
  947. RMS: Well then obviously this is no disaster, and it's a price society
  948. should pay to make sure users get the source code frequently.
  949. </p>
  950. <p>
  951. Q1f: Thank you.
  952. </p>
  953. <p>
  954. [1:04:28]
  955. </p>
  956. <p id="q2-compatibility">
  957. Q2: When you add the clauses to make it more compatible, were you
  958. thinking about some particular licences?
  959. </p>
  960. <p class="indent">
  961. RMS: Yes and no. The main decision was based on what is ethically
  962. acceptable to add to the GPL, but, in looking at details, we tried to
  963. make certain licences compatible. Most importantly the Apache
  964. licence. It will be very useful to have compatibility between the GNU
  965. GPL version 3 and the Apache Public License.
  966. </p>
  967. <p class="indent">
  968. But also, we're thinking about licences that will be written in the
  969. future. We hope to influence licence developers in the future to make
  970. their licences in a way that's compatible with the GNU GPL.
  971. </p>
  972. <p id="q3-lgpl-when">
  973. Q3: Will the new version of the LGPL become public at the same time as
  974. the second discussion draft of the GPL?
  975. </p>
  976. <p class="indent">
  977. RMS: Yes. We'll publish our draft of the revised LGPL at the same
  978. time as the next draft of the GPL.
  979. </p>
  980. <p id="q4-will-lgpl-disappear">
  981. Q4: Did you say LGPL will disappear?
  982. </p>
  983. <p class="indent">
  984. RMS: Well, it won't disappear, but instead of being a licence that
  985. starts from scratch and is self-contained, it will be much shorter and
  986. it will say &quot;This consists of the GNU GPL plus the following added
  987. permission&quot;.
  988. </p>
  989. <p>
  990. Q4a: So you have no problem to replace LGPL licenced GNU software to
  991. GPL licenced software with an exception, right?
  992. </p>
  993. <p class="indent">
  994. RMS: Yes, the LGPL will say &quot;I am the GNU GPL plus these added
  995. permissions&quot;, so it will say &quot;this is version, whatever, of
  996. the LGPL&quot;,
  997. but instead of being self-contained, it will say &quot;I consist of the GNU
  998. GPL plus some added permissions&quot; and the added permissions will
  999. essentially be unchanged from the LGPL. I think I recall that there
  1000. is literally no difference.
  1001. </p>
  1002. <p id="q5-options-complexity">
  1003. Q5: I think one of the things that people like about GPL version 2 is
  1004. that it's one licence, so whenever you talk about the GPL, you know
  1005. what you're talking about, but with version 3 you have these options,
  1006. you can add something, you have the ability to add something that only
  1007. applies to that particular thing you're writing there. Are you
  1008. afraid that this makes is more likely to be used, or does it have any
  1009. effect?
  1010. </p>
  1011. <p class="indent">
  1012. RMS: How many people use GPL 3 depends on lots of things, but I think
  1013. this is a price worth paying for the added compatibility which will be
  1014. tremendously beneficial for this society. Also, we have a requirement
  1015. that says when there are added permissions or requirements on parts of
  1016. the program, there must be a central list which mentions all of them.
  1017. Which means, it won't be hard to find all the terms. Also, because
  1018. any added requirements have to fit into certain narrow categories, for
  1019. most purposes they don't make any difference.
  1020. </p>
  1021. <p id="q6-when-official-gplv3">
  1022. Q6: When will the licence, version 3, be ready to be used?
  1023. </p>
  1024. <p class="indent">
  1025. RMS: I don't know. Basically, our plan is to have another draft in
  1026. October, and that may be the final draft. That may be the actual
  1027. licence. Or that may be another discussion draft. It depends what
  1028. problems people find in the coming draft. We don't know. One must be
  1029. flexible about this.
  1030. </p>
  1031. <p id="q6b-how-transition">
  1032. Q6b: Second question, when people start to update their licences to
  1033. the new versions, how will that happen in practice?
  1034. </p>
  1035. <p class="indent">
  1036. RMS: In practice, any program that says it can be distributed under
  1037. GPL version two &quot;or later&quot; will automatically be available under GPL
  1038. version 3, but, when people make subsequent releases, they can change
  1039. that to say &quot;GPL version 3 or later&quot;, that's what we will do in
  1040. subsequent releases of GNU software.
  1041. </p>
  1042. <p>
  1043. Q6c: Basically, in a system with many components, people don't have to
  1044. modify their code?
  1045. </p>
  1046. <p class="indent">
  1047. RMS: It depends. There are some programs which say GPL version 2
  1048. &quot;only&quot;, and those things will still be under GPL version 2 only,
  1049. unless the developers get together and change it, but those that say
  1050. &quot;GPL version 2 or later&quot; will automatically be usable under GPL
  1051. version 3 when it is official.
  1052. </p>
  1053. <p>
  1054. Q6d: Ok, so it depends on that one sentence.
  1055. </p>
  1056. <p class="indent">
  1057. RMS: Right. But remember, a distribution that contains many programs
  1058. is a collection. Mostly those programs are independent of each
  1059. other, and each one does what it does. The fact that they're together
  1060. in one distribution doesn't change anything.
  1061. </p>
  1062. <p>
  1063. Q6e: I am just afraid that those independent components of open source
  1064. projects they operate their licences individually [RMS interrupts]
  1065. </p>
  1066. <p class="indent">
  1067. RMS: Right, but we don't talk about &quot;open source&quot; here. We do not
  1068. work on open source, we did not design GNU GPL to be open source,
  1069. we're not designing GPL version 3 to be open source, because &quot;open
  1070. source&quot; is the name of a different philosophy - one that doesn't place
  1071. the values of freedom and freedom to cooperate at the forefront. For
  1072. us those are the priorities. What we do, you won't be able to
  1073. understand it if you think in terms of open source, and if you
  1074. describe what we do as open source, the people you're talking to won't
  1075. understand it either.
  1076. </p>
  1077. <p id="q7-drm">
  1078. Q7: With the delicate issue of Digital Restrictions Management, you
  1079. are saying that DRM is for proprietary software but not for Free
  1080. Software?
  1081. </p>
  1082. <p class="indent">
  1083. RMS: Not exactly, what I'm saying is that Digital Restrictions
  1084. Management represents an attempt by certain few to impose their
  1085. control over everyone else, and that this is wrong, and that because
  1086. their goal is to control other people, the next thing they do, almost
  1087. always, is they try to stop users from changing the software. In
  1088. other words, they try to take away, for practical purposes, freedom
  1089. number 1. We have decided to defend freedom number 1 - that is, the
  1090. freedom to change the software so that it does what you want.
  1091. </p>
  1092. <p class="indent">
  1093. We do not forbid the implementation of DRM. That is, GPL version 3
  1094. will no forbid people to modify the software so that it fails to do
  1095. certain things. What we insist on is that whoever does this and
  1096. distributes the crippled program respect the freedom of other people
  1097. to add what is missing.
  1098. </p>
  1099. <p>
  1100. Q7b: So, government laws are not GPL laws?
  1101. </p>
  1102. <p class="indent">
  1103. RMS: I heard the words but I don't understand. I have no idea what it
  1104. would mean to be GPL laws. I'm sorry.
  1105. </p>
  1106. <p>
  1107. [the question is reworded and asked later, see <a href="#q9-gpl-and-law">Q9</a>]
  1108. </p>
  1109. <p id="q8-proliferation">
  1110. Q8: Proliferation of licences sometimes makes it difficult. What do
  1111. you have in mind to help to reduce this current proliferation of
  1112. licences.
  1113. </p>
  1114. <p class="indent">
  1115. There's nothing I can do about it. Mostly, new licences are developed
  1116. by companies that are not particularly interested in respecting users'
  1117. freedom. I have less influence with them than with any other part of
  1118. our community. I hope that they will release their software under GPL
  1119. version 3, but you'll have to convince them, not me.
  1120. </p>
  1121. <p>
  1122. [1:18:18]
  1123. </p>
  1124. <p id="q9-gpl-and-law">
  1125. Q9: I have two questions. The first one is what I have understood of
  1126. [Q7b]. I think what was being asked was that, in your explanation of
  1127. DRM and tivoisation, it sounded like GPL trumps national laws.
  1128. </p>
  1129. <p class="indent">
  1130. RMS: No, in general it can't. The only time we can do that is in
  1131. situations where the developer or distributor of a certain program
  1132. legally has certain powers, and if so, that developer or distributor
  1133. can waive those powers too, and if he can waive those powers, GPL
  1134. version three will say &quot;by distributing this program, you waive the
  1135. power over this program.&quot; That's the only case in which the GPL can
  1136. override a national law, it's when the national law itself gives the
  1137. distributors of a program the option to do so.
  1138. </p>
  1139. <p id="q9b-choosing-v2-or-v3">
  1140. Q9b: And my question is, when programs have been licensed under the
  1141. terms of GPL &quot;version 2 or later&quot; pass automatically to version 3,
  1142. what happens to the new restrictions added, I guess they're optional,
  1143. in the new licence?
  1144. </p>
  1145. <p class="indent">
  1146. RMS: Ah, here it is. First of all, the program that says &quot;version 2
  1147. or later&quot; doesn't have them. Now, if you want to change it, to merge
  1148. in something, say, under the Apache licence, you can do that if you're
  1149. using it under version 3 of the GPL, but you can't do that under
  1150. version 2. When you do that, you have to change it to say version 3
  1151. or later. However, as long as you don't merge in anything under the
  1152. Apache licence, you could if you wish continue having it say &quot;version
  1153. 2 or later&quot;.
  1154. </p>
  1155. <p>
  1156. Q9c: But anyone can add any restrictions.
  1157. </p>
  1158. <p class="indent">
  1159. RMS: Not any restrictions.
  1160. </p>
  1161. <p>
  1162. Q9d: ...that are in the menu.
  1163. </p>
  1164. <p class="indent">
  1165. RMS: Yes, right, but since it's only GPL version 3 which permits that,
  1166. when you do that, you'd better take away the thing that says &quot;GPL
  1167. version 2&quot;.
  1168. </p>
  1169. <p class="indent">
  1170. Can someone note down that we should have a FAQ answer about that?
  1171. Novalis? That would be a useful thing to clarify for people.
  1172. </p>
  1173. <p id="q10-translations">
  1174. Q10: As for translations, will there be versions in Spanish, French?
  1175. Official versions of v3?
  1176. </p>
  1177. <p class="indent">
  1178. RMS: We're not sure. It's very dangerous to make an official
  1179. translation of the GPL. What if we made a horrible mistake?
  1180. </p>
  1181. <p class="indent">
  1182. If it's a Spanish translation, I can read it. That doesn't mean that
  1183. I will understand its legal consequences. Y'now, producing a
  1184. translation in Castellano would be as much work as producing
  1185. the original English version. Well, maybe it will only be a quarter
  1186. as much work. That's a lot of work.
  1187. </p>
  1188. <p class="indent">
  1189. And then, although I've got some idea what these words mean in regard
  1190. to US copyright law, from many years of discussing these issues with
  1191. copyright lawyers, but that doesn't mean that I have the faintest
  1192. idea... I probably don't even know the vocabulary of law in Castellano.
  1193. </p>
  1194. <p class="indent">
  1195. Those are words I don't know. And now imagine what happens when
  1196. someone wants a Polish translation. This is a very hard problem.
  1197. </p>
  1198. <p>
  1199. Q10b: Could the FSFE work on it?
  1200. </p>
  1201. <p class="indent">
  1202. RMS: Well, the thing is, maybe yes and maybe no. How would the FSF
  1203. Europe work on it? They would get lawyers to do it, but, who are
  1204. those lawyers, and to what extent do we know we can trust them. It's
  1205. really hard, because a mistake could be a Worldwide disaster.
  1206. </p>
  1207. <p class="indent">
  1208. Now, I've got the idea, maybe we could release a translation approved
  1209. only for one country. We could release a translation in
  1210. Castellano, approved only for Spain, and then separately we could
  1211. release one only for Mexico, and it might be the same.
  1212. </p>
  1213. <p class="indent">
  1214. But, even if it's the same, the point is, it's got to be checked for
  1215. Mexico. The crucial thing is, we don't want it to be valid in the US,
  1216. or China, India, Brazil, and so on. Because, if we release fifty
  1217. translations and each one is valid everywhere, that's fifty chances
  1218. for a horrible mistake to happen. Even if we were just as reliable
  1219. with each translation as we are with the original, I don't want to
  1220. have fifty times the chance to make a mistake. So this is one way to
  1221. limit it.
  1222. </p>
  1223. <p class="indent">
  1224. Now, another question is: would it be ok to release a time-limited
  1225. translation? I'm not sure about this. The master GPL cannot be
  1226. time-limited. If we give you certain freedoms, it must be forever.
  1227. However, maybe it's ok if the translation is time-limited and may be
  1228. replaced with another translation. This way, maybe we can correct
  1229. errors. Errors are much less dangerous if we can correct them. But
  1230. it's not clear that it's acceptable, even for a translation, to be
  1231. time limited, to not be forever.
  1232. </p>
  1233. <p class="indent">
  1234. It's a very hard job.
  1235. </p>
  1236. <p class="indent">
  1237. Other questions?
  1238. </p>
  1239. <p id="q11-banning-bad-use">
  1240. Q11: Can I make my question in Spanish?
  1241. </p>
  1242. <p class="indent">
  1243. RMS: Si [Richard and the audience member discuss the question in
  1244. Spanish, then Richard answers in English]
  1245. </p>
  1246. <p>
  1247. [1:28:33]
  1248. </p>
  1249. <p class="indent">
  1250. A free program must be available for all kinds of use. That's
  1251. fundamental. For authors to try to restrict what users do, in their
  1252. own lives, in their own activities, is completely unacceptable. Any
  1253. program, unless it serves only trivial purposes, like a game, can be
  1254. used for evil purposes, just as a pen, or typewriter, or a telephone,
  1255. can be used for evil purposes.
  1256. </p>
  1257. <p class="indent">
  1258. I don't think that we should allow pens or telephones or typewriters
  1259. to come with requirements for what you can use them for, nor general
  1260. purpose programs. That is its own form of tyranny. A program with
  1261. such restrictions would not be Free Software. We will not allow any
  1262. such restrictions to be added to any version of GNU GPL.
  1263. </p>
  1264. <p class="indent">
  1265. The most common restriction they propose, is restriction against
  1266. military use. I would be extremely unhappy if my friend [sounds like
  1267. &quot;Zargento Mayor Totos Bravo&quot;] in Venezuela could no longer install new
  1268. versions of our software on the army's servers. The army of Venezuela
  1269. may be necessary for resistance against an invasion some day from: you
  1270. can guess where.
  1271. </p>
  1272. <p>
  1273. [Q&amp;A ends, applause]
  1274. </p>
  1275. <h2>Further information</h2>
  1276. <ul>
  1277. <li>For general information, links, and a schedule, see
  1278. our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page</li>
  1279. <li>See
  1280. the <a
  1281. href="/campaigns/gplv3/europe-gplv3-conference.html">conference
  1282. webpage</a> for recordings, transcripts, and summaries of the other
  1283. presentations</li>
  1284. <li>You can support FSFE's work, such as our GPLv3 awareness work,
  1285. by joining <a href="">the Fellowship of
  1286. FSFE</a>, and also by encouraging others to do so</li>
  1287. </ul>
  1288. </body>
  1289. </html>