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GPL 3, a hindrance more than helpful February 8, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

We have all heard about the new GPL. While I myself am against DRM and similar “protection schemes” Im a realist. They are around and content providers, some not all, will want to utilize these protections. After all musicians, actors, directors, production houses all make money from sales. How are they making money from users swapping disks, iPods and Flash drives? They arent. What does this mean for software developers and their ownership of IP? It totally obliterates the concept of IP ownershipand obliterates patent rights. If I own the source code to a commercial product. I dont intend to release it as a GPL product, one of my employees steals it, under the new GPL3 Im screwed. If I raise a claim of ownership bwcause naturally i would be claiming patent infringement, not only does the GPL community say “Tough shit” but I also have to quit using all code licensed under the GPL 3 even if that code is not related to the stolen property. There are only two things that will come from GPL v3, you will have my assurance that I will not ever use code published under GPL v3 or adopt that license under any circumstance for any of my products. But that Google (If Linus Torvalds succumbs to the pressure of converting to GPL 3) will have to change platforms as a GPL v3 Linux kernel would be incompatible with any music or video offering they come up with. Most other content providers would not provide software to allow their content to be played back or viewed on a system licensed under the GPL v3.

Its not time to blame Microsoft, Apple or the RIAA for the use of DRM. We have the pirates, the moochers and other law breakers to thank for DRM.



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