1 April, 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel: “FOSS developers don’t have enough choice when it comes to licensing.” says the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Thus, in order to contribute to the noble cause of licence proliferation, it announced new versions of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
The FSF announced the GPL version 4 (GPLv4), GPL version 5 (GPLv5), GPL version 6 (GPLv6), as well as the GPLv7, the GPLv8, the GPLv9 and the GPLv10 — all with their LGPL (Lesser GPL), AGPL (Affero GPL), and LAGPL (Lesser Affero GPL) variants, and all mutually incompatible with one another and with the GPLv2 and the GPLv3 (which are in turn now deprecated).
The New GPL logo now that GPLv3 was deprecated.
In addition, by popular demand, the FSF introduced some often requested variants of the GPL: Strangely-enticing GPL (SEGPL), Diamond Encrusted GPL (DEGPL), Zebra Flavoured GPL (ZFGPL), Objective GPL, GPL++, GPL Enterprise Edition (GPLEE), Industrial Strength GPL (ISGPL), GPL for Dummies (GPL4D), Unusable GPL (UGPL), GNU Passive Aggressive Public Licence (GPAPL), Proprietary GPL (PGPL), Non-Free GPL (NFGPL), and I Can't Believe It's Not The GPL (ICBINTGPL).
The Free Software Foundation is also going to introduce one GPL licence each day in an effort known “Daily GPL”, where each daily GPL breaks compatibility with all the previous daily GPLs. As an FSF spokesman said “We hope that soon there will be more versions of the GPL (“GPLs”? Hmmm…) than GPL-licenced software”.
The GPLs’ proliferation has met with some positive responses from organisations who need to deal with them. The administrators of Freecode, a releases announcements and cataloguing site for UNIX software, noted: “This initiative is threatening to make the database table holding the possible options for software licences larger than all other tables. We’re contemplating to just consolidate all these licences under one option of ‘Under one or more of the FSF so-called-‘GPL’ licences’.”.
In the meanwhile Linus Torvalds had this to comment: “I always was a big fan of version 2 of the GPL, but the new FSF licence The Positively-Awesome Make-Yourself-At-Home Fine-Grained-Control World-Domination-At-A-Snail’s-Pace GNU General Public Licence (GPL) from 2014-04-01-10:35:49 up-to-and-excluding 0123-04-01-01:55:09 seems like such a sexy licence, and I’m considering adopting it (after I implement some custom changes to make it more to my liking.). Good thing it didn’t take the FSF too long to come with a half-decent alternative to the GPLv2.”.
Copyright and Licence
This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2014, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version).
The Logo was created using Inkscape based on the SVG in the GPLv3_Logo in the English wikipedia (which is in the public domain but may contain trademarks), and modified using Inkscape by making use of “Mail Ray Stuff” font by Ray Larabie (found on dafont.com), which isn't a libre font, but its licensing terms seemed usable and acceptable for this purposes (and it is available for some kinds of commercial use). Here are the sources.