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Torvalds slams new GPL licence

Antony Savvas

The proposed digital rights management (DRM) provisions in the new GNU General Public License (GPLv3) have been given the thumbs-down by Linux kernel developer Linus Torvalds.

GPL v3 is expected to be adopted by the open source community over the next 12 months, with the licence used to distribute versions of the Linux operating system and other open-source software.

However, Torvalds, who supervises the development of the Linux kernel, a key component of the Linux OS, said he did not expect the kernel to adopt the licence, as it was too “burdensome” with the DRM feature.

It is believed the DRM provisions are seen by Torvalds as a possible block on wider commercial adoption of Linux.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is promoting the GPLv3, and it will now have to deal with Torvald’s objections if it is see the GPL updated in the way it wants.

The GPL v3 DRM feature prevents GPL-licensed software from being used in DRM copy-protection software, which is described as "digital restrictions management" software by the FSF.


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