The latest draft version of the new open source General Public License (GPL) is scheduled to be available from the Free Software Foundation tomorrow.
The current GPL 2 oversees usage rights and restrictions covering Linux and many other open source programs.
The third discussion draft of GPL version 3 is set to ignite fresh controversy in the industry, between those who want a more distinct separation between open source and proprietary software and those beginning to merge the two environments together.
Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the third discussion draft, and the final version is expected 30 days after that.
The final version of GPL 3 was initially expected this month, but various events have helped to delay it introduction.
Linux creator Linus Torvalds for instance, threw a spanner in the works when he objected to anti-digital rights management aspects of the draft, and the recent Microsoft/Novell partnership has caused severe ructions in the open source community.
Microsoft got into bed with Linux distributor Novell to jointly market open source software, and has agreed not to sue Novell users for using Linux software which may contain proprietary Microsoft code.
There is a belief among some in the industry that future GPL 3-based open source software may not offer easy backward compatibility in legal terms to GPL 2-based code, because of changes in the industry.
Related article: Microsoft claims Linux infringement of intellectual property
Related article: Torvalds attacks new open source licence proposals
Comment on this article: firstname.lastname@example.org