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www/licenses rms-why-gplv3.html

From: Richard M. Stallman
Subject: www/licenses rms-why-gplv3.html
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 16:06:14 +0000

CVSROOT:        /webcvs/www
Module name:    www
Changes by:     Richard M. Stallman <rms>       09/12/15 16:06:14

Modified files:
        licenses       : rms-why-gplv3.html 

Log message:
        Minor cleanups, medium rewrites for clarity.


Index: rms-why-gplv3.html
RCS file: /webcvs/www/www/licenses/rms-why-gplv3.html,v
retrieving revision 1.15
retrieving revision 1.16
diff -u -b -r1.15 -r1.16
--- rms-why-gplv3.html  12 Sep 2009 13:25:48 -0000      1.15
+++ rms-why-gplv3.html  15 Dec 2009 16:06:10 -0000      1.16
@@ -14,7 +14,7 @@
 <p>by <strong>Richard Stallman</strong></p>
 <p><a href="/licenses/gpl.html">Version 3 of the GNU General Public
-License</a> has been released, enabling free software packages to
+License</a> (GNU GPL) has been released, enabling free software packages to
 upgrade from GPL version 2.  This article explains why upgrading the
 license is important.</p>
@@ -22,7 +22,7 @@
 First of all, it is important to note that upgrading is a choice.  GPL
 version 2 will remain a valid license, and no disaster will happen if
 some programs remain under GPLv2 while others advance to GPLv3.  These
-two licenses are incompatible, but that isn't a serious problem.</p>
+two licenses are incompatible, but that isn't a fundamental problem.</p>
 <p id="incompatibility">
 When we say that GPLv2 and GPLv3 are incompatible, it means there is
@@ -34,7 +34,7 @@
 GPLv2-compatibility clause to GPLv3, but it wouldn't do the job,
 because GPLv2 would need a similar clause.</p>
-<p>Fortunately, license incompatibility only matters when you want to
+<p>Fortunately, license incompatibility matters only when you want to
 link, merge or combine code from two different programs into a single
 program.  There is no problem in having GPLv3-covered and
 GPLv2-covered programs side by side in an operating system.  For
@@ -45,17 +45,18 @@
 Linux remains under GPLv2, there is no conflict.</p>
 <p>Keeping a program under GPLv2 won't create problems.  The reason to
-migrate is because of the existing problems which GPLv3 will address.</p>
+migrate is because of the existing problems that GPLv3 will address.</p>
 <p id="tivoization">
 One major danger that GPLv3 will block is tivoization.  Tivoization
-means computers (called &ldquo;appliances&rdquo;) contain GPL-covered software
-that you can't change, because the appliance shuts down if it detects
-modified software.  The usual motive for tivoization is that the
-software has features the manufacturer thinks lots of people won't
-like.  The manufacturers of these computers take advantage of the
-freedom that free software provides, but they don't let you do
+means certain &ldquo;appliances&rdquo; (which have computers inside)
+contain GPL-covered software that you can't effectively change, because the
+appliance shuts down if it detects modified software.  The usual
+motive for tivoization is that the software has features the
+manufacturer knows people will want to change, and aims
+to stop people from changing them.  The manufacturers of
+these computers take advantage of the freedom that free software
+provides, but they don't let you do likewise.</p>
 <p>Some argue that competition between appliances in a free market should
 suffice to keep nasty features to a low level.  Perhaps competition
@@ -66,7 +67,7 @@
 for you.</p>
 <p id="drm">
-In the crucial area of Digital Restrictions Management&mdash;nasty features
+In the crucial area of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)&mdash;nasty 
 designed to restrict your use of the data in your
 computer&mdash;competition is no help, because relevant competition is
 forbidden.  Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and similar
@@ -74,7 +75,7 @@
 DVD players unless they restrict the user according to the official
 rules of the DVD conspiracy (its web site is <a 
 but the rules do not seem to be published there).  The public can't
-reject DRM by buying non-DRM players, because none are available.  No
+reject DRM by buying non-DRM players because none are available.  No
 matter how many products you can choose from, they all have equivalent
 digital handcuffs.</p>
@@ -86,22 +87,21 @@
 deny you that freedom; to protect your freedom, GPLv3 forbids
-<p>The ban on tivoization applies to any product whose use by consumers,
-even occasionally, is to be expected.  GPLv3 tolerates tivoization
+<p>The ban on tivoization applies to any product whose use by consumers is to 
be expected, even occasionally.  GPLv3 tolerates tivoization
 only for products that are almost exclusively meant for businesses and
 <p id="patent-deals">
 Another threat that GPLv3 resists is that of patent deals like the
-Novell-Microsoft deal.  Microsoft wants to use its thousands of
-patents to make GNU/Linux users pay Microsoft for the privilege, and
-made this deal to try to get that.  The deal offers Novell's customers
-rather limited protection from Microsoft patents.</p>
+Novell-Microsoft pact.  Microsoft wants to use its thousands of
+patents to make users pay Microsoft for the privilege of running
+GNU/Linux, and made this pact to try to achieve that.  The deal offers
+rather limited protection from Microsoft patents to Novell's customers.</p>
 <p>Microsoft made a few mistakes in the Novell-Microsoft deal, and GPLv3
 is designed to turn them against Microsoft, extending that limited
 patent protection to the whole community.  In order to take advantage
-of this, programs need to use GPLv3.</p>
+of this protection, programs need to use GPLv3.</p>
 <p>Microsoft's lawyers are not stupid, and next time they may manage to
 avoid those mistakes.  GPLv3 therefore says they don't get a &ldquo;next
@@ -110,7 +110,7 @@
 royalties from the program's users.</p>
 <p id="patent-protection">
-GPLv3 also provides for explicit patent protection of the users from
+GPLv3 also provides users with explicit patent protection from
 the program's contributors and redistributors.  With GPLv2, users rely
 on an implicit patent license to make sure that the company which
 provided them a copy won't sue them, or the people they redistribute
@@ -118,8 +118,9 @@
 <p>The explicit patent license in GPLv3 does not go as far as we might
 have liked.  Ideally, we would make everyone who redistributes
-GPL-covered code surrender all software patents, along with everyone
-who does not redistribute GPL-covered code.  Software patents are a
+GPL-covered code give up all software patents, along with everyone
+who does not redistribute GPL-covered code, because there should be
+no software patents.  Software patents are a
 vicious and absurd system that puts all software developers in danger
 of being sued by companies they have never heard of, as well as by all
 the megacorporations in the field.  Large programs typically combine
@@ -141,7 +142,8 @@
 death: to be made effectively proprietary, through patents.  The
 explicit patent license of GPLv3 makes sure companies that use the GPL
 to give users the four freedoms cannot turn around and use their
-patents to tell some users &ldquo;That doesn't include you.&rdquo;  It also 
+patents to tell some users, &ldquo;That doesn't include you.&rdquo;
+It also stops
 them from colluding with other patent holders to do this.</p>
 <p id="further-advantages">
@@ -154,7 +156,7 @@
 Change is unlikely to cease once GPLv3 is released.  If new threats to
 users' freedom develop, we will have to develop GPL version 4.  It is
 important to make sure that programs will have no trouble upgrading to
-GPLv4 when the time comes.</p>
+GPLv4 if and when we write one.</p>
 <p id="future-proofing">
 One way to do this is to release a program under &ldquo;GPL version 3 or any
@@ -163,7 +165,7 @@
 The third way is for all the contributors to assign copyright to one
 designated copyright holder, who will be in a position to upgrade the
 license version.  One way or another, programs should provide this
-flexibility for the future.</p>
+flexibility for future GPL versions.</p>
 <!-- If needed, change the copyright block at the bottom. In general, -->
@@ -194,7 +196,7 @@
-Copyright &copy; 2007 Richard Stallman
+Copyright &copy; 2007, 2009 Richard Stallman
 <br />
 Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted
 worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.</p>
@@ -202,7 +204,7 @@
 <!-- timestamp start -->
-$Date: 2009/09/12 13:25:48 $
+$Date: 2009/12/15 16:06:10 $
 <!-- timestamp end -->

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