Whatever Happened to the GNU GPLv3?


Remember all that fuss about how the arrival of version 3 of the GNU GPL would split the world of free software, cause global tsunamis and premature baldness? Well, if you want to know exactly what did happen in the year since GNU GPLv3 was blessed by St IGNUcius, try this useful analysis by Black Duck Software. Here are the bullet points:

GPL use holds steady

Thousands choose v3

Yet most remain with v2

Use of GPL licences is increasingly split

Dual licensing on the rise

And here's the summary from Black Duck's CEO, Douglas Levin:

We saw rapid conversion out of the gate on established GPL projects to version three, more so than adoption by newer projects. seems that version two is, simply put, good enough or preferable for some of the bigger projects. The new provisions of GPLv3, which were mostly around digital rights management (DRM) and patent infringement, aren’t necessary for most projects. Looking ahead, we’d expect to see movement to version three to slow to an average increase of 10 percent a month, which is still 183 percent growth for the year. Regardless of this relative drop-off in movement to GPLv3, there are still likely to be more than 6,000 projects using the license a year from now. Although we don’t expect it, these projections could alter substantially if one or more of the major open source projects currently on GPLv2 were to move to version three.

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