Since 2001 the FSFE has been enhancing users' rights by abolishing barriers for software freedom. For 20 years we have been helping individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

For the next two decades we need your help. We want everyone to be able to control their technology. Free Software and its freedoms to use, study, share, and improve are the key to that goal.

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GPLv3: Drafting version 3 of the GNU General Public License

GPLv3 logo

The June 29th 2007 release of version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL) marked the end of an eighteen month public consultation process. During this time, FSFE worked to raise awareness of the changes proposed for the licence, to help the community to participate in the public consultation, and to document the ongoing discussion to make this topic as accessible as possible.

For FSFE's GPL compliance information, see the Freedom Task Force.

  1. Discussion drafts: timeline and details
  2. Specific topics
  3. How to participate
  4. Event recordings and transcripts
  5. Links to further reading


The official GNU GPLv3

Discussion draft 4

Discussion draft 3

Discussion draft 2

Discussion draft 1

Specific topics

The aim of all versions of the GPL are to ensure that everyone who receives a copy of GPL-licensed software is free to use that software, to modify it, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form. Version 3 accounts for changes in software's legal and technical environment, and thwarts new techniques which have been devised to take those freedoms away from software users. Below are explanations of certain issues that have raised discussion during the GPLv3 consultation process.

How to participate

The public consultation is now over. The thousands of comments which were submitted are still available online. The "timeline" section above has links to the comments for each draft.

Event recordings and transcripts

For a list of past and future GPLv3 events, see the Events page on the GPLv3 wiki.