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GNU GPLv3 turns 10!

by Donald Robertson III Contributions Published on Jun 29, 2017 02:06 PM
The GNU General Public License version 3 celebrates its tenth birthday today.
GNU GPLv3 turns 10!

The FSF tech team (Andrew Engelbrecht, Ian Kelling, and Andrew Cabey) pose with the local Gnu and a birthday cake.

Ten years ago today heralded the release of the GNU General Public License version 3. Through several iterations over two years, public drafts enabled the community to develop a license that better addressed the changing software freedom landscape. From Tivoization, to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to the rise of software patents, many threats to software freedom had arisen since the creation of GPLv2. These threats still exist today, but hackers have for the past ten years had the right tool in their tool kit to fight back, with the GPLv3 being one of the most widely used free software licenses in the world.

More and more developers turn to the GPLv3 every day to meet their needs, as we've documented via our interview series. Whether to ensure the work always remains free, to protect against modern threats to software freedom, or simply to set an ethical compass for their project, maintainers of thousands of projects chose GPLv3 over the past decade. The Free Software Directory lists nearly 2,000 GPLv3 projects, with thousands more still to be added.

It's been a great first decade for version 3, with many more great years to come. Happy birthday, GPLv3!

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