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GNU General Public License v3: A Legal Analysis

10 Pages Posted: 2 May 2008  

Andrés Guadamuz

University of Sussex

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This paper offers a first-look legal analysis of the draft version 3 of the GNU General Public License, and will also look at the debate that it has generated in the Free and Open Source community. The paper will answer the following vital questions: Is the GPL v3 different in any fundamental way from GPL v2? What are the main differences? What will be the impact of the new GPL to the problem of software patents? Is there an incompatibility problem with previous versions of the licence? How does it compare with other existing licences?

Keywords: GNU, General Public Licence, GPL, Open Source, Information Technology

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Guadamuz, Andrés, GNU General Public License v3: A Legal Analysis. SCRIPT-ed, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 2006. Available at SSRN:

Andres Guadamuz (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

Brighton, BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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