GPLv3 Gets Samba!

The recently introduced GPL version 3 gets Samba – the ubiquitous Open Source networking stack for interoperability between Windowstm and pretty much everything else.

The next version of Samba to be released (3.2.0) will be issued under the GPLv3 license. This, in effect, means those organisations who have recently signed deals with Microsoft will most likely have to recind on their agreements or stay on the old version of Samba. They could, potentially fork it, but that’s an immensely non-trivial task to say the least 😉

The Microsoft/Novell deal is already tumbling with M$ backing away from their side of the bargain and leaving Novell to pick up the pieces. An excellent analysis of this is at the groklaw blog.

Samba is supplied with almost every Linux distribution I can think of and in recent years has become a better Windows networking stack than Windows itself provides… Better performance, better reliability and, of course, better price 🙂

You can read the Samba news article here:

You can also get a snapshot of which Open Source projects are adopting the new Version 3 license from Palamida.

This is good news for the GPLv3 as it will now almost certainly propagate very rapidly around the world. There are a large number of applications that use the Samba libraries. Some of these apps will have to change their licensing too.

If your code is released under a “GPLv2 only” license, it is not compatible with the Samba libraries released under the GPLv3 or LGPLv3 as the wording of the “GPLv2 only” license prevents mixing with other licenses. If you wish to use libraries released under the LGPLv3 with your “GPLv2 only” code then you will need to modify the license on your code.

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