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Was GPLv3 Worth the Effort?

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Was GPLv3 Worth the Effort?

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GPLv3, the great General Public License rewrite, is now a year-old and used by 2,345 open source projects including Ubuntu, SugarCRM and Samba.  

Adoption has reportedly been growing at about 20% a month over the past six months.  

According to some figures sent around by Black Duck, approximately 58% of all open source projects today are covered by GPLv2 and 11% by LGPLv2.  

Most of the widely used open source projects, including Linux, JBoss and Hibernate, remain with version two.  

“We saw rapid conversion out of the gate on established GPL projects to version three, more so than adoption by newer projects,” said Douglas Levin, founder and CEO of Black Duck Software. “It 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% a month, which is still 183% 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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