The General Public License hasn't had a proper update for 13 years, and it's starting to show its age. It looks set to be updated though, to ensure it's more in tune with today's software models and potential legal battles.

Modernisation is coming to the General Public License, a legal framework that supports a large part of the free and open source software movements and that has received sharp criticism from Bill Gates.

GPL author Richard Stallman says he's working on amendments that could deal better with software patents; clarify how GPL software may be used in some networked environments and on carefully controlled hardware; and lower some barriers that today prevent the mixing of software covered by the GPL and other licences.

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