Stallman's dream and GPLv3
Have you watched Revolution OS the 2001 documentary by J. T. S. Moore that chronicles the story of Richard Stallman, the GNU license, Linux, and basically the whole "cathedral vs. bazaar" mentality of how we make things and send them out into the world? I got a free copy somehow and just watched it because I was bored one night and had nothing else to do.
It is a fascinating film that begins from total geekdom but builds a case for the public sphere, domain the "commons" that extends far beyond the few lines of code or kernels that gave birth to a movement. Richard Stallman is one of the interviewees and I found this update to the present and the release of GPL v. 3 with the charming reference to "Stallman's dream" very interesting.
In case you think this is just a hippie pipe dream, note the value of Linux code, etc. For today's writers, and I am thinking of the young journalists I teach, the idea that you can get more from giving stuff away and sharing, from building connections, not walls is critical to their economic future in my view.
The thing to realize about the GPL using and creating Free Software community, is that the word "community" is the most important part. It's like a club, where membership only depends on you accepting the spirit of the license used by all the members, the GPL. Note that I say the spirit, and not just the letter of the license. The reason for this is that the code created by the Free Software community is incredibly valuable. One estimate put the price tag on creating the Linux kernel at over $600 million. In the early days of the project I work on, Samba, a commercial competitor who shall remain nameless offered around $40 million for the rights. They were refused. With values that high for code seen as "freely available for the taking" it is very tempting for people who lust after it to try and find ways to break the spirit of the license, whilst sailing close to (or even transgressing) the letter of the license, in order to give themselves a proprietary advantage.