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Open sourcerers at Samba have signed up to GPLv3 for all future releases of the Samba software suite, describing the new licence as "better [suited to] the needs of Free Software in the 21st century".

The developers say they will issue a new software release number so that users can distinguish between versions licensed under GPLv2 and GPLv3.

They write: "To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2."

The decision does not change the way code contributions are handled, but will affect access to libraries. Samba says: "If your code is released under a "GPLv2 only" license, it is not compatible with the Samba libraries released under the GPLv3 or LGPLv3... 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."

As for the two most contentious areas of GPLv3, Samba says it is not aware of any distributions that would fall foul of GPLv3's new language on DRM, but suggests any one in doubt seek legal advice.

Likewise bring in the lawyers if you want to update your licence but have entered into any Microsoft/Novell style patent covenant agreement - these are banned under GPLv3. ®

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