Here's an update on some of what's been going on in the copyleft-next
draft since a week ago.
One of the more significant changes is a substantial simplification of
the termination section. For what are best summarized as "historical
reasons", GPLv3 has effectively two cure provisions (interestingly,
MPL 2.0's drafters chose to adapt much of the GPLv3 language). I've
replaced it with one cure period and I just refer to a "reasonable
time period" (cf. EPL 1.0) instead of the 30-day and 60-day periods of
GPLv3. I'm not convinced that it's better not to have a fixed time
period for cure, though I am convinced that a 30-day and a 60-day
provision are not both needed.
The structure of having automatic termination coupled with automatic
reinstatement upon cure is preserved. This is unusual but it reflected
concerns expressed by those active in GPL enforcement in Germany that
automatic termination facilitated enforcement under German law.
I have added a 'severability clause' which is a common feature of
contracts and is found in a number of FLOSS licenses. The FSF opted
not to have a severability clause in GPLv3 out of concern that it
could lead to unpredictable judge-made alterations of the GPL that
might frustrate basic policy objectives. The advantages of a
severability clause seem to me to outweigh this concern. (GPLv2 has a
limited severability clause in its 'liberty-or-death' section, which
was removed from GPLv3.)
I added a section at the beginning giving a 'general rule of
construction', in some ways replacing one function the GPL Preamble
ought to serve. The language here was adapted from the Preamble of
Allison Randal's experimental short GPLv3 alternative which she
drafted in 2007.
I deleted the lengthy yet narrow provision I call, for lack of a
better name, "child of downstream shielding" (GPLv3 section 11
paragraph 5). This is actually a very important provision for
historical reasons, as a guide to understanding the FSF's
interpretation of the GPL, but I believe it has proven to have little
value in the license itself. With this deletion, note that all the
patent-related provisions of GPLv3 are now gone except for the
Licensor's patent license grant (which has been restructured but, at
least as I conceive it currently, is not different in scope from the
patent license grant of GPLv3).
Sadly, vanilla copyleft-next is still over 100 lines longer than the
Apache License 2.0, but great progress has been made. :-)