The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is set to release the General Public License version 3 (GPLv3) at noon on Friday (in the US — Saturday morning in Australia), more than three months after the initial 15 March deadline.

FSF founder Richard Stallman will launch GPLv3 — after eighteen months of debate and four drafts — via a video stream on the organisation’s Web site.

Peter T Brown, executive director Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced the launch date in an e-mail posted to a mailing list today.

Changes in the latest version of the GPL include the restoration of compatibility with the Apache License, the addition of patent retaliation clauses to prevent future arrangements similar to Microsoft and Novell’s pact, and increased internationalisation of the licence.

The release of the GPLv3 comes 16 years after the release of GPLv2.