On the day of release, a group of more than 15 open source projects will release their software under the new licence, Brett Smith, a licensing compliance engineer with the FSF, told vnunet.com.
The remaining so-called GNU programs will switch to the new licence in the next few months, according to Smith.
These include key components of Linux such as GLibC, the fundamental library on which every program depends, and GNU Coreutils, a package that contains many basic tools needed for Unix-like operating systems.
GNU is a free operating system that predates Linux by eight years. The project is headed up by the FSF, which drafted the GPLv3 together with the Software Freedom Law Center.
The term 'Linux' refers only to the kernel of the operating system as well as device drivers.
Linux distributions rely heavily on system utilities and libraries from the GNU project. The GNU tools licence switch will subject all future Linux versions to the GPLv3.
The new licence introduces two fundamental changes over the previous version. Most notably, it will ban exclusive patent licensing deals.
A company providing a patent licence to a single GPLv3 user will by default provide that pledge to all users and developers.
Secondly, the terms impose a ban on closed digital rights management technologies, instead ensuring that users have the ability to strip any DRM technology and still use the software or device on which it ran originally.
Some of the changes in the document have been inspired by last year's Microsoft-Novell partnership.
Microsoft uses a loophole in GPLv2 to provide end users with patent protection without having to extend its pledge to the general population of GPL users and developers.
While GPLv3 will prevent similar deals in the future, the FSF and Software Freedom Law Center will allow the Novell partnership because they believe that it will subject Microsoft to GPLv3.
The new licence been the subject of fierce debate. Linux founder Linus Torvalds has stated that he sees no benefits in adopting the new licence for the Linux kernel, although he might change his mind if it would allow Linux to adopt the ZFS file system developed by Sun Microsystems.
Sun has said openly that it supports the licence and might adopt it for its Solaris operating system. But the server maker has also warned that it will not make a decision until it has studied the final GPLv3 release.
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