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LXer 02-17-2006 04:46 AM

LXer: Open source software flexes its muscles
Published at LXer:

It is hard to imagine that a legal agreement can change an industry fundamentally. However, it is only a small exaggeration to say that the GNU Projectís General Public Licence (GPL) has reshaped the way that software is developed and sold. Seventeen years ago, the GPL helped launch the free software movementís attack on proprietary software by using copyright law to make computer programs freely available to the general public.


rickh 02-17-2006 10:22 AM


Companies that have built business models around skirting the distinctions between the ‘free’ and ‘non-free’ software worlds will have to re-examine their licensing in light of GPLv3.

GPLv3’s authors are hoping to combine a new GPL with Linux’s new power in the marketplace ...
I sure hope that Stallman and Torvalds can come to a compromise of some sort here that allows Linux to stay GPL, and, at the same time, protect us all aginst the evil 'software patent.'

Hangdog42 02-17-2006 11:41 AM

Linux certainly will stay GPL, it will just stay GPLv2 and not migrate to v3. Stallman and Torvalds don't have to agree on anything (and apparently they don't on this one). Besides, since GPlv3 isn't done yet, I'd say it is a bit premature to speculate on what impact it will have.

After reading the article a bit more closely, it is actually pretty badly written. The author never really states that software released under GPLv2 is under no obligation to migrate to GPLv3 when it is finalized. He only hints at this with his reference to Torvalds position on DRM. So all these dire predictions he's making about how suddenly a bunch of companies like Tivo are going to be in trouble just simply isn't true. Tivo would be free to continue using versions of code licensed under GPLv2, even if later versions of the same code migrated to v3. Personally, I would expect a more accurate article from a "special counsel in technology and media".

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