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LinuxDevices.com: Two Suggested Revisions of the GPL

Aug 28, 2002, 14:30 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Asay)

Linux, the GPL, and a New Model for Software Innovation

"Increasingly, software is going 'open source,' with increasingly good results. Linux, the most visible of open-source software, is rapidly gaining ground in both embedded and server software markets, and even begins to make inroads on the desktop.

"This is particularly interesting given the peculiar licensing structure that governs it: the GNU General Public License (GPL). This license 'promises' cannibalization of intellectual property, but does not quite deliver on this promise, and so has attracted the affection of mammoth electronics companies (normally IP-protective) who see Linux as their key to the future. In turn, this most 'anti-IP' of licenses is arguably doing more to foster innovation than patents or copyrights ever have.

"In this whitepaper, Matt Asay (former Linux naysayer-turned-disciple) analyzes the GPL, picking apart what it means (and does not mean) for users, and whether it is enforceable. Asay also details how its terms inhibit and foster innovation, and why we should care. In this next generation of software, those who understand 'copyleft' licenses like the GPL will have the upper-hand, and will be best positioned to take on closed-source shops like Microsoft..."

Complete Story

Proposal Suggests Revision of GNU General Public License

"Matthew R. Harris, CEO of Embedix, Inc. (Lineo), has written a suggested revision of the GNU General Public License. Note that it is not an official version of the GNU General Public License, and is published at this time for informational purposes only. Harris, a stong proponent of the GPL, believes that in its current form it is difficult to understand and contains a number of ambiguities..."

Complete Story

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