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NewsForge: Toward True Open Source

Jul 17, 2004, 05:00 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Walker)

"In the GNU General Public License (GPL), Richard Stallman was working toward a noble purpose. Software should be free-as-in-freedom, and every user should be able to obtain the source code for the software they use. Unfortunately, that isn't the way things have turned out. The GPL has come to resemble digital rights management (DRM) more than it resembles freedom. Does that sound a little extreme? I'll explain.

"When I buy music protected by DRM, the seller intends is to stop me from making copies of songs. When I use software that is licensed under the GPL, the developer intends to stop me from making the software 'closed,' or non-free..."

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