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Licenses are Not the Hard Part

Dec 08, 2009, 17:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott K. Peterson)

"Looking back, I now see that, in contrast to the situation of a decade ago, licenses are not the hard part. An understanding of the legal interpretation of FOSS licenses is, of course, important. However, experience with licenses is now such that legal analysis is a small part of what requires attention and resources.

"Even analysis of the GNU General Public License (GPL) is not the hard part. My actual experience with that license has been that the kinds of issues that have engaged (and entertained) lawyers (such as myself) through innumerable hours of legal discourse represent a small fraction of actual cases. In the main volume of GPL-related activity, attention is on the basics--like actually making the GPL-licensed source code available and otherwise getting the details right.

"So, what has proven to be more difficult than I would have anticipated? It is keeping track of everything that needs attention and taking all of the steps that need to be taken."

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