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The Open source legal maze: an open trap?

Jul 15, 2010, 12:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Gries)

"Five minutes after first looking at open source, I found myself on the phone with a lawyer.

"When people talk about open source, they use words like "free" and all these other wonderful terms; when I spoke to the lawyer, he described the idiosyncrasies of all these open source legal licenses. That's when I became familiar with less wonderful words -— medical terms like infectious and viral—that open source licenses often use.

"For example: The Gnu Public License (GPL) says if you write any software that touches the licensed code, your software immediately becomes open source. That's called being infectious. Candidly, it does make you feel sick a little bit."

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