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GNU/Linux - finally it's Free software

Aug 27, 2010, 12:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Phipps)

"Some ancient source code given away freely by Sun in 1984 turned out to have a non-Free-software licence all these years, upsetting the licensing purity of glibc and everything built with it.

"This may come as a shock, but all GNU/Linux distributions to date have been built with essential software under a licence that clearly meets neither the Open Source Definition nor the Free Software Foundations' requirements for a Free software licence. The tenacity of a Red Hat hacker has finally solved this problem for everyone, however, and I'm proud to have played a part too.

"One of the long-running projects I had at Sun was to get the (pre-GPL, permissive) license on Sun RPC changed. Why would that interest anyone? Well, the code in question is the original implementation of Sun RPC, which went on to become RFC 1057 and today is a core part of every UNIX-family operating system. Including Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora, both keen to be 100% Free-licensed software."

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