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Open Source Software Shows Its Muscle

Jun 03, 2008, 17:15 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Edmund J. Walsh)

"Two recent events should give for-profit companies new reasons to re-evaluate the ways in which they use open source software as well as the extent to which they use it. These events are: (1) the release of a new version of the widely used license that covers such software, i.e., the General Public License version 3, and (2) a round of lawsuits filed by the Software Freedom Law Center against for-profit companies using the software for commercial gain. Four companies to date, the largest of which is Verizon Communications Inc., have been sued for violation of the GPL.

"Although the lawsuits are not about changed provisions in the GPL, both events are muscle-flexing by the free software community and, taken together, may foreshadow new risks in the irreconcilable conflict between open source software and its widespread use by for-profit companies..."

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