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Linux.com: Piracy, Marketing, and the GPL

Mar 17, 2000, 15:17 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Bos)

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"When we think about software 'piracy,' the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to 'steal' software -- that is, to violate the licensing schema to distribute software to friends, neighbours, or for profit without the permission and often at the utter forbidding by the software developer."

"In the free software world, however, this kind of piracy is null and void. ... I refer of course to a recent incident involving the Quake source code. A young coder, in a laudable but misguided attempt to reduce the copious cheating that has been going on in that community as a direct result of that source code release, attempted to violate the terms of the GPL. He restricted the availability of his modified source to a small group of people."

"John Carmack, in threatening to sue for violating the terms of the GPL, might just end up giving the GPL the court case that people have been complaining about for years. But instead of having to contest a large corporation in the courts, a corporation that might have significant interest in seeing the GPL weakened, if not invalidated, the GPL might have the opportunity to fight a battle where it is clearly in the right against someone clearly in the wrong, with the resources and money on 'our' side for a change."

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