Linux, the GPL, and a New Model for Software Innovation
"Increasingly, software is going 'open source,' with
increasingly good results. Linux, the most visible of open-source
software, is rapidly gaining ground in both embedded and server
software markets, and even begins to make inroads on the
"This is particularly interesting given the peculiar licensing
structure that governs it: the GNU General Public License (GPL).
This license 'promises' cannibalization of intellectual property,
but does not quite deliver on this promise, and so has attracted
the affection of mammoth electronics companies (normally
IP-protective) who see Linux as their key to the future. In turn,
this most 'anti-IP' of licenses is arguably doing more to foster
innovation than patents or copyrights ever have.
"In this whitepaper, Matt Asay (former Linux
naysayer-turned-disciple) analyzes the GPL, picking apart what it
means (and does not mean) for users, and whether it is enforceable.
Asay also details how its terms inhibit and foster innovation, and
why we should care. In this next generation of software, those who
understand 'copyleft' licenses like the GPL will have the
upper-hand, and will be best positioned to take on closed-source
shops like Microsoft..."
Proposal Suggests Revision of GNU General Public License
"Matthew R. Harris, CEO of Embedix, Inc. (Lineo), has written a
suggested revision of the GNU General Public License. Note that it
is not an official version of the GNU General Public License, and
is published at this time for informational purposes only. Harris,
a stong proponent of the GPL, believes that in its current form it
is difficult to understand and contains a number of