Computerworld: When Those Who Use Free Software are Really Freeloading
Mar 10, 2004, 01:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)
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"The spirit of open-source might once have been summed up as
'share and share alike.' This philosophy has its roots in the GNU
General Public License (GPL), which is the license for the Linux
kernel (the operating system engine) and most of the core operating
system utilities that come with Linux.
"The GPL is basically a reciprocal agreement. If you improve or
add to a GPL program, or if you build an application that includes
software licensed under the GPL, then you must make the source code
for your application available, too. Share and share alike. That's
not to say you can't sell GPL software; you can. Put simply, the
Free Software Foundation promotes the concept of software that is
free as in 'free speech,' not necessarily free as in 'free beer.'
Free means open and unrestricted by pre-existing proprietary
claims; it doesn't mean without cost..."