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developerWorks: Open Source Licensing, Part 1: The Intent

“In the 1600s, the British government faced continuous threats
from pirates. In fact, in a span of less than a decade, Barbary
Coast corsairs plundered nearly 500 merchant vessels, commandeering
the ships and selling the crews and passengers into slavery. The
pirates roamed with impunity, often ransacking and even decimating
coastal settlements.

“But the corsairs weren’t the only pirates profiting at the
time. The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in
1436 greatly simplified the manufacturing–and piracy–of books.
Armed with moveable type presses, Scottish plagiarists ‘looted’
British booksellers by selling bootlegged tomes at prices 30-50
percent below the price of an original…”


Complete Story