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Is GPL licensing in decline?

Apr 27, 2012, 15:00 (1 Talkback[s])


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A debate has raged for months about open source licensing trends. It all started with assertions that the GNU General Public License (GPL) is rapidly falling from favor as an open source license, replaced largely by the Apache License. Free software advocates couldn't disagree more.

The first version of the GPL was written by Stallman in 1989, and it's since been updated twice, most recently to add protections against software patents. It's notable for the controversial way it is crafted to achieve Stallman's goal of creating an ever-growing pool of GPL-licensed free software by requiring that any other programs combined with GPL titles also have its copyright licensed under the GPL. This "copyleft" approach is the essence of the GPL's controversial nature; some people consider it wrong to make access to the software conditional on allowing others the same access.

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