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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Judgment Day for the GPL?

Jun 26, 2000, 11:51 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis Powell)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"This summer could be a lot hotter than usual--not because of global warming, which may or may not be taking place, but because of a lawsuit which may or may not be taking place."

"Before summer's end, a long-awaited court test of the GNU General Public License may be filed, says Eben Moglen, professor at the Columbia University Law School and general counsel to the Free Software Foundation."

"If you wait another couple of months I wouldn't be surprised if you see either a lawsuit or a voluntary agreement to comply entered into by a major international software house that has done exactly what you postulate, less in the 'embrace and extend' model than in the 'security through obscurity' model, which is another reason why those who build works on top of free software sometimes try not to disclose source," Moglen told me in en e-mail exchange dealing with the basic nature of the GPL, the licensing instrument of much if not most Linux-related software. (I had asked him whether it would be possible for a commercial software firm to envelop GPLed code, alter it, and sell it, sans source code, and whether it would be possible to obtain judicial relief under such circumstances.)"

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