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ICD: Revision 3.0 of open-source GPL stirs concern in embedded space

Feb 19, 2001, 20:48 (31 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Downing)

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"Even as Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation works to complete version 3.0 of the General Public License (GPL) for open-source software, at least one major commercial real-time operating-system (RTOS) company in the embedded communications space is expressing concern over the evolving GPL and its legal ramifications."

"Curt Schacker, vice president of corporate marketing for Wind River Corp. (Alameda, CA), says that since the GPL has never been litigated, there is no legal precedent for its terms and conditions. "Until such a point is reached," he explains, "it's anybody's best guess. Therefore, if you use Linux and you agree to the terms and conditions of the GPL, you are-at least to some degree-placing a bet as to the implications of the code that you develop."

"More customers are telling us that they see interesting aspects to Linux," Schacker continues. "They want to use it for some parts of the applications that they are developing. For example, they might want part of their system to execute with Linux and have another part of their system execute with an RTOS. Because the requirements in the embedded space are so broad, it certainly makes sense to target different parts of the problem with different technologies. But we're seeing a growing problem due to the growing uncertainty of using GPL-based code in embedded development."

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