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Builder.com: The General Public License: It's not just about open source

Mar 11, 2002, 14:12 (45 Talkback[s])

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"Attorney David Loundy's clients never meant for their database to be free software or for its code to be open source. But when a database contractor used snippets of code copyrighted by the GNU General Public License (GPL), the clients were shocked to find they couldn't sell their own software as a proprietary work.

Because of the way the GPL is written, if you, your staff, or your contractors use code that falls under this copyright license, the end product must also use the GPL. It's a lesson that many more development managers are likely to learn the hard way, especially if they draw heavily from GNU or Linux communities, which rely on this license. Here's a look at the history and purpose of this popular license and the ways it can affect you."

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