"A battle may--repeat, may--be shaping up over whether the GNU
General Public License, or GPL, can be enforced. If it gets to
court, this could be a pivotal case.
"The GPL is the legal core of the movement. It's basically a
copyright agreement. It gives users of GPL-licensed software the
right to see the source code, or programming instructions, of the
software and to make modifications. But there's a string attached:
If you create software that is derived from software previously
licensed under the GPL, you must release what you've written under
the same license.
"The Free Software Foundation (FSF), which monitors the scene
and enforces the GPL, says a Mountain View company has been
violating the GPL for more than a year. The foundation calls the
violations serious and is threatening a lawsuit..."