GPL - Infoworld en The next GPL: Why it's being shaped on GitHub <p>While you were getting ready to stick a fork in a burger for the Independence Day holiday, Red Hat employee Richard Fontana was making a fork of the GPL. Fontana previously worked at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), a nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to free and open source projects. He's now the open source licensing and patent counsel at Red Hat, but he's been careful to explain that the GPL fork is a personal project.</p> Open Source Software The Industry Standard GitHub GPL Development Environments Software Licensing Fri, 06 Jul 2012 10:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 197025 at What's next after GPL and Apache? <p>At the end of April, I wrote about the idea that usage of the <a href="">GNU General Public License (GPL) is declining</a> and concluded that although new, commercially initiated open source projects were indeed tending to adopt other licenses, the use of the GPL itself is still growing -- especially among projects in its core community of GNU platform development. This article explores why commercial projects pick particular open source licenses and what might happen in the future.</p> Open Source Software Apache GPL Software Licensing Open Source Software Fri, 18 May 2012 10:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 193376 at Is GPL licensing in decline? <p>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.</p> <p>What's really going on? To understand the answer, you need to know a little background.</p> Open Source Software GPL Intellectual Property Open Source Software Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 191816 at Open source and app stores: Where they mix, where they don't <p>App stores are all the rage these days, with companies vying to release their software ahead of competitors. Not surprisingly, open source components are being used to speed development of these applications. But companies need to ensure their open source usage fits within the requirements of both the app stores and open source component licenses -- or risk removal from these outlets (and not just Apple's).</p> Application Development Mobile Technology Open Source Software app stores Apple Google GPL Microsoft Android Application Development iPad iPhone Mobile Apps Software Licensing Open Source Software Windows Phone Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 154143 at Gnu/Linux: Finally, it's really free software <p>Some ancient source code given away freely by Sun in 1984 turned out to have a non-free-software license all these years, upsetting the licensing purity of glibc and everything built with it.</p> <p>This may come as a shock, but all Gnu/Linux distributions to date have been built with essential software under a license that clearly meets neither the open source definition nor the Free Software Foundations' requirements for a free software license. The tenacity of a Red Hat hacker has finally solved this problem for everyone, however, and I'm proud to have played a part, too.</p> Open Source Software GPL Linux Thu, 02 Sep 2010 10:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 135999 at Why mobile platforms need to embrace Free Software <p>Last month, representatives of the Free Software Foundation sat down with Apple to discuss how software licensed under the Gnu GPL (General Public License) could be appropriately distributed via Apple's iPhone App Store. The talks didn't go well. In a nutshell, it's no go: The App Store is completely <a href="" target="_blank">incompatible with the GPL and Free Software</a>. That's bad news for developers, customers, and the mobile software market at large.</p> Application Development Mobile Technology Open Source Software GPL Mobile Apps Software Licensing Thu, 24 Jun 2010 10:00:00 +0000 Neil McAllister 127940 at Florian Mueller responds to Eben Moglen's Oracle/Sun submission <p>Last week Eben Moglen, founder and executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), <a href="" target="_blank">submitted an independent opinion on the Oracle/Sun merger to the European Union (EU)</a>. Moglen summarized his submission as follows:</p> Open Source Software GPL Oracle M&A Wed, 09 Dec 2009 18:48:25 +0000 Simon Phipps 103536 at Open source license smackdown debate <p>We've all seen the news about the waning use of the GPL open source license. It's also becoming clear that a handful of OSI-approved licenses are going to win out over the 60-plus <a href="" target="_blank">OSI-approved open source licenses</a>.</p> <p>Which licenses are winning, why, and which license should you use for your open source project? Great questions. Go ahead and <a href=";t=94b79&amp;&amp;" target="_blank">ask them</a>. They'll get answered by three open source luminaries on Aug. 31.</p> Open Source Software GPL Thu, 27 Aug 2009 12:56:40 +0000 Simon Phipps 89283 at Does GPL still matter? <p>Jeff Haynie reached a crossroads last summer. Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, a firm that develops open source cross-platform application development software, made a decision filled with implications for his company's future. That decision: to toss away his upcoming product's Gnu General Public License (GPL), the best-known and most popular free software license, in favor of what he viewed as a more business-friendly alternative. "We initially started the product with a GPLv3 license and we decided last summer to move the license to Apache," Haynie says.</p> Applications Application Development GPL Intellectual Property Software Licensing Mon, 10 Aug 2009 10:00:00 +0000 Galen Gruman 85922 at The Microsoft Linux GPLv2 contribution saga unfolds <p>Microsoft has <a href="" target="_blank">responded</a> to <a href="" target="_self">claims</a> that its Linux Integration Components (LIC) were only contributed under the GPLv2 after being out of compliance with the GPL in the first place.</p> Microsoft Windows Open Source Software GPL Microsoft Linux Fri, 24 Jul 2009 11:53:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 84604 at Microsoft's GPLv2 contribution to Linux was a simple business decision <p>It's been amusing to read all the "pigs flying" and "Armageddon is near" initial responses to news that Microsoft is contributing code under the GPLv2.</p> <p>If you really thought this would never happen, then you've been under a rock for the past three years. Or you've ignored Microsoft's shifting stance toward open source.</p> Microsoft Windows Open Source Software GPL Microsoft Linux Tue, 21 Jul 2009 17:38:36 +0000 Simon Phipps 84094 at Why open source vendors will continue to select the GPL <p>It's always good when respected open source luminaries such as Matt Asay begin to question long-held open source software truths. Matt wonders <a href=";subj=news&amp;tag=2547-1_3-0-20" target="_blank">whether the GNU General Public License (GPL) is "an alternative way to release proprietary software</a>." He argues:</p> Open Source Software GPL Intellectual Property Wed, 15 Jul 2009 21:24:46 +0000 Simon Phipps 83501 at Should device manufacturers make their firmware open source? <p>Very cool news that a group of independent filmmakers (with programming skills) have developed a firmware update to the Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR.  According to the team:</p> Open Source Software GPL Wed, 24 Jun 2009 10:00:00 +0000 Simon Phipps 80831 at The fight over open source 'leeches' <p>"Leeches" -- that's how Dave Rosenberg, co-founder and former CEO of MuleSource, and now part of the founding team of RiverMuse, refers to companies that use open source technology but don't give back to the open source community. Companies like Cisco's Linksys subsidiary, whose routers rely on Linux. Companies like, whose Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) service depends on Eclipse Foundation's open source offerings.</p><p>Your ear doesn't have to be pressed to the ground for long to hear angry grumblings in the open source community about leeches, vampires, or freeloaders.</p> Applications Application Development Open Source Software GPL Intellectual Property Mon, 01 Jun 2009 10:00:00 +0000 Galen Gruman 75399 at Why do vendors select the GPL license? <p>I started to consider the reasons why open source vendors select the GPL after <a href="" target="_blank">ESR wrote</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The GPL may be a community-building signaling device, but it is also a confession of fear and weakness. To believe that it matters, you have to believe that you live in a Type A universe where closed-source development is such an attractive proposition that you have to punish people for trying to move to it.</p></blockquote> Open Source Software GPL Software Licensing Fri, 01 May 2009 22:31:40 +0000 Simon Phipps 74079 at Does a court ruling raise the risks of open source? <p>The model train business isn't exactly the font of software innovation. But a lawsuit over the rights to a hobbyist's code could be a huge boost for developers of open source programs. It could also make some businesses think again about using open source software.</p> Application Development Open Source Software The Industry Standard Cisco Systems GPL Software Licensing Thu, 16 Apr 2009 10:00:00 +0000 Bill Snyder 71687 at