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Scott Kuhl Warning: I may have no idea what I am talking about!

A new version of the GPL is due out for review in December but The Free Software Foundation is letting us know what to expect today.

Software patents is the first target.  Many believe, myself included, that software patents hinder innovation.  Richard Stallman is trying to fight these by putting a clause in the new license that would not allow companies that use software patents against free software to use any GPL software themselves.  That may make it hard for Microsoft to fight Linux, when legally they can't even install the software.

DRM is the second target.  The GPL may include a clause to stop companies that use Digital Rights Management to protect songs and films.  I think what is happening here is a pre-emptive strike against the media companies before the DRMs become so strict they start fringing on our fair use rights.  For example, the media companies would be going to far, if they release a technology that only allows you to play a DVD on a player you own, stopping you from lending it out.

Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 6:47 AM Rants | Back to top


Comments on this post: GPL vs. Software Patents

# re: GPL vs. Software Patents
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I don't agree with the new version of the GPL software license. It is quite possible that a company may have a software patent in something yet still want to use open source in another project.
This brings up an interesting point - if people are really for open source/free as in freedom, then let it be free! More inroads would be possible if developers on the inside were using the product than penalizing them for corporate strategy.
Open Source proponents need to let the freedom of open source change the market rather than using it as a tool for an apparent anti-corporate agenda.
Left by Scott Miller on Sep 06, 2005 8:05 AM

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