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Encyclopedia > GNU General Public License
GNU General Public License

The GNU logo
Author Free Software Foundation
Version 3
Copyright Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Published 29 June 2007
DFSG compatible Yes
Free software Yes
OSI approved Yes
GPL compatible Yes
Copyleft Yes
Linking from code with a different license No

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. It is the license used by the Linux kernel. The GPL is the most popular and well-known example of the type of strong copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft. Under this philosophy, the GPL is said to grant the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licences, of which the BSD licenses are the standard examples. GPL is a TLA: GNU General Public License (See Template:GPL) Glider pilot license This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) are a set of guidelines that the Debian Project uses to determine whether a software license is free software license, which in turn is used to determine whether a piece of software can be included in the main, free software distribution of Debian. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... An open-source license is a copyright license for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and royalty-free redistribution. ... Licences of software packages can contain contradictory requirements, rendering it impossible to combine source code from such packages in order to create new software packages. ... Free software is software which grants recipients the freedom to modify and redistribute the software. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... This article is about free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. ... Permissive free software licences are software licences for a copyrighted work that offer many of the same freedoms as releasing a work to the public domain. ... The BSD daemon BSD licenses represent a family of permissive free software licenses. ...


The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) is a modified, more permissive, version of the GPL, intended for some software libraries. There is also a GNU Free Documentation License, which was originally intended for use with documentation for GNU software, but has also been adopted for other uses, such as the Wikipedia project. The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... Illustration of an application which may use libvorbisfile. ... “GFDL” redirects here. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ...

Contents

History

The GPL was written by Richard Stallman in 1989 for use with programs released as part of the GNU project. The original GPL was based on a unification of similar licenses used for early versions of GNU Emacs, the GNU Debugger and the GNU Compiler Collection. These licenses contained similar provisions to the modern GPL, but were specific to each program, rendering them incompatible, despite being the same license.[1] Stallman's goal was to produce one license that could be used for any project, thus making it possible for many projects to share code. Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... GNU Emacs is one of the two most popular versions of Emacs (see also XEmacs). ... The GNU Debugger, usually called just GDB, is the standard debugger for the GNU software system. ... The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of programming language compilers produced by the GNU Project. ...


An important vote of confidence in the GPL came from Linus Torvalds' adoption of the license for the Linux kernel in 1992, switching from an earlier license that prohibited commercial distribution. Linus Benedict Torvalds   (born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ... The Linux kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout its history. ...


As of August 2007, the GPL accounted for nearly 65% of the 43,442 free software projects listed on Freshmeat,[2] and as of January 2006, about 68% of the projects listed on SourceForge.net.[3] Similarly, a 2001 survey of Red Hat Linux 7.1 found that 50% of the source code was licensed under the GPL[4] and a 1997 survey of MetaLab, then the largest free software archive, showed that the GPL accounted for about half of the licenses used. One survey of a large repository of open-source software reported that in July 1997, about half the software packages with explicit license terms used the GPL.[5] Prominent free software programs licensed under the GPL include the Linux kernel and the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). Some other free software programs are dual-licensed under multiple licenses, often with one of the licenses being the GPL. Freshmeat is a website that allows computer users to keep track of the latest software releases and updates as well as write/read reviews and articles, send or receive comments to or from the author, and many other features. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... SourceForge. ... Red Hat Linux was a popular Linux distribution assembled by Red Hat until the early 2000s, when it was discontinued. ... ibiblio (formerly SunSITE and MetaLab) is a collection of collections, and hosts a diverse range of publicly available information and open source software. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of programming language compilers produced by the GNU Project. ... // Licenses are granted by copyright holders to grant exceptions of copyright law to users for a work. ...


Some observers believe that the strong copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux, giving the programmers who contributed to it the confidence that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community.[6] The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ...


The second version of the license, version 2, was released in 1991. Over the following 15 years, some members of the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) community came to believe that some software and hardware vendors were finding loopholes in the GPL, allowing GPL-licensed software to be exploited in ways that were contrary to the intentions of the programmers. These concerns included tivoization (the inclusion of GPL-licensed software in hardware that will refuse to run modified versions of it); the use of unpublished, modified versions of GPL software behind web interfaces; and patent deals between Microsoft and Linux and Unix distributors that may represent an attempt to use patents as a weapon against competition from Linux. // The free software community is also called the open source community or the Linux community. ... Tivoization is the creation of a system that incorporates software under the terms of a copyleft software license, but uses hardware to prevent users from running modified versions of the software on that hardware. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...


Version 3 was developed to attempt to address these concerns. It was officially released on June 29, 2007. is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Versions

Version 1

Version 1 of the GNU GPL, released in January 1989, prevented what were then the two main ways that software distributors restricted the freedoms that define free software. The first problem was that distributors may publish binary files only – executable, but not readable or modifiable by humans. To prevent this, GPLv1 said that any vendor distributing binaries must also make the human readable source code available under the same licensing terms. A Hexdump of a JPEG image. ...


The second problem was the distributors might add additional restrictions, either by adding restrictions to the license, or by combining the software with other software which had other restrictions on its distribution. If this was done, then the union of the two sets of restrictions would apply to the combined work, thus unacceptable restrictions could be added. To prevent this, GPLv1 said that modified versions, as a whole, had to be distributed under the terms in GPLv1. Therefore, software distributed under the terms of GPLv1 could be combined with software under more permissive terms, as this would not change the terms under which the whole could be distributed, but software distributed under GPLv1 could not be combined with software distributed under a more restrictive license, as this would conflict with the requirement that the whole be distributable under the terms of GPLv1.


Version 2

According to Richard Stallman, the major change in GPLv2 was the "Liberty or Death" clause, as he calls it - Section 7.[7] This section says that if someone has restrictions imposed that prevent him or her from distributing GPL-covered software in a way that respects other users' freedom (for example, if a legal ruling states that he or she can only distribute the software in binary form), he or she cannot distribute it at all.


By 1990, it was becoming apparent that a less restrictive license would be strategically useful for some software libraries; when version 2 of the GPL (GPLv2) was released in June 1991, therefore, a second license - the Library General Public License (LGPL) was introduced at the same time and numbered with version 2 to show that both were complementary. The version numbers diverged in 1999 when version 2.1 of the LGPL was released, which renamed it the GNU Lesser General Public License to reflect its place in the GNU philosophy. The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ...


Version 3

In late 2005, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced work on version 3 of the GPL (GPLv3). On January 16, 2006, the first "discussion draft" of GPLv3 was published, and the public consultation began. The public consultation was originally planned for nine to fifteen months but finally stretched to eighteen months with four drafts being published. The official GPLv3 was released by FSF on June 29, 2007. GPLv3 was written by Richard Stallman, with legal counsel from Eben Moglen and Software Freedom Law Center.[8] The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, and is the founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, whose client list includes numerous pro bono clients, such as the Free Software Foundation. ... The Software Freedom Law Center logo, a pun on the Ctrl key of most keyboards The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) was launched in February 2005 with Eben Moglen as Chairman. ...


According to GPLv3 author, Richard Stallman, the most important changes are in relation to software patents, free software licence compatibility, the definition of "source code", and hardware restrictions on software modification ("tivoisation").[8][9] Other changes relate to internationalisation, how licence violations are handled, and how additional permissions can be granted by the copyright holder. Opposition to software patents is widespread in the free software community. ... A free software licence is a software licence which grants recipients rights to modify and redistribute the software which would otherwise be prohibited by copyright law. ... Tivoization is the creation of a system that incorporates software under the terms of a copyleft software license, but uses hardware to prevent users from running modified versions of the software on that hardware. ...


Other notable changes include allowing authors to add certain additional conditions or requirements to their contributions. One of those new optional requirements, sometimes referred to as the Affero clause, is intended to fulfill a request regarding software as a service; the permitting addition of this requirement makes GPLv3 compatible with the Affero General Public License. Software as a service (SaaS) is a model of software delivery where the software company provides maintenance, daily technical operation, and support for the software provided to their client. ... // Affero General Public License The Affero General Public License (or AGPL) is a free software license derived from the General Public License with an addition section to cover use over a computer network. ...


The public consultation process was coordinated by the Free Software Foundation with assistance from Software Freedom Law Center, Free Software Foundation Europe,[10] and other free software groups. Comments were collected from the public via the gplv3.fsf.org web portal.[11] That portal runs purpose-written software called stet. These comments were passed to four committees comprising approximately 130 people, including supporters and detractors of FSF's goals. Those committees researched the comments submitted by the public and passed their summaries to Stallman for a decision on what the license would do. The Software Freedom Law Center logo, a pun on the Ctrl key of most keyboards The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) was launched in February 2005 with Eben Moglen as Chairman. ... The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE, or FSF Europe) was founded in 2001 as an official European sister organization of the U.S.-based Free Software Foundation (FSF) to take care of all aspects of free software in Europe. ... stet is a free software package for gathering comments about the content of a webpage. ...


During the public consultation process, 962 comments were submitted for the first draft.[12] By the end, a total of 2,636 comments had been submitted.[13][14][15]


The third draft was released on March 28, 2007.[16] This draft included language intended to prevent patent cross-licenses like the controversial Microsoft-Novell patent agreement and restricts the anti-tivoization clauses to a legal definition of a "User" or "consumer product." It also explicitly removed the section on "Geographical Limitations", whose probable removal had been announced at the launch of the public consultation. is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... For the road bicycle racing team previously known as Novell, see Rabobank (cycling). ...


The fourth discussion draft,[17] which was the last, was released on May 31, 2007. It introduced Apache Software License compatibility, clarified the role of outside contractors, and made an exception to permit the Microsoft-Novell agreement, saying in section 11 paragraph 6 that is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The Apache Software License is an open source license used by the Apache Software Foundation. ...

You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and under which the third party grants, to any of the parties who would receive the covered work from you, a discriminatory patent license [...]

This aims to make future such deals ineffective. The license is also meant to cause Microsoft to extend the patent licenses it grants to Novell customers for the use of GPLv3 software to all users of that GPLv3 software; this is possible only if Microsoft is legally a "conveyor" of the GPLv3 software.[18][19]


Others, notably some high-profile developers of the Linux kernel, commented to the mass media and made public statements about their objections to parts of discussion drafts 1 and 2.[20] The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ...


Terms and conditions

The terms and conditions of the GPL are available to anybody receiving a copy of the work that has a GPL applied to it ("the licensee"). Any licensee who adheres to the terms and conditions is given permission to modify the work, as well as to copy and redistribute the work or any derivative version. The licensee is allowed to charge a fee for this service, or do this free of charge. This latter point distinguishes the GPL from software licenses that prohibit commercial redistribution. The FSF argues that free software should not place restrictions on commercial use,[21] and the GPL explicitly states that GPL works may be sold at any price.


The GPL additionally states that a distributor may not impose "further restrictions on the rights granted by the GPL". This forbids activities such as distributing of the software under a non-disclosure agreement or contract. Distributors under the GPL also grant a license for any of their patents practiced by the software, to practice those patents in GPL software.


Section three of the license requires that programs distributed as pre-compiled binaries are accompanied by a copy of the source code, a written offer to distribute the source code via the same mechanism as the pre-compiled binary or the written offer to obtain the source code that you got when you received the pre-compiled binary under the GPL.


Copyleft

Main article: Copyleft

The distribution rights granted by the GPL for modified versions of the work are not unconditional. When someone distributes a GPL'd work plus their own modifications, the requirements for distributing the whole work cannot be any greater than the requirements that are in the GPL. The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ...


This requirement is known as copyleft. It earns its legal power from the use of copyright on software programs. Because a GPL work is copyrighted, a licensee has no right to modify or redistribute it (barring fair use), except under the terms of the license. One is only required to adhere to the terms of the GPL if one wishes to exercise rights normally restricted by copyright law, such as redistribution. Conversely, if one distributes copies of the work without abiding by the terms of the GPL (for instance, by keeping the source code secret), he or she can be sued by the original author under copyright law. Not to be confused with copywriting. ... For fair use in trademark law, see Fair use (US trademark law). ... Civil action redirects here. ...


Copyleft thus uses copyright law to accomplish the opposite of its usual purpose: instead of imposing restrictions, it grants rights to other people, in a way that ensures the rights cannot subsequently be taken away. It also ensures that unlimited redistribution rights are not granted, should any legal flaw (or "bug") be found in the copyleft statement. A computer bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from working as intended, or produces an incorrect result. ...


Many distributors of GPL'ed programs bundle the source code with the executables. An alternative method of satisfying the copyleft is to provide a written offer to provide the source code on a physical medium (such as a CD) upon request. In practice, many GPL'ed programs are distributed over the Internet, and the source code is made available over FTP. For Internet distribution, this complies with the license. This article is about the File Transfer Protocol standardised by the IETF. For other file transfer protocols, see File transfer protocol (disambiguation). ...


Copyleft applies only when a person seeks to redistribute the program. One is allowed to make private modified versions, without any obligation to divulge the modifications as long as the modified software is not distributed to anyone else. Note that the copyleft applies only to the software and not to its output (unless that output is itself a derivative work of the program); for example, a public web portal running a modified derivative of a GPL'ed content management system is not required to distribute its changes to the underlying software. A content management system (CMS) is a program used to create a framework for the content of a Web site. ...


Licensing and contractual issues

The GPL was designed as a license, rather than a contract.[22][23] In some Common Law jurisdictions, the legal distinction between a license and a contract is an important one: contracts are enforceable by contract law, whereas licenses are enforced under copyright law. However, this distinction is not useful in the many jurisdictions where there are no differences between contracts and licenses, such as Civil Law systems.[24] To licence or grant licence is to give permission. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... A contract is any promise or set of promises made by one party to another for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. ... The copyright symbol is used to give notice that a work is covered by copyright. ... For other uses of civil law, see civil law. ...


Those who do not agree to the GPL's terms and conditions do not have permission, under copyright law, to copy or distribute GPL licensed software or derivative works. However, they may still use the software however they like.


Copyright holders

The text of the GPL is itself copyrighted, and the copyright is held by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). However, the FSF does not hold the copyright for a work released under the GPL, unless an author explicitly assigns copyrights to the FSF (which seldom happens except for programs that are part of the GNU project). Only the individual copyright holders have the authority to sue when a license violation takes place. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ...


The FSF permits people to create new licenses based on the GPL, as long as the derived licenses do not use the GPL preamble without permission. This is discouraged, however, since such a license is generally incompatible with the GPL.[25] (See the GPL FAQ for more information.)


Other licenses created by the GNU project include the GNU Lesser General Public License and the GNU Free Documentation License. The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... “GFDL” redirects here. ...


The GPL in court

A key dispute related to the GPL is whether or not non-GPL software can dynamically link to GPL libraries. The GPL is clear in requiring that all derivative works of GPL'ed code must themselves be GPL'ed. However, it is not clear whether an executable that dynamically links to a GPL code should be considered a derivative work. The free/open-source software community is split on this issue. The FSF asserts that such an executable is indeed a derivative work if the executable and GPL code "make function calls to each other and share data structures,"[26] with others agreeing,[27] while some (e.g. Linus Torvalds) agree that dynamic linking can create derived works but disagree over the circumstances.[28] On the other hand, some experts have argued that the question is still open: one Novell lawyer has written that dynamic linking not being derivative "makes sense" but is not "clear-cut"[29] and Lawrence Rosen has claimed that a court of law would "probably" exclude dynamic linking from derivative works although "there are also good arguments" on the other side and "the outcome is not clear"[30] (on a later occasion, he argued that "market-based" factors are more important than the linking technique[31]). This is ultimately a question not of the GPL per se, but of how copyright law defines derivative works. In Galoob v. Nintendo the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defined a derivative work as having "'form' or permanence" and noted that "the infringing work must incorporate a portion of the copyrighted work in some form," but there have been no clear court decisions to resolve this particular conflict. In computer science, a library is a collection of subprograms used to develop software. ... This montage of different images is an example of a derivative work In copyright law, a derivative work is an artistic creation that includes major, basic copyrighted aspects of an original, previously created first work. ... Linus Benedict Torvalds   (born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ... For the road bicycle racing team previously known as Novell, see Rabobank (cycling). ... Lawrence Rosen (also Larry Rosen) is an attorney and computer specialist. ... Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. ... The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the following United States district courts: District of Alaska District of Arizona Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California District of Guam District of Hawaii District of Idaho District of Montana...


Since there is no record of anyone circumventing the GPL by dynamic linking and contesting when threatened with lawsuits by the copyright holder, the restriction appears de facto enforceable even if not yet proven de jure. De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In 2002, MySQL AB sued Progress NuSphere for copyright and trademark infringement in United States district court. NuSphere had allegedly violated MySQL's copyright by linking code for the Gemini table type into the MySQL server. After a preliminary hearing before Judge Patti Saris on February 27, 2002, the parties entered settlement talks and eventually settled. At the hearing, Judge Saris "saw no reason" that the GPL would not be enforceable.[32] The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is comprised of the state of Massachusetts. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...


In August 2003, the SCO Group stated that they believed the GPL to have no legal validity, and that they intended to take up lawsuits over sections of code supposedly copied from SCO Unix into the Linux kernel. This was a problematic stand for them, as they had distributed Linux and other GPL'ed code in their Caldera OpenLinux distribution, and there is little evidence that they had any legal right to do so except under the terms of the GPL. For more information, see SCO-Linux controversies and SCO v. IBM. The SCO Group, Inc. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... Caldera OpenLinux is a defunct Linux distribution that was created by the former Caldera Systems (now SCO Group) corporation. ... The SCO-Linux controversies are a series of legal and public disputes between the software company SCO Group (SCO) and various Linux vendors and users. ... SCO v. ...


In April 2004 the netfilter/iptables project was granted a preliminary injunction against Sitecom Germany by Munich District Court after Sitecom refused to desist from distributing Netfilter's GPL'ed software, allegedly in violation of the terms of the GPL. On July 2004 , the German court confirmed this injunction as a final ruling against Sitecom. [33] The court's justification for its decision exactly mirrored the predictions given earlier by the FSF's Eben Moglen: Netfilter is the set of hooks within the Linux kernel for intercepting and manipulating network packets. ... Look up Injunction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, and is the founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, whose client list includes numerous pro bono clients, such as the Free Software Foundation. ...

Defendant has infringed on the copyright of plaintiff by offering the software 'netfilter/iptables' for download and by advertising its distribution, without adhering to the license conditions of the GPL. Said actions would only be permissible if defendant had a license grant... This is independent of the questions whether the licensing conditions of the GPL have been effectively agreed upon between plaintiff and defendant or not. If the GPL were not agreed upon by the parties, defendant would notwithstanding lack the necessary rights to copy, distribute, and make the software 'netfilter/iptables' publicly available.

This ruling was important because it was the first time that a court had confirmed that violating terms of the GPL was an act of copyright violation. However, the case was not as crucial a test for the GPL as some have concluded. In the case, the enforceability of GPL itself was not under attack. Instead, the court was merely attempting to discern if the license itself was in effect.


In May of 2005, Daniel Wallace filed suit against the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in the Southern District of Indiana, contending that the GPL is an illegal attempt to fix prices at zero. The suit was dismissed in March 2006, on the grounds that Wallace had failed to state a valid anti-trust claim; the court noted that "the GPL encourages, rather than discourages, free competition and the distribution of computer operating systems, the benefits of which directly pass to consumers."[34] Wallace was denied the possibility of further amending his complaint, and was ordered to pay the FSF's legal expenses. Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Wallace v. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was created in 1928 by an act of Congress that split Indiana into two separate districts, northern and southern. ...


On September 8, 2005, Seoul Central District Court ruled that GPL has no legal relevance concerning the case dealing with trade secret derived from GPL-licensed work.[35] Defendants argued that since it is impossible to maintain trade secret while being compliant with GPL and distributing the work, they aren't in breach of trade secret. This argument was considered without ground. A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. ...


On September 6, 2006, the gpl-violations.org project prevailed in court litigation against D-Link Germany GmbH regarding D-Link's inappropriate and copyright infringing use of parts of the Linux Operating System Kernel.[36] The judgment finally provided the on-record, legal precedent that the GPL is valid and legally binding, and that it will stand up in German court.[37] The gpl-violations. ...


In late 2007, the developers of BusyBox and the Software Freedom Law Center embarked upon a program to gain GPL compliance from distributors of BusyBox in embedded systems, suing those who would not comply. These were claimed to be the first US uses of courts for enforcement of GPL obligations. See BusyBox#GPL lawsuits. BusyBox is a software application which provides many standard Unix tools, much like the larger (but more capable) GNU Core Utilities. ... The Software Freedom Law Center logo, a pun on the Ctrl key of most keyboards The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) was launched in February 2005 with Eben Moglen as Chairman. ... A router, an example of an embedded system. ... BusyBox is a software application which provides many standard Unix tools, much like the larger (but more capable) GNU Core Utilities. ...


Compatibility and multi-licensing

Quick Guide of license compatibility with GPL
Quick Guide of license compatibility with GPL

Many of the most common free software licenses, such as the original MIT/X license, the BSD license (in its current 3-clause form), and the LGPL, are "GPL-compatible". That is, their code can be combined with a program under the GPL without conflict (the new combination would have the GPL applied to the whole). However, some free/open source software licenses are not GPL-compatible. Many GPL proponents have strongly advocated that free/open source software developers use only GPL-compatible licenses, because doing otherwise makes it difficult to reuse software in larger wholes. Note that this issue only arises in concurrent use of licenses which impose conditions on their manner of combination. Some licenses, such as the BSD license, impose no conditions on the manner of their combination. The MIT License, also called the X License or the X11 License, originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a license for the use of certain types of computer software. ... The BSD license is a permissive license and is one of the most widely used free software licenses. ... The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... Licences of software packages can contain contradictory requirements, rendering it impossible to combine source code from such packages in order to create new software packages. ...


Also see the list of FSF approved software licenses for examples of compatible and incompatible licenses. The following is a list of software licences which Free Software Foundation has approved as complying with their Free Software Definition. ...


A number of businesses use dual-licensing to distribute a GPL version and sell a proprietary license to companies wishing to combine the package with proprietary code, using dynamic linking or not. Examples of such companies include MySQL AB, Trolltech (Qt toolkit), Namesys (ReiserFS) and Red Hat (Cygwin). Copyright law permits a copyright holder to release their works under any license they choose, including multiple licenses. ... Proprietary software is software with restrictions on copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. ... MySQL AB (founded 1995) is dual headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden and Cupertino, California, USA. The company is the creator and owner of MySQL, a relational database management system. ... Trolltech (formerly known as Quasar Technologies) is a computer software company from Oslo, Norway. ... For other uses, see Qt. ... Namesys is the company based in the United States and Russia owned and run by Hans Reiser. ... ReiserFS is a general-purpose, journaled computer file system designed and implemented by a team at Namesys led by Hans Reiser who is referred to as the projects Benevolent Dictator for Life. ... For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation). ... Cygwin (pronounced ) is a collection of free software tools originally developed by Cygnus Solutions to allow various versions of Microsoft Windows to act similar to a Unix system. ...


Criticism

In 2001 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer referred to Linux as "a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."[38] Critics of Microsoft claim that the real reason Microsoft dislikes the GPL is that the GPL resists proprietary vendors' attempts to "embrace, extend and extinguish".[39] Microsoft has released Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX which contains GPL-licensed code. In response to Microsoft's attacks on the GPL, several prominent Free Software developers and advocates released a joint statement supporting it. [40] Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the job of having the ultimate executive responsibility or authority within an organization or corporation. ... Steven Anthony Ballmer (born March 24, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American businessman and has been the chief executive officer of Microsoft Corporation since January 2000. ... Microsoft, like many other companies in their heyday, has publicly stated that it aims to embrace and extend popular standards and existing work. ... Windows Services for UNIX Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX (SFU) is a software package produced by Microsoft which provides a Unix subsystem and other parts of a full Unix environment on Windows NT and its successors. ...


The GPL has been described as being "viral" by many of its critics[41] because the GPL only allows conveyance of whole programs, which means that programmers are not allowed to convey programs that link to libraries having GPL-incompatible licenses. The so-called "viral" effect of this is that under such circumstances disparately licensed software cannot be combined unless one of the licenses is changed. Although theoretically either license could be changed, in the "viral" scenario the GPL cannot be practically changed (because the software has so many contributors, some of whom will likely refuse), whereas the license of the other software can be practically changed. The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ... Some free software projects, notably GNU Guile,[1] the run-time libraries of GNAT,[1] and GNU Classpath,[2] distribute code under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) but with an additional section known as the GPL linking exception. ...


This is part of a philosophical difference between the GPL and permissive free software licenses such as the BSD-style licenses, which do not put such a requirement on modified versions. While proponents of the GPL believe that free software should ensure that its freedoms are preserved all the way from the developer to the user, others believe that intermediaries between the developer and the user should be free to redistribute the software as non-free software. More specifically, the GPL requires that redistribution occur subject to the GPL, whereas more "permissive" licenses allow redistribution to occur under licenses more restrictive than the original license. This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... The BSD daemon BSD licenses represent a family of permissive free software licenses. ...


Whilst the GPL does allow commercial distribution of GPL software, the market price will settle near the price of distribution—near zero—since the purchasers may redistribute the software and its source code for their cost of redistribution. This could be seen to inhibit commercial use of GPL'ed code by others wishing to use that code for proprietary purposes—if they don't wish to avail themselves of GPL'ed code, they will have to re-implement it themselves. Microsoft has included anti-GPL terms in their open source software[42].


In addition, the FreeBSD project has stated that "a less publicized and unintended use of the GPL is that it is very favorable to large companies that want to undercut software companies. In other words, the GPL is well suited for use as a marketing weapon, potentially reducing overall economic benefit and contributing to monopolistic behavior".[43] It's not clear that there are any cases of this happening in practice, however. FreeBSD is a Unix-like free operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) branch through the 386BSD and 4. ...


The GPL has no indemnification clause explicitly protecting maintainers and developers from litigation resulting from unscrupulous contribution. (If a developer submits existing patented or copyright work to a GPL project claiming it as their own contribution, all the project maintainers and even other developers can be held legally responsible for damages to the copyright or patent holder.) Lack of indemnification is one criticism that lead Mozilla to create the Mozilla Public License rather than use the GPL or LGPL.[citation needed] Look up Indemnity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In computing, the Mozilla Public License (MPL) is an open source and free software license. ...


Some software developers have found the extensive scope of the GPL to be too restrictive. For example, Bjørn Reese and Daniel Stenberg describe how the downstream effects of the GPL on later developers creates a "quodque pro quo" (Latin, "Everything in return for something"). For that reason, in 2001 they abandoned the GPLv2 in favor of less restrictive copyleft licenses. [44]


A more specific example of the downstream effects of the GPL can be observed through the frame of incompatible licenses. Sun Microsystems' ZFS, because it is licensed under the GPL-incompatible CDDL and covered by several Sun patents, cannot link to the GPL-licensed linux kernel. [45]


Some have also argued that the GPL could, and should, be shorter.[46]


See also

Free software Portal

Image File history File links Free_Software_Portal_Logo. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... In computing, software that is copyrighted and licensed under a software license is done so principally under two categories of licensing schemes. ... Styles of licensing free software and free content are often categorised into two approaches. ...

References

  1. ^ Presentation by Richard Stallman, made on April 21, 2006, at the second international GPLv3 conference, held in Porto Alegre. Direct link to the section about the prehistory of the GPL.
  2. ^ Freshmeat's statistics page.
  3. ^ SourceForge.net: Software Map
  4. ^ David A. Wheeler. Estimating Linux's Size.
  5. ^ Eric S. Raymond’s "Homesteading the Noosphere," referenced in Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else By David A. Wheeler
  6. ^ why the GPL rocketed Linux to success. “So while the BSDs have lost energy every time a company gets involved, the GPL'ed programs gain every time a company gets involved.”
  7. ^ Presentation by Richard Stallman, made on April 21, 2006, at the second international GPLv3 conference, held in Porto Alegre. Direct link to the section about the "Liberty or Death" clause.
  8. ^ a b Presentation by Richard Stallman on February 25, 2006 in Brussels, Belgium - the first day of that year's FOSDEM conference.
  9. ^ Interview with Richard Stallman, Free Software Magazine, 23 January, 2008.
  10. ^ GPLv3: Drafting version 3 of the GNU General Public License. Free Software Foundation Europe.
  11. ^ gplv3.fsf.org comments for discussion draft 4.
  12. ^ gplv3.fsf.org comments for draft 1. “Showing comments in file 'gplv3-draft-1' [...] found 962”
  13. ^ gplv3.fsf.org comments for draft 2. “Showing comments in file 'gplv3-draft-1' [...] found 727”
  14. ^ gplv3.fsf.org comments for draft 3. “Showing comments in file 'gplv3-draft-3' [...] found 649”
  15. ^ gplv3.fsf.org comments for draft 4. “Showing comments in file 'gplv3-draft-4' [...] found 298”
  16. ^ Guide to the third draft of GPLv3
  17. ^ Final Discussion Draft, accessed June 4, 2007
  18. ^ GPLv3 FAQ, accessed June 4, 2007. This is from the FAQ instead of the license, for readability purposes.
  19. ^ Fourth Discussion Draft Rationale, accessed June 4, 2007.
  20. ^ Kernel developers' position on GPLv3 -- http://lwn.net/Articles/200422/, accessed June 4, 2007
  21. ^ Selling Free Software. Free Software Foundation.
  22. ^ Essay by Stallman explaining why a license is more suitable than a contract.
  23. ^ Eben Moglen explaining why the GPL is a license and why it matters.
  24. ^ Guadamuz-Gonzalez, Andres (2004). "Viral contracts or unenforceable documents? Contractual validity of copyleft licenses". European Intellectual Property Review 26 (8): 331-339. 
  25. ^ GPL FAQ: Can I modify the GPL and make a modified license?.
  26. ^ Can I apply the GPL when writing a plug-in for a non-free program?, GPL FAQ, Free Software Foundation.
  27. ^ Jerry Epplin, Using GPL software in embedded applications, LinuxDevices.com (4 March 2001).
  28. ^ Linus Torvalds, GPL only modules, linux-kernel mailing list (17 December 2006).
  29. ^ Matt Asay, The GPL: Understanding the License that Governs Linux, Novel Cool Solutions Feature (16 Jan. 2004).
  30. ^ Lawrence Rosen, Derivative Works, Linux Journal (1 Jan 2003).
  31. ^ Lawrence Rosen, Derivative Works, rosenlaw.com (25 May 2004)
  32. ^ See Progress Software Corporation v. MySQL AB, 195 F. Supp. 2d 328 (D. Mass. 2002), on defendant's motion for preliminary injunction.
  33. ^ Harald Welte vs. Sitecom, final order, translated from German by Jens Maurer
  34. ^ Dismissal of Wallace v. FSF. From this article on Groklaw.
  35. ^ Seoul Central District Court ruling (?) (in Korean)
  36. ^ http://gpl-violations.org/news/20060922-dlink-judgement_frankfurt.html
  37. ^ D-Link Judgement
  38. ^ Newbart, Dave. "Microsoft CEO takes launch break with the Sun-Times", Chicago Sun-Times, June 1, 2001. (Internet archive link)
  39. ^ "Deadly embrace", The Economist, 2000-03-30. Retrieved on 2006-03-31. 
  40. ^ Free Software Leaders Stand Together
  41. ^ "Speech Transcript - Craig Mundie, The New York University Stern School of Business", Prepared Text of Remarks by Craig Mundie, Microsoft Senior Vice President, The Commercial Software Model The New York University Stern School of Business May 3, 2001
  42. ^ Microsoft anti-GPL fine print threatens competition | The Register
  43. ^ GPL Advantages and Disadvantages, FreeBSD: doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/bsdl-gpl/article.sgml,v 1.5 2006/10/16 12:35:23 keramida Exp
  44. ^ Bjørn Reese and Daniel Stenberg, Working Without Copyleft (December 19, 2001)
  45. ^ http://kerneltrap.org/node/8066
  46. ^ Allison Randal. GPLv3, Clarity and Simplicity.

is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Categories: People stubs | 1965 births | Wikipedians with article ... is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other places with the same name, see Brussels (disambiguation). ... Jimbo Wales speaking at FOSDEM 2005 Since 2001, the Free and Open source Software Developers European Meeting (commonly known as FOSDEM) is an annual 2-day event hosting talks, tutorials, and stalls for the free software community. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... is the 89th day of the year (90th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of
FOSS Licensing
  • A paper on enforcing the GPL
  • Free Software Leaders Stand Together, a joint statement in support of the GPL
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the GPL
  • GPL, BSD, and NetBSD - why the GPL rocketed Linux to success by David A. Wheeler
  • GNU General Public License v1.0 - This version is deprecated by the FSF.
  • GNU General Public License v2.0 - This version is deprecated by the FSF but is still used by many software projects, including GNU packages
  • GNU General Public License v3.0
  • GNU General Public License and Commentaries - Edited by Robert Chassell.
  • GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1
  • History of the GPL
  • Information Site Tracking Rate of GPL v3 License Adoption
  • List of presentation transcripts about the GPL and free software licences
  • Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else. (David A. Wheeler, 7 April 2004) — why a GPL-compatible license is important to the health of a project
  • The Emacs General Public Licence, a February 1988 version, a direct predecessor of the GNU GPL
Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... ... The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a modular computer printing system for Unix-like operating systems that allows a computer to act as a powerful print server. ... The Free Software Definition is a definition published by Free Software Foundation (FSF) for what constitutes free software. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... This is a list of open-source software packages: computer software licensed under an open-source license. ... Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... “X11” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Free_Software_Portal_Logo. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This timeline shows the development of the Linux kernel. ... Mozilla Application Suite began as an open source base of the Netscape suite. ... Mozilla Firefox browser The Mozilla Firefox project was created by Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project. ... Originally launched as Minotaur shortly after Phoenix (the original name for Mozilla Firefox), the project failed to gain momentum. ... These tables compare the various free software / open source operating systems. ... BSD redirects here. ... Darwin is a free and open source, Unix-like operating system first released by Apple Inc. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... OpenSolaris is an open source project created by Sun Microsystems to build a developer community around Solaris Operating System technology. ... ReactOS is a project to develop an operating system that is binary-compatible with application software and device drivers for Microsoft Windows NT version 5. ... Open source software development is the process by which open source software (or similar software whose source is publicly available) is developed. ... The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of programming language compilers produced by the GNU Project. ... Low Level Virtual Machine, generally known as LLVM, is a compiler infrastructure designed for compile-time, link-time, run-time, and idle-time optimization of programs written in arbitrary programming languages. ... For other uses, see PHP (disambiguation). ... Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. ... Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Perl Programming Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. ... Java language redirects here. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... In Unix computing, Blackbox is a window manager for the X Window System. ... EDE or Equinox Desktop Environment is a small desktop environment that is meant to be simple and fast. ... Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a free software/open source window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. It has a rich feature set, including extensive support for themes and advanced graphics... Étoilé is a GNUstep-based free software desktop environment built from the ground up on highly modular and light components with project and document orientation in mind, in order to allow users to create their own workflow by reshaping or recombining provided Services (aka Applications), Components, etc. ... In Unix computing, Fluxbox is an X window manager based on Blackbox. ... This article is about the mythical creature. ... In Unix computing, IceWM is a window manager for the X Window System graphical infrastructure, written by Marko Maček. ... For the NYSE stock ticker symbol KDE, see 4Kids Entertainment. ... Openbox is a free window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License. ... A screenshot of the ROX desktop. ... Window Maker is a window manager for the X Window System, which allows graphical applications to be run on Unix-like operating-systems. ... Xfce ([1]) is a free software desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms, such as Linux, Solaris and BSD. Its configuration is entirely mouse-driven and the configuration files are hidden from the casual user. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE, or FSF Europe) was founded in 2001 as an official European sister organization of the U.S.-based Free Software Foundation (FSF) to take care of all aspects of free software in Europe. ... The Free Software Foundation India (FSF-India), founded in 2001, is a sister organisation to Free Software Foundation. ... Free Software Foundation Latin America (FSFLA) is the Latin American sister organisation of Free Software Foundation. ... The Linux Foundation (LF) is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. ... The Mountain View office shared by the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation The Mozilla Foundation (abbreviated MF or MoFo) is a non-profit organization that exists to support and provide leadership for the open source Mozilla project. ... The Open Source Initiative is an organization dedicated to promoting open source software. ... A free software licence is a software licence which grants recipients rights to modify and redistribute the software which would otherwise be prohibited by copyright law. ... The Apache License (Apache Software License previous to version 2. ... The BSD daemon BSD licenses represent a family of permissive free software licenses. ... The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. ... The MIT License, also called the X License or the X11 License, originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a license for the use of certain types of computer software. ... In computing, the Mozilla Public License (MPL) is an open source and free software license. ... Permissive free software licences are software licences for a copyrighted work that offer many of the same freedoms as releasing a work to the public domain. ... Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term that refers to access control technologies used by publishers and copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. ... Tivoization is the creation of a system that incorporates software under the terms of a copyleft software license, but uses hardware to prevent users from running modified versions of the software on that hardware. ... Opposition to software patents is widespread in the free software community. ... Logo of Trusted Computing Group, an initiative to implement Trusted Computing Trusted Computing (commonly abbreviated TC) is a technology developed and promoted by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG). ... Proprietary software is software with restrictions on copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. ... The SCO-Linux controversies are a series of legal and public disputes between the software company SCO Group (SCO) and various Linux vendors and users. ... In computing, a binary blob is an object file loaded into the kernel of a free or open source operating system without publicly available source code. ... From the early 90s onward, alternative terms for free software have come into common use, with much debate in the free software community. ... // The free software community is also called the open source community or the Linux community. ... The free software movement, also known as the free software philosophy, began in 1983 when Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project. ... For the specific comparison of the open source Linux operating system with the closed source Windows Operating system please see Comparison of Windows and Linux Open source (or free software) and closed source (or proprietary software) are two approaches to the control, exploitation and commercializing of computer software. ... Free and Open Source Software, also F/OSS or FOSS, is software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. ... Promotional poster for two disc edition of Revolution OS Revolution OS is a documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, Free Software and the Open Source movement. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
GNU General Public License - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2960 words)
It was based on a unification of similar licenses used for early versions of GNU Emacs, the GNU Debugger and the GNU Compiler Collection.
In some Common Law jurisdictions, the legal distinction between a license and a contract is an important one: contracts are enforceable by contract law, whereas the GPL, as a license, is enforced under the terms of copyright law.
One such example of a license of that variety is the Open Public License.
GNU Lesser General Public License - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (647 words)
It was designed as a compromise between the strong-copyleft GNU General Public License and simple permissive licenses such as the BSD licenses and the MIT License.
GNU itself is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix".
The GNU Lesser General Public License was written in 1991 (and updated in 1999) by Richard Stallman, with legal advice from Eben Moglen.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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