Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VLC Multimedia Player Shows Changing Open Source License Is Hard, But Possible

Filed under
Software
OSS

Licenses lie at the heart of open source -- and many other kinds of "open" too. That's because they are used to define the rights of users, and to ensure those rights are passed on -- that the intellectual commons is not enclosed. Their central importance explains in part the flamewars that erupt periodically over which license is "best" -- many people have very strong feelings on the subject.

Those heated discussions are one reason why it's rare for an open source project to change its license -- usually it's just easier to stick with what you've got rather than provoke another argument over which new license should be adopted. But there's another major impediment to changing the licensing: the need to get absolutely everyone who has contributed code to agree formally.

That's not a problem when the code has been assigned by contributors to a single entity, often a software foundation, as happens with components of Richard Stallman's GNU (GNU's Not Unix) project.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Linux and Graphics

today's howtos

Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Delayed Until February 2, Will Bring Linux 4.8, Newer Mesa

If you've been waiting to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to the 16.04.2 point release, which should have hit the streets a couple of days ago, you'll have to wait until February 2. We hate to give you guys bad news, but Canonical's engineers are still working hard these days to port all the goodies from the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repositories to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is a long-term supported version, until 2019. These include the Linux 4.8 kernel packages and an updated graphics stack based on a newer X.Org Server version and Mesa 3D Graphics Library. Read more