Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

10 common misunderstandings about the GPL

Filed under
OSS

The GNU General Public License (GPL) is one of the most widely used software licenses -- and, undoubtedly, the most misunderstood. Some of this misunderstanding comes from hostile propaganda, but some also comes from a lack of experience in licensing issues on the part of both lawyers and lay users, and the use of standard language in conventional end-user license agreements that are unthinkingly coupled with the GPL. In all cases, the confusion is frequently based on misreadings, rumors, secondhand accounts, and what is convenient to believe.

To get a sense of the most common misunderstandings, NewsForge consulted with three experts: Richard Fontana, a lawyer with the Software Freedom Law Center and one of the main drafters of the third version of the license; David Turner, former compliance engineer at the Free Software Foundation who is assisting with the revisions of the license; and Harald Welte of the GPL-Violations project, which tracks possible cases of non-compliance and tries to assist in resolving them. Taken together, the opinions of these experts offers a summary of the most common misunderstandings about the GPL, from comic exaggerations to potentially legitimate differences of opinion.

Full Story.

Forgot #11

#11 Virtually no one cares.

If I cared about legalese, I'd be a lawyer (or pond scum, I still confuse the two).

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon and MATE Editions Are Now Available for Download

Thanks to one of our regular readers who constantly monitored the development progress of the Linux Mint 18 operating systems, we've been informed that the final ISO images are now available for download for both Cinnamon and MATE editions. At a first glance, it would seem that Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre has approved the ISO images earlier today, June 28, 2016, for landing. Therefore, we checked the Irish mirror, where the ISOs usually appear first, and it looks like they are already available for download in their final, production-ready form. Read more

Red Hat and Microsoft, Other News

Leftovers: Gaming

Today in Techrights