Open Source Licenses

The NY Times reports on the Free Software Foundation's plans to revise the General Public License (GPL), which is the license that governs the use of Linux and many other open source programs: Overhaul of Linux License Could Have Broad Impact.

Lawrence Lessig discusses the problems caused by mixing works that use different free licenses: On Compatibility: "All of these free licenses, as well as the current versions of all Creative Commons licenses, share a common flaw. Like the world of computing in the 1970's, or like the world of content that DRM will produce, these licenses wrap creative work in ways that makes that creativity incompatible."

In LLRX, Dennis Kennedy offers Best Legal Practices for Open Source Software:
Ten Tips For Managing Legal Risks for Businesses Using Open Source Software
: "The Open Source licenses represent a very different approach to licensing than most businesses, and their lawyers and legal departments, have become accustomed to in the commercial software setting. Research on the Open Source licenses will often turn up conflicting interpretations, misinformation, philosophical arguments and diametrically opposed points of view. This result should not surprise you, especially if you have researched the commentary on the changing Microsoft software license policies where you will see much of the same. There is good reason, in both cases. Important issues are at stake and a casual approach can result in significant consequences."


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