Some Basic Thoughts on GPL Enforcement

Wednesday 1 February 2012 by Bradley M. Kuhn

I've had the interesting pleasure the last 36 hours to watch people debate something that's been a major part of my life's work for the last thirteen years. I'm admittedly proud of myself for entirely resisting the urge to dive into the comment threads, and I don't think it would be all that useful to do so. Mostly, I believe my work stands on its own, and people can make their judgments and disagree if they like (as a few have) or speak out about how they support it (as even more did — at least by my confirmation-biased count, anyway :).

I was concerned, however, that some of the classic misconceptions about GPL enforcement were coming up yet again. I generally feel that I give so many talks (including releasing one as an oggcast) that everyone must by now know the detailed reasons why GPL enforcement is done the way it is, and how a plan for non-profit GPL enforcement is executed.

But, the recent discussion threads show otherwise. So, over on Conservancy's blog, I've written a basic, first-principles summary of my GPL enforcement philosophy and I've also posted a few comments on the BusyBox mailing list thread, too.

I may have more to say about this later, but that's it for now, I think.

Posted on Wednesday 1 February 2012 at 14:05 by Bradley M. Kuhn.

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#include <std/disclaimer.h>
use Standard::Disclaimer;
from standard import disclaimer
SELECT full_text FROM standard WHERE type = 'disclaimer';

Both previously and presently, I have been employed by and/or done work for various organizations that also have views on Free, Libre, and Open Source Software. As should be blatantly obvious, this is my website, not theirs, so please do not assume views and opinions here belong to any such organization. Since I do co-own ebb.org with my wife, it may not be so obvious that these aren't her views and opinions, either.

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Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@ebb.org>