Panel on Detailed Analysis of the GPL and open source licensing

Panel on Detailed Analysis of the GPL and open source licensing

Copyleft. To understand the copyleft provision of the GPL you have to listen to the open source community and industry. Free Software Foundation is the author of the GPL and they own a lot of GPL code. So their opinion on the understanding of the GPL is important. But there are other owners of GPL code. Their interpretations as copyright holders and licensors are also important.

When you interpret the GPL you move away from strict lawyerly interpretation of the wording to take into consideration other things. This makes it more “risky” to work with GPL so this comes down to risk management. You have to look into the spirit of the GPL, the attitudes of the licensor and so on.

The cases necessary to give legal certainty are coming slowly, but they are coming like was the case with shrink wrap. GPL vs. LGPL. The spirit of the GPL and LGPL or “the purpose”.

The GPL cannot be negotiated. Proprietary can be negotiate. period etc.

Is the GPL based on statutory right or contracts?

Is easier to assert infringement of software patents with respect to open source software because the source code is accessible. But there are also more people involved in open source project to contest the patent [I didn’t really get the point here].

How do you deal with different interpretations of the GPL by different contributors to Linux. Different opinions of the scope of copylefts. Can you under the GPL force contributors to assign the copyright to the contribution to a third party?

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