GPL, not Linux violations found by Welte

Summary:Our own Stephen Shankland has a story out illustrating the continuing confusion over the word Linux. The story is that Harald Welte, who runs the GPL Violations Project, found 13 hardware companies at CeBIT who were violating the GPL of GNU-Linux by not releasing code based on it.

GNU Linux

Our own Stephen Shankland has a story out illustrating the continuing confusion over the word Linux.

The story is that Harald Welte, who runs the GPL Violations Project, found 13 hardware companies at CeBIT who were violating the GPL of GNU-Linux by not releasing code based on it.

'The GPL is not public domain, but a copyright license,' Welte told Shankland. 'Instead of paying license fees, you provide a copy of the source code and pass the license to your users.' >

The confusion here is only in headline and first paragraph. Both use the word Linux instead of GPL or GNU-Linux. But, as readers of this blog know well (because they've educated me on it) the GPL is just one Linux license. There are others, some of which allow the CeBIT 13 to do just what they did.

Welte said he finds GPL code by reverse-engineeringdevices, looking for GPL signatures.

I believe it's an editor who made this mistake. But to avoid this happening in the future, should reporters only use the term GNU-Linux when referring to the GPL version of the OS, and should failure by anyone (me included) to use that term be considered a mistake?

Let us know what you think in TalkBack.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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