The GPL Becomes A Corporate Weapon

Licensing games are played all the time, and they all move eventually to the bottom of the open source incline, where the GPL says all tools belong to all. If license disarmament is the end game, what's the problem?

I've written many times here about the open source incline. The more community support you want, the closer your license moves toward the GPL.

But ever since Sun decided last year to release Java under the GPL, companies have been recognizing the offensive advantages of a license that makes all improvements into community property.

RedHat is a veteran of the license game, but it had an "ah ha" moment after it acquired JBOSS, which uses a GPL license. So when it acquired marketing rights to Exadel's suite, it pointedly placed Exadel Studio Pro, now to be called Red Hat Developer Studio, under the GPL.

Its target was Genuitec, whose MyEclipse uses the LGPL. Ed Burnette writes that the move is designed to keep Red Hat Developer Studio code out of MyEclipse, because its GPL license would then make all of MyEclipse GPL.

Unfair, says Genuitec CEO Maher Masri (above), and Burnette agrees.

But is it unfair? Licensing games are played all the time, and they all move eventually to the bottom of the open source incline, where the GPL says all tools belong to all. If license disarmament is the end game, what's the problem?

Personally I think disarmament is good thing.

 

 

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