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[Discuss] OSS licenses

On 01/03/2013 10:44 AM, Jerry Feldman wrote:
>  From time to time, we have had speakers on various OpenSource licensing
> speak at the BLU. The GPL was born because developers were contributing
> their stuff to the public domain, and some people were grabbing those
> and copyrighting that code. The original GPL was also referred to as
> "copyleft". But, there are a lot of issues with all licensing. Take a
> commercial closed-source project that runs on Linux, but it incorporates
> some GPL'd code into its product, such as Bison and Flex. The
> closed-source developer needs to be careful that his code does not
> become polluted by the GPL, and at the same time he needs to be
> respectful of the third-party licensing or code that he distributed. For
> instance, most code on Linux is compiled using some version of GCC. It
> also uses libraries, like libc that is GPL code.
> In any case, maybe we can set up a future BLU meeting and get a speaker
> who can simply explain both GPL as well as other OpenSource licenses
> like Apache, BSD, and a few others.

I agree, that would be good as there is a lot of dis-information to be 
cleared up. However, I grow concerned that we are becoming complacent in 
advocating freedom. While it is true that Linux has made great strides 
and it is unlikely that it will be killed off by competition, the 
freedoms which it is supposed to embody are fading.

Everything from DRM to UEFI is a direct assault on digital freedom. As 
computers become more and more the very conduit of communication and 
information, there has NEVER been a platform that delivers so utter and 
complete control to so few. The likes of Apple, Microsoft, and, yes, 
google not to mention comcast, RIAA, and MPIAA seek to take control of 
your property and limit what you can see and what you can "remember" and 
document. A newspaper that documents corruption is useless as historical 
evidence if the corrupted can erase or re-write the "print" remotely at 
any time. Similarly, books that can be altered or deleted at any time 
can not protect freedom in any sense.

We need to pick up the torch again for digital freedom and try to get 
the next generation to understand the problems that we helped create and 
they must confront. It is scary what is going on in America, the land 
where corporations are people.
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