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Hipatia :: Blog :: GPL y la innovacion en el Software.

August 28, 2002

Nota en www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT4528760742.html

by Matt Asay (updated Sep. 30, 2002)

Abstract

Increasingly, software is going 'open source,' with increasingly good results. Linux, the most visible of open-source software, is rapidly gaining ground in both embedded and server software markets, and even begins to make inroads on the desktop.

This is particularly interesting given the peculiar licensing structure that governs it: the GNU General Public License (GPL). This license 'promises' cannibalization of intellectual property, but does not quite deliver on this promise, and so has attracted the affection of mammoth electronics companies (normally IP-protective) who see Linux as their key to the future. In turn, this most 'anti-IP' of licenses is arguably doing more to foster innovation than patents or copyrights ever have.

In this whitepaper, Matt Asay ("former Linux naysayer-turned-disciple") analyzes the GPL, picking apart what it means (and does not mean) for users, and whether it is enforceable. Asay also details how its terms inhibit and foster innovation, and why we should care. In this next generation of software, those who understand 'copyleft' licenses like the GPL will have the upper-hand, and will be best positioned to take on closed-source shops like Microsoft.

Table of Contents
Introduction

What Is the GPL?

The Economics of the GPL: Is This a Good Thing?

Old View: GPL Kills Innovation
GPL and Innovation

The GPL and Applications

Inefficiency of the GPL
New View: GPL Promotes Innovation
GPL and Innovation, Revised

The GPL and Applications, Revised

Inefficiency of the GPL, Revised
The GPL: Not Broken, Why Fix It?
BSD-Style GPL?

Short-Term Copyright
Can Open Source Survive Closed-Source Involvement?

Conclusion

Appendix A: Suggested Revision of the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (see link below)

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