GPL Compatibility with Other

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-01-16 Print this article Print

Licenses"> The requirements could include preservation of copyright notices, information about the origins of the code or alterations of the code, and different warranty disclaimers. They could also include limitations on the use of names of contributors and on the use of trademarks for publicity purposes.
"In general, we permit these requirements in added terms because many free software licenses include them and we consider them to be unobjectionable.
"Because we support trademark fair use, the limitations on the use of trademarks may seek to enforce only what is required by trademark law, and may not prohibit what would constitute fair use," the authors said. While the draft document retained the existing definition of "source code," it adds an explicit definition of "object code" as "any non-source version of a work." Object code is not restricted to a narrow technical meaning and is to be understood broadly as including any form of the work other than the preferred form for making modifications to it. "Object code therefore includes any kind of transformed version of source code, such as byte code. The definition of object code also ensures that licensees cannot escape their obligations under the GPL by resorting to shrouded source or obfuscated programming," the document said. Karen Copenhaver, the general counsel for Black Duck Software Inc., said a primary issue to be vetted by the community during the GPL 3.0 review process is whether the right to share and improve software licensed under the GPL extends to end users. "In other words, is a user of a Web-based application that is based on modified GPL-licensed code entitled to request and receive the source code for the application? This could be one of the great debates during this process," she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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