[Rd] Discussion of the GPL on Groklaw
MSchwartz at MedAnalytics.com
Thu Jul 22 15:18:13 CEST 2004
On Thu, 2004-07-22 at 07:47, Douglas Bates wrote:
> I'm not looking to start a discussion of the GPL on R-devel; I'm just
> giving a reference because the subject of the GPL, the license under
> which R is issued, has been brought up on this list.
> If you want to follow some of the legal discussion of the Free Software
> Foundation's General Public License (GPL), the web site groklaw.net is
> required reading. One reason is because Pamela Jones (PJ as she is
> known there), the primary author, writes so well. Even if I didn't
> agree with her opinions I would enjoy her writing.
> Recently a lawyer wrote an article for LinuxInsider criticizing the GPL.
> PJ rebuts the article in
> One thing to realize about legal discussions of the GPL is that the
> whole concept is so foreign to the typical corporate lawyer that they
> frequently misconstrue it, as you will see in PJ's comments about the
> article. Also, some proprietary software companies have taken to
> spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about the GPL and many
> people take such material at face value.
If I may tack on to Doug's post, a somewhat related FYI.
For those interested in a multi-faceted dissertation on Open Source,
there is a relatively new (April 2004) book available from Harvard
The book is:
The Success of Open Source
by Steven Weber
Weber is a Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley and provides an
interesting insight into the history, technical, political, social,
organizational and business/legal perspectives of the Open Source
I recently picked it up at our local Barnes and Noble, though I have not
yet finished it due to distractions (otherwise known as work). I have so
far found it to be a fairly balanced presentation with respect to
evangelism and pragmatism and his perspectives on some of the
personalities well known in the community. It is also interesting to get
a sense of the background and history on the evolution of the various
licensing schemes (ie. GPL, BSD, etc.), addressing both the convergence
and divergence of philosophy over time.
I note that it is on back order at the moment from the publisher, but it
is available via Amazon.com at
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0674012925 and presumably
other outlets as well.
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