Friendlier GPL-Enforcement Permission Proposed By Linux Kernel Developers

The former Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation — and Slashdot user #41121 — contacted Slashdot with this announcement. bkuhn — now president of the Software Freedom Conservancy —
writes: Software Freedom Conservancy, home of the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, publicly applauded today the proposal of the Linux Kernel Enforcement Statement, which adds a per-copyright-holder-opt-in additional permission to the termination provisions of Linux’s GPLv2-only license.

It apparently addresses a developer who “made claims based on ambiguities in the GPL-2.0 that no one in our community has ever considered part of compliance,” according to a statement from some of the kernel developers who drafted the statement.
While the kernel community has always supported enforcement efforts to bring companies into compliance, we have never even considered enforcement for the purpose of extracting monetary gain… [W]e are aware of activity that has resulted in payments of at least a few million Euros. We are also aware that these actions, which have continued for at least four years, have threatened the confidence in our ecosystem. Because of this, and to help clarify what the majority of Linux kernel community members feel is the correct way to enforce our license, the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation has worked together with lawyers in our community, individual developers, and many companies that participate in the development of, and rely on Linux, to draft a Kernel Enforcement Statement to help address both this specific issue we are facing today, and to help prevent any future issues like this from happening again. It adopts the same termination provisions we are all familiar with from GPL-3.0 as an Additional Permission giving companies confidence that they will have time to come into compliance if a failure is identified.


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