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Meet the Defenders of Open-Source Software…

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Meet the Defenders of Open-Source Software @ NYTimes.com

Mr. Hemel serves as a volunteer watchman for free, open-source software like the Linux operating system, which competes with Microsoft’s Windows. The use of free software has exploded, particularly in gadgets as varied as exercise bikes, energy meters and smartphones. Companies like Google, TiVo and Sony often opt to piggyback on the work of others rather than going through the ordeal of building all of the software for their products from scratch.

The problem that Mr. Hemel and others have stumbled upon is that some companies, even some technology savvy ones, may be violating the rather easy-to-follow requirements associated with free software licenses. Typically, these include making tweaked versions of a free software product available to the public, or simply giving credit to the original developers.


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2 Comments

  1. >> easy-to-follow requirements

    Hah! (for example, explain how a deeply embedded proprietary microcontroller product is supposed to meet the “customer should be able to re-link with new versions of the library” provision of LGPL…)

  2. That “relink with new versions” is easy to comply with, just not useful. All you need to do is provide object code for everything but the library.

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