Emacs & the birth of the GPL

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like Emacs. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like Emacs. If you put Emacs in a cup it becomes the cup, if you put into a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put Emacs into a teapot […]

FreeBSD and the GPL

Linus Torvalds has said Linux wouldn’t have happened if 386BSD had been around when he started up. We trace the history of FreeBSD and how it’s affected the open source world. The first free Unix-like operating system available on the IBM PC was 386BSD, of which Linus Torvalds said in 1993: “If 386BSD had been […]

Alfresco to drop GPL, goes LGPL

Alfresco has announced that it is changing the licensing of the community edition of its enterprise content management system from GPL to LGPL. The move was announced by the company’s CEO, John Newton, in a posting on his blog. He explained that the company had initially gone with the GPL licence three years ago as […]

Mozilla’s Bespin rebooted, to be GPL compatible

The Mozilla Labs Bespin project, to create a web based integrated development environment which makes use of cloud functionality, is undergoing a reboot aimed at making Bespin easier to work with and extend. Bespin was introduced in February 2009 by Ben Galbraith and Dion Almear. In September 2009, Galbraith and Almear moved to Palm, which […]

Richard Stallman on GPL Exceptions

Richard Stallman raised more than a few eyebrows when he signed the letter objecting to the MySQL purchase. Endorsing, or seeming to endorse, the practice of selling proprietary exceptions to GPL’ed software seemed entirely out of character with Stallman’s comments on Free Software up to that point. To clarify, Stallman has written up an essay […]

The GPL Barter Cycle – A Graphic

In our efforts at Groklaw to explain the General Public License, or GPL, over the years, we’ve used many words. But the other day I asked if anyone could think of a way to show it graphically, and PolR has done it. That captures it, don’t you think? Some imagine that it’s unthinkable to, as […]