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Copyleft for the next decade: a comprehensive plan

Bradley Kuhn, Software Freedom Conservancy

Copyleft has faced serious challenges in the last five years. It's not over: many more threats are on the way. Not by coincidence these attacks on copyleft come when "open source" reaches new heights of success. For example, hordes of software developers are funded full time to churn out new free software, as long as it's not copylefted. Some such code is specifically designed to replace existing, widely used, copylefted programs.

Meanwhile, programs under copyleft licenses (most notably the kernel named Linux) face a decades long, ongoing myriad of license violations. Such violations include nefarious attempts by major companies to shirk their responsibilities under copyleft. The situation is undoubtedly bleak.

Those of us who care about software freedom need a plan. Copyleft once assured an equal playing field, but big companies work daily to tilt the playing field in their favor and against the interests of most developers, hobbyists, users, and enthusiasts.


8 years, 2 months ago

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