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Understanding the complexity of copyleft defense

Bradley Kuhn

The fundamental mechanism defending software freedom is copyleft, embodied in GPL. GPL, however, functions only through upholding it--via GPL enforcement. For some, enforcement has been a regular activity for 30 years, but most projects don't enforce: they live with regular violations. Today, even under the Community Principles of GPL Enforcement, GPL enforcement is regularly criticized and questioned. The complex landscape is now impenetrable for developers who wish their code to remain forever free. This talk provides basic history and background information on the topic.

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2 years, 7 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2017 video · LibrePlanet 2017 · LibrePlanet · lp2017 · video

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LibrePlanet 2017 Videos (libreplanet)

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CC BY-SA 4.0

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This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.

libreplanet.org


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.

gnu.org/important


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.

gnu.org/not-open-source


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.

gnu.org/gnu-begin


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.

gnu.org/gnu-and-linux


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.