OpenSolaris Wins with GPL 3 Move

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Opinion: Both OpenSolaris and GPLv3 will benefit greatly from Sun's decision to dual-license its operating system under the new GPL.

Sun is going to add the upcoming GNU General Public License Version 3 to OpenSolaris in addition to its current Common Development and Distribution License. This may give OpenSolaris a much needed kick in the pants.

I have never liked the CDDL. Like many other open-source licenses, which are based on the MPL (Mozilla Public License), the CDDL artificially restricts the intellectual freedom that makes open source such an incredible powerhouse of software development.

As Larry Rosen, a partner in the technology law firm Rosenlaw & Einschlag and author of "Open-Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law," told me awhile back, "My biggest concern about the proliferation of reciprocal license such as the CDDL is that we end up not with one commons of free software but multiple islands of it that can't be interchanged for creating derivative works. We get some of the benefits of the open-source paradigm but—as the Apache foundation is so fond of reminding us—reciprocal licenses prevent free software from being available to absolutely everyone for modification and reuse."

He's right, of course. What I find even more disturbing is that the CDDL has been followed by many other MPL-based licenses—like Scalix, Socialtext, SugarCRM and Zimbra—that add even more restrictions.

For example, the SugarCRM Public License has now added a logo to its license. If you write an application based on Sugar's code, Sugar insists that you display in your user interface a 106-by-23-pixel logo that states, "Powered by SugarCRM." This new, and I think annoying, trend is dubbed "badgeware."

Read the full story on Linux-Watch.com: Sun to Release OpenSolaris Under GPL 3

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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