Ask the Expert

Is the GPL incompatible with U.S. copyright law?

My company's IT team has been working with and within the rules regarding the GPL for years. In recent news, I read that SCO is saying that GPL is not compatible with U.S. copyright law. Could that possibly be true?

    Requires Free Membership to View

Presumably this is part of their effort to create fear, uncertainty and doubt. I wonder about such claims when SCO has, until 2003, participated in distributing open source products under a version of the GPL. In addition, it should be remembered that copyright protects the expression of ideas in the name of the creators of those expressions. If creators voluntarily distribute their expressions using a distribution model that differs from the restrictive and proprietary world of copyright, it strikes me that neither the Copyright Act nor SCO can prevent it. This applies with equal force, in my view, to those who registered their work with the federal government and subsequently decided to distribute their work more freely. Without more explanation from SCO about what it really means, on its face this assertion appears without merit.

This was first published in August 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: