Tuesday, 17 July 2018 08:46

14 firms join pact to give GPL violators time to comply

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Fourteen companies have joined a group of 10 others in pledging not to indulge in harsh tactics to enforce open-source licences and adopting a deal known as the GPL Co-operation Commitment.

The 14 firms, listed by Red Hat in a statement on Monday, are Amazon, Arm, Canonical, GitLab, Intel Corporation, Liferay, Linaro, MariaDB, NEC, Pivotal, Royal Philips, SAS, Toyota and VMware.

The Commitment was rolled out initially in November 2017, with Red Hat, IBM, Facebook and Google joining up. In March this year, CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, SAP, and SUSE joined the group.

Under this Commitment, the companies agree to provide GPL licence violators time to come into compliance. The GPL versions 2 and 2.1 do not offer this time interval but deem someone who has committed a violation to be immediately found not to be in compliance.

In version 3 of the GPL, released in 2007, language was added to provide a time interval for anyone found to be violating the terms of the licence to come into compliance.

Earlier this year, Red Hat announced a change in its licensing terms, saying that in future all company projects that chose to use the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or the Lesser General Public Licence version 2 would have to include language from the GPLv3 that provides violators with time to rectify their offence.

The 24 companies which are now part of the Commitment represent more than 39% of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 contributors.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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