How many of us I/T Architects actually read and care about all that legal jargon associated with software license agreements? How many times have you just clicked “Yes, I Accept” without really reading what you agreed to? I know I'm guilty and I expect 98% of you are too.
We all may have to start calling our friendly neighborhood intellectual poperty (IP) attorney. Check out Chris Lindquist’s blog TechLinkLetter on the CIO.com website and his article “GPL 3.0: Open Source Renews Its License” too see how rumored changes in GPL 3.0 might impact anyone using open source software in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) environment. Here are a few quotes:
“Second, and potentially much more challenging, is the possibility that GPL 3 will impose its licensing conditions on GPL-based software that is not physically distributed, but is exercised by remote execution. Specifically, the rumor is that the redistribution requirements will be imposed on GPL software used as part of a “Software as a Service” implementation. This means, for example, if an application service provider uses modified GPL code in its product, it would have to make the modified code available free to the public.
And remember that “viral” thing? That means if the modified GPL code is commingled with the ASP’s proprietary code, the whole thing could potentially becomes GPL. There’s no doubt that some software-as-a-service vendors will get caught up in this license requirement, should it come to pass.
And there’s another organization that could get tangled: yours. If you are one of the many IT organizations moving to service-oriented architectures (SOA), you are delivering software as a service. If part of your software stack is GPL, any changes to the license could affect your obligation to release your source code publically.”
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