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You are here: Home Blogs From the FSF's Executive Director A short update on GNU General Public License (GPL) compatibility questions

A short update on GNU General Public License (GPL) compatibility questions

by John Sullivan Contributions Published on Mar 02, 2016 10:36 AM
The Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s Licensing & Compliance Lab has been tracking the public discussion of licensing issues surrounding ZFS and the kernel Linux with interest. We haven't made any statement about it, but we plan to soon.

UPDATE: on April 11th we announced the publication of Interpreting, enforcing and changing the GNU GPL, as applied to combining Linux and ZFS, by FSF founder and president, Richard M. Stallman.

Although the FSF does not hold copyright on either Linux or ZFS, we are receiving many questions about what it all means for interpretation of the GNU GPL in general.

While developers who hold copyright on a given program are always the ones who decide whether to apply their work's license in any particular situation, the FSF provides general materials that make clear the intent behind the GNU family of licenses, and the legal basis for that intent. We know that many people rely on materials like the GPL FAQ and our list of licenses.

These resources are most useful when they have been thoroughly reviewed before publication so as not to later require significant correction or alteration for foreseeable reasons. This process takes time now, but saves time later by avoiding confusion. We will be publishing an analysis, and possibly making improvements to our other related resources, as soon as they are ready.

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