MySQL, Open Source, Thought Tree

Interesting GPL Development Shaping Up

Read a NewsForge article today about how the two lead developers of the GPU Gnutella client have amended the GPL to include a provision that bans the software’s use by military organizations. Specifically, provision states:

the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed.

Interestingly, Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement, doesn’t think distributors have the right to restrict the software user’s activities by restricting the software’s use in this way, though he said “Nonetheless, I don’t think the requirement is entirely vacuous, so we cannot disregard it as legally void.” It will be fascinating to see how this plays out, as it has further-ranging consequences than just this limited example. For instance, what about a clause that stated the program or its derivative work cannot be executed to spy on the privacy of citizens? … Hmmm.