Brian's Waste of Time

Wed, 23 Mar 2005

Open Source in the Corporate World: Eben Moglen's Keynote

The opening keynote was by Eben Moglen. I have to admit I was worried at the beginning when he started the Free Software propaganda, but he is a powerful speaker. He took a lot of the perceived venom out of the GPL and the FSF stance, and cleared a lot of the confusion. I came away almost considering the GPL to not be t3h d3v1l. He's pretty good =)

From a more practical point of view, I was able to talk with him afterwards about the LGPL and Java FUD that is floating around. His take is that the LGPL works fine for Java as worded, though he'd be open to changing the wording when they look into the LGPL (after the GPL 3), if someone could come up with something to make it more clear. He talked about looking at it from a copyright law point of view more than a "what is linking" point of view. While a jar is definately not a header file, the concepts of a combined work and derived work are copyright concepts (this is me interpreting what he said, not what he said). It is pretty clear to a practitioner what is a combined work in Java and what is a derivitive work, so what is the big deal?

Sadly, the room for confusion and air of confusion is enough to create trouble. Perception matters a lot =(

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