Red Hat Changes Its Open-Source Licensing Rules

An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet:
When leading Linux company Red Hat announces that — from here on out — all new Red Hat-initiated open-source projects that use the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) or GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) v2.1 licenses will be expected to supplement the license with GPL version 3 (GPLv3)’s cure commitment language, it’s a big deal. Both older open-source licenses are widely used.

When the GPLv3 was released, it came with an express termination approach that offered developers the chance to cure license compliance errors. This termination policy in GPLv3 provided a way for companies to repair licensing errors and mistakes… Other companies — CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, SAP, and SUSE — have taken similar GPL positions… In its new position statement, Red Hat explained that the GPLv2 and LGPL, as written, has led to the belief that automatic license termination and copyright infringement claims can result from a single act of inadvertent non-compliance.

“We hope that others will also join in this endeavor,” says Red Hat’s senior commercial counsel, Richard Fontana, “to reassure the open source community that good faith efforts to fix noncompliance will be embraced.”

ZDNet points out that the move to new licenses “doesn’t apply, of course, to Linux itself. Linus Torvalds has made it abundantly clear that Linux has been, will now, and always shall be under the GPLv2.”

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