Linux itself does not represent any great departures from previous technologies, but has led a technological revolution that is predicated on free software licensing. The open source development model, which is facilitated by the GNU General Public License (GPL), represents a challenge and an opportunity to industry to rethink the way that information and technology is used and shared between individuals and organisations, and in some sectors - notably the financial services sector - the challenge appears to have been accepted. The disruptive technology is the license and its distinctive inversion of copyright law.

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cendrars's picture
Created by cendrars 13 years 28 weeks ago – Made popular 13 years 27 weeks ago
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Balzac's picture


13 years 27 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago


GNU is the disruptive technology.

A GPL-licensed kernel was the inevitable conclusion of the bold and visionary GNU project.

GNU was well along its way to completion before the Linux kernel provided the last component.

The Linux kernel is a component of this disruptive technology which was set into motion by the GNU Manifesto and a lot of hard work.

The author of the article has it exactly right:

"The disruptive technology is the license and its distinctive inversion of copyright law."

aboutblank's picture


13 years 27 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago


Copyright law in America was

Copyright law in America was instituted on the idea that a time-limited copyright monopoly on creative works would promote the sciences and the arts. Proprietary software that does not 'grant users the right to corresponding source code' does little to improve the state of the arts (or the sciences) for the public.

It is most certain that software licensed under the GPL does exactly what copyright law was intended to do. It does not "invert copyright law to disrupt the status quo". In fact, it works together with copyright law in order to promote the sciences and the art.

kiba's picture


13 years 27 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago


It does invert copyright

It does invert copyright law, by doing the opposite of what copyright usually do. Now, as for the purpose, we're actually fulfilling the purpose that copyright monopolies will never fulfill.

Copyright monopolies can benefit the public? That's absolutely 100% BS. There's no evidence to support that idea. If anything, monopolies are actually harmful.

Free software prove that cooperation and competition are better than monopolism will ever be. Heck, you can look at the automobile industry, or the banking industry, and even the agriculture and pharmaceutical industry as examples of why competition works and why government granted monopolies suck.
*Copyright creates monopolies. Copyleft promote the free market.

*"Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely"-- http://againstmonopoly.org

Balzac's picture


13 years 27 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago


Both comments are saying something true.

The GPL relies upon copyright law and it doesn't "invert copyright law", yet it does the inverse of most copyright claims - it protects public access, not private control. Of course we probably all know this already.

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