Free Essay

Gnu Public License

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By candacep22
Words 540
Pages 3
Linux was developed as a variant of the UNIX architecture in 1991 (Stallings, 2012). As more developments were made to the Linux program, it eventually evolved into a “full-featured UNIX system” that has remained free and available to all (Stallings, 2012). GNU is described as a free software set of packages and tolls for designed for developing a UNIX-like operating system that is often used with the Linux kernel. The Free Software Foundation’s GNU project, or GNU Not Linux, provides the necessary tools to developers and has approved the GNU Public License, or GPL (Stallings, 2012). According to Free Software Foundation, or FSF (2007), the GNU Public License discusses the freedom for designers to share and change all versions of the program. Linux is free software, as in free for anyone to use, modify, or copy without restraint. The GNU Public License, or GPL, provides a list of basic permissions, rights, and conveying verbatim copies (FSF, 2007). The main idea of publishing the GPL licensing terms is that no one who uses Linux and/or creates any Linux-derived copy can make the copy proprietary (Stallings, 2012). Under the GPL, basic permissions are granted to all who use, copy, or modify a GNU program. The basic permissions essentially grant unlimited permission to run an unmodified version of a program (FSF, 2007). According to the FSF (2007), permissions are also granted to convey a derivative of an unmodified program; however, the conditions listed below must be met: * The work must display a notice stating who modified and the date it was modified. * The work must display a notice that it is released under the GPL. * The entire work must be licensed under the GPL to ensure the license the whole work and its parts. * If the work has interactive interfaces for users, each must display the appropriate legal notices,
Another item in reference to the Linux program is that Linux is not public-domain software (Stallings, 2012). In essence this means that the authors of the modified program have waived their specific copyright rights in regard to the software; however copyrights for the code are still intact by the previous and various authors of the code (Stallings, 2012). The final role that the GPL plays is in regards to proprietary software. If a modified version of a program such as UNIX-derived software is covered b the GPL, then the source code must be made available along with any of the distributions (Stallings, 2012).
In summary, the GNU Public License or GPL was designed to release versions of UNIX, such as Linux, from copyrights due to the fact that it is free software. The tools are made available to developers who intend to use, modify, change and even distribute variations of programs and what is covered for the authors and developers. Without this licensing coverage, the system developments may have taken longer to enhance and better the original design, and progress inevitably would have been delayed.

References
Free Software Foundation. (2007). GNU General Public License. GNU Operating System. Retrieved from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.
Stallings, W. (2012). Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles (7th ed., Ch. 12).

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