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O'Reilly Open Source Convention


The GNU General Public License for Developers and Businesspeople
Bradley M. Kuhn, Software Freedom Law Center

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Monday, July 07
Time: 1:45pm - 5:15pm
Location: Salmon

This tutorial gives an explanation of the most popular Free Software copyright license, the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), and teaches software developers, managers and business people how to use the GPL and GPL'ed software in new Free Software business, and in existing, successful enterprises.

Attendees should have a general familiarity with software development processes, and a vague understanding of how copyright law applies to software. This tutorial is of most interest to software developers and managers who already, or wish to, run software businesses that modify, redistribute, or make use of software under terms of the GPL.

This tutorial explains the GPL to professionals who are not well versed in the details of copyright law. Presented by a software developer and manager, this tutorial informs non-lawyers who wish to have a deeper understanding of how the GPL uses copyright law to protect software freedom, and to assist in the formation of Free Software businesses.

You can expect to learn:

  • The freedom-defending purpose of each term of the GPL
  • The redistribution options under the GPL
  • The obligations when modifying GPL'ed software
  • How to properly apply the GPL to new software
  • How to build a plan for proper and successful compliance with the GPL
  • The business advantages that the GPL provides
  • The most common business models used in conjunction with the GPL
  • How existing GPL'ed software can be used in existing enterprises

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