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Facebook, Google, IBM and Red Hat Formally Adopt Portion of GPL Enforcement Principles

November 27, 2017

Conservancy commends Facebook, Google, IBM and Red Hat who today adopted a formal stance on GPL enforcement. Their new position is consistent with our Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement. These companies committed formally to adopt the principle of using GPLv3-like termination for their copyrights in GPLv2'd works.

We welcome this step toward for-profit adoption of these Principles. The Principles can (and, in our view, should) apply to anyone who is a copyright holder of copyleft-licensed works, and for-profit companies are now major copyright holders in many important copylefted works. These announcements show that both non-profit and for-profit industry consensus has grown around these Principles, which were also recently partially adopted by the Linux project.

As noted by Red Hat in their statement, collaboration across many different organizations is necessary to build consensus on important policy issues. Conservancy continues to welcome everyone's input, discussion, and proposed improvements to the Principles in public (as is the standard in software freedom communities) on the principles-discuss mailing list.

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