Google Has 'Moral Imperative' to Give Back to Linux

Lora Bentley

Software Freedom Law Center co-founder Eben Moglen says Google and Yahoo, which are considered the largest Linux users in the world, have a moral obligation to give code back to the development community -- even if the newest version of the GNU General Public License will not require it.


Speaking to an Open Source Business Conference audience, Moglen said the fact that the two companies are service providers rather than software distributors should not exempt them from giving back at least those improvements or modifications "that are not critical to their business." Though the Free Software Foundation considered adding language to GPL v3 that would close what is known as the application service provider loophole, "the idea was dropped," according to PC Advisor.


Not that it can't be revisited in the future. Moglen expressly left the option open:

We will see over time whether there are additional measures necessary in order to secure cooperation in the community.

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