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`Open' chat on Linux

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Interviews
SUSE

Novell recently launched version 10 of SUSE Linux Desktop. eWorld caught up with Revathi Kasturi, managing director, West Asia SUSE Linux, to check out the level of activity amongst users of open source software. Excerpts from the conversation:

We hear that there is some controversy regarding the third version of GPL3, what with Linus Torvalds (the person to whom Linux owes existence in its current form) saying that he disagrees with parts that deal with Digital Rights Management?

Since we build the operating system (OS) from the open source, the respective components of the OS follow the licence of what we are doing. A lot of the components that Novell releases in the Open Source gets released in the GPL 2. One is not forced to use GPL3. It is not an automatic `upgradation'. It is up to the software licence. A lot of them release under the LGPL licence, which is the `lesser', or modified, GPL.
If, for instance, one is developing a tool that is to be embedded into a device, and he wants to build an application around the tool... and, if the tool is under GPL, then the application that is wrapped around that also comes under the GPL.
But if one does not want to do that, then he can use the LGPL, and in that case the application need not be released under an open source licence.

Aren't there enough applications in the open source arena taking off? Is that obstructing the spread of open source software?

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