Open Source Expert: Google Not A Team Player

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Google makes rare books available for free, protects the environment, and gives grants to many non-profit organizations.  But in at least one respect, the company may not be so generous; General Public License (GPL) author Eben Moglen feels Google should contribute more to the open source community.

Moglen also serves as chairman for the Software Freedom Law Center, and works as a professor of law at Columbia University – he is, I’d wager, a pretty smart guy.  Robert McMillan reported what Moglen had to say about the Mountain View-based search engine corporation.

“I think we all know that Google has a bias toward secrecy,” Moglen stated.  But pressure from the open source crowd is beginning to build, and he believes it may have an impact on Google’s policies.

“They have ethical and community responsibilities to return at least those modifications that are not critical to their business and that are of general value to the community,” Moglen said.  “We will see over time whether there are additional measures necessary in order to secure cooperation in the community.”

It seems possible that Google won’t give in; after all, the Enterprise Open Source News Desk reports that other major companies have also annoyed the open source community.  In fact, the GPL 3’s “language takes a strong stand against cross-patent agreements such as a deal announced earlier this year by Microsoft and Novell.”

Still, Google might want to listen to Moglen; for better or for worse, some people probably care much more about his requests than about gaining access to books from Switzerland.

Open Source Expert: Google Not A Team Player
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