October 26, 2009, 8:49 am
One of the striking aspects of the free software community is its obsession with licences. It's as if within every hacker there's a lawyer struggling to get out. But maybe it's not so surprising; as Larry Lessig reminded us, ‚Äúcode is law‚Äù, and the reverse is also true in the sense that the licence adopted has a big impact on how the software is produced. That explains, in part, why recent discussions of Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun ‚Äì and hence MySQL ‚Äì have once more put free software licences under the microscope.