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The 451 Group: Latest Version of GPL Software License Causes Disruption in the Enterprise Open Source Industry.

New Report Analyzes the Business and Development Opportunities and Challenges Presented by GPLv3

NEW YORK -- The 451 Group found that the latest version of the GNU General Public License (GPL) - the world's most widely used open source license and the practical embodiment of the 'free' software movement - is creating disruption within the enterprise open source industry. With the introduction of version 3 of the license, the GPL underwent its first revision in 15 years, causing much debate and uncertainty among developers and vendors as to the impact of the new license on existing projects and practices.

"GPLv3 is a necessary, significant update," said Jay Lyman, Analyst with The 451 Group and lead author of the report. "The changes to the GPL with this update, both philosophical and practical, will bring varied reactions - increased adoption by some, a preference to remain with the status quo and GPLv2 by many, and potentially a move away from the GPL altogether by others."

The findings are discussed in a new report by The 451 Group, a New York-based technology-industry analyst company focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. The report is part of the 451 Commercial Adoption of Open Source (CAOS) Research Service, which investigates both user experiences and vendor strategies as enterprise customers deploy open source software.

Analysts at The 451 Group believe that GPLv3 offers key improvements, most notably compatibility with other open source licenses, including Apache. A move from GPLv2 to GPLv3 increases the potential for integrating and collaborating with other projects licensed under different terms, which should help to spur further open source innovation and overall adoption. In addition, The 451 Group believes code auditing and compliance companies, as well as open source stack and support providers, will benefit from confusion and controversy around GPLv3 as vendors, developers and others sort through its compatibility, liability and other ramifications.

"Prominent projects or vendors, such as Sun Microsystems or Google, may look to adopt GPLv3 for some projects or code in order to build goodwill in the larger open source software community or claim an innovation advantage," said Raven Zachary, 451 Open Source Research Director.

The 30-page report, 'GPLv3: Liberation or limitation?,' was written by Jay Lyman, together with Raven Zachary. This 451 CAOS report analyzes the business and development opportunities and pitfalls that the GPLv3 presents, as well as which classes of companies are embracing it and which are, wisely, avoiding it.

Report orders

To learn more about this report, or to discuss developing a client relationship with The 451 Group, contact Simon Carruthers, Vice President of Research Services, via phone at 212-505-3030 x-103, or via e-mail at: Copies of the report can also be purchased by visiting:

About the 451 Commercial Adoption of Open Source Research Service (CAOS)

The 451 Commercial Adoption of Open Source (CAOS) Research Service helps enterprise end users, software vendors and investors track and understand the opportunities and threats presented by open source. Its emphasis is on the advantages that open source methodologies offer, as well as the impact of consequent organizational, legal and cultural disruption. As part of the service, The 451 Group publishes six reports annually - each one examining a different issue and offering insight into user and vendor experiences. Additional features of the service include advisory services and a biweekly update of analysis and marketplace activity. The 451 Group also publishes a free blog for the enterprise open source community - 451 CAOS Theory - which can be found at:

About The 451 Group

The 451 Group is an independent technology-industry analyst company focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. The company's analysts provide critical and timely insight into the market and competitive dynamics of innovation in emerging technology segments. Clients of the company - at vendor, investor, service-provider and end-user organizations - rely on 451 insight to support both strategic and tactical decision-making for competitive advantage.

The 451 Group is headquartered in New York, with offices in key locations, including San Francisco, London and Boston. The company also operates Tier1 Research, an independent division of The 451 Group that analyzes the financial and industry implications of developments impacting public and private companies within the IT, communications and Internet sectors.

For additional information on The 451 Group or to apply for trial access to its services, go to:
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 12, 2008
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