Will Google Break the GPL?

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The subject of open source licensing has created a level of uncertainty amongst companies, especially with General Public License (GPL) or GPL derivatives when it comes to intellectual property restrictions on coded data. The use of communication mechanisms known as sockets, which serve as a “rest stop” between client programs and server programs, has introduced several new possibilities to deterring infringement claims and disclosure requirements.

A recent appeal filed by Oracle in response to a 2012 ruling on a case involving the use of sockets and “wrappers” as a workaround to the GPL could have long-lasting impacts on the use of these mechanisms. Ria Farrell Schalnat recently authored an article for the Intellectual Property Owners Association addressing the use of sockets and the potential impact of the appeal on the GPL.

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