GPL & the Constitution

Diane Cabell

February 14, 2004

Does an open-source license scheme such as the GPL defeat the purposes of the copyright clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8) by forcing those who wish to build on a work to offer their improvements on a royalty-free basis?  Does the answer differ depending on the type of work that is being distributed?  Under this theory, would technical rights management restrictions that last beyond the term of copyright protection be equally unconstitutional?

See SCO’s comments from Darl McBride at


See the GPL at < - TOC1>.

1:16:20 PM EST

Copyright 2004