Does your newsroom have a policy on GPL tools?
I’m genuinely curious about whether there are newsrooms with a firm policy that you can’t build on GPL code. I’ve heard stories, I know it is NY Times policy. Anyone else working in such an environment?
Regarding Megan's question in a comment above, the main reason for policies prohibiting building upon GPL code is uncertainty regarding how the "viral" nature of the license might sneak up later. In brief, code which modifies other GPL code requires that the source code of the modifications be released under the same license, and some shops don't want to do that.
For about ten years I've generally gone on the understanding that most of the risks of the GPL have to do with software that is distributed (as in "download this and run it") I've been involved only in software which is hosted on web sites. My unvetted-by-lawyers belief is that hosted web applications just aren't subject to those rules. Now, if you sell your web application later, and it was built with GPL software… then you probably have to release your source code.
From meetups, I know that IDG runs a bunch of GPL-based (Drupal, in their case) sites, as does Morris Communications:
So in nice list form:
- TechTarget (SearchNetworking.com, etc., ITKnowledgeExchange.com, many more)
- Spare Change News (non-profit 501c3)
- Morris Communications (13 daily newspaper, including Bluffton Today, and other pubs)
- IDG (PCWorld, CIO.com, CIO Magazine, many more)
Also, doesn't the NYTimes run some stuff on WordPress (which is GPL)? The sites above all do heavy modifications to their code, but I think (editorializing here!) banning GPL from development is a bit insane.
Please login to post questions.