Guido van Rossum Speaks
Subject:   GPL dates
Date:   2003-08-19 03:32:27
From:   anonymous2
Going to have to correct Guido here...

"GvR: I guess one difference is that it has a long history, since it was first distributed in 1991. In those days nobody talked about "open source", and Richard Stallman [founder of the Free Software Foundation] wasn't very well known and the GNU General Public License didn't exist."

The current version (v2) of the GPL is copyrighted June 1991, and v1 is copyrighted February 1989
(See, RMS certainly was not as well know back in 1991 as he is now, but I think it is fair to say that he (and the FSF) was already by then a very significant figure in the coding world.

It is true that "open source" was not a phrase in use at that time (OSI was launched in 1998, see, but that is neither here or there in relation to Free Software.