Headius writes "Through events of the past couple months, I've ended up as the lead developer for the Litestep project, a several-year-old effort to write a GPL'ed shell replacement for Win32 platforms, for use in place of the standard Explorer shell. Current efforts involve a large rewrite of existing code and a complete refactoring of core services. Part of this new architecture is the abstracting of services to simple interfaces. Unfortunately, several other developers have brought up concerns that the hard work they put into developing the implementations of these interfaces (which will not have any dependency on Litestep-specific code) will be silently stolen by other (closed-source) projects in the cutthroat shell replacement arena and elsewhere. Is there any real way to protect GPL'ed code that has no interdependencies and abstracts away all the implementation details (as good OO code should)? I'm not as concerned about license violations as some, but how do I put the other devs' minds at ease? "