Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Mar 2009 18:02 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
GNU, GPL, Open Source Eric S. Raymond is one of the three big figures in open source, together with Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. During a talk for the Long Island Linux User Group, he made some interesting statements about the GPL, namely that the GPL is no longer needed due to the way the open source movement works.
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Luka Woititz
Member since:
2009-03-24

Aha, except the GPL protects the code, not the users of it. Your argument is flawed. If you have software A which is licensed under any license bar GPL like, some company "steals" the code to "close" it and make money of it, tell me, how the hell are you, as a user, less free?


Saying GPL only protects code not users shows how little you understand about both the subject and the shenanigans that have gone on in the past.


I agree with the last counterargument.

Well, it doesn't give me any more freedom than other free licenses. Compare with BSD, for example. I'm still able to use and redistribute freely. So it's not something only the GPL provides. So that argument about freedom for the user being what makes GPL interesting is pure bullshit.


There are just two possibilities in such thinking. Your knowledge about this problem is worth to take another read on a few more essays, or you are simply a complete soul member of the 'open source movement'. Why the quotation marks? Because it is not really a movement in the original meaning of the word.

You are really so intersted in the practical difference (although this is absolutely not the primary one)? The BSD license is a permissive free software license, that has been approved by the OSI initiative; the GNU GPL license is copyleft.

Open source software ~= everyone has permission to read and use the source code.

Free software ~= everyone will always have permission to read and use the source code.

A small difference, perhaps, but nevertheless an important one.


There have been a lot of definitions made, including by the free software movement as well as the OSI initiative, but some of them are more rational than others.

Open source software is a development methodology; free software is a philosophical, ethical and social movement.

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