Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Sat 8th Jan 2011 19:28 UTC, submitted by sjvn
GNU, GPL, Open Source Some people swore to me that just because the free-software General Public License (GPL) clashes with the Apple App Store's Terms of Service (ToS), didn't mean that Apple would actually pull down GPLed apps. Well, Apple just did. Remi Denis-Courmont, a Linux developer of the popular VLC media player, has just announced that Apple had pulled the popular GPLed VLC media player from its App Store.
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If I wrote code that I wanted everyone to share, I would not view it as nice if someone took a copy of my code and refused to share it. This can happen to my code if I license it as BSD/MIT. The GPL simply adds a stipulation beyond BSD/MIT that in effect says: "I shared this with you, you may use it however you like but if you give it to others you must share it with them just as I have shared it with you".

I don't know how many times I have been schooled by you here but I wish there'll be many more.

On topic (and on quote so to speak), the reason that some avoid GPL (and I've written it in a previous comment) is a wording/understanding problem. Read a BSD license, you immediately know you can use it in any way you please. I'm very Java these last years so I also know the Apache license is similar in that respect. With GPL, until I read your explanations in several comments, I could not have told someone: "yes you can use GPL even in a proprietary closed-source commercial product, you just have to link to it instead of embedding it in your source code". And honestly, for those who are not native English speakers (like me), it's not that easy to understand. And sections like "Linking and derived works" of the Wikipedia article don't help in clarifying what can and cannot be done. Even your "LGPL is absolutely safe, as it specifically allows linking (even static linking). Most libraries are LGPL, not GPL." doesn't tell explicitly whether I can use or statically/dynamically link to GPL-licensed code. So in case my commercial product uses a library that, unfortunately, happens to be GPL instead of LGPL, what should I do, point the users to where they can download the library and its source code should they wish to?

Last point, I think no one is safe from bona fide errors and from some lazy-sloppy-doesn't-care-should-be-fired-rightaway developer. This is a risk I'm not sure I'd be willing to take were I to have a company like I hope.

P.S. can you explain how multi-licensing works with GPL?

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