Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Apr 2012 19:25 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "A new analysis of licensing data shows that not only is use of the GPL and other copyleft licenses continuing to decline, but the rate of disuse is actually accelerating." This shouldn't be surprising. The GPL is complex, and I honestly don't blame both individuals and companies opting for simpler, more straightforward licenses like BSD or MIT-like licenses.
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RE[3]: hm?
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 02:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hm?"
BallmerKnowsBest
Member since:
2008-06-02

Sure the BSD license seems like a nice gesture, but all it does is ensure that the megacorps can continue to have complete control over the entire industry, while the GPL creates a level playing field for everyone.


Imagine you're a software development company and you decide you want to do a little "Freewashing"; in other words, make a few meaningless gestures to give the appearance that you support "Free(tm)" software without going all-in, or maybe to lure in some suckers to do free development work for you. So you decide to release a "community edition" of your existing commercial software, what license are you gonna choose, BSD? HELL no! That would let your competitors take the code and do whatever they want with it. Instead, you're probably going to release the software under GPL3.

That lets you (for example) release a "Free(tm)" version of a web application & plaster it with your branding and copyright notices. Then you can do things that would be considered dickish even with commercial licenses, like use the "legal notices" clause so that if anyone removes your branding, you can then threaten to go after them for GPL infringement (*cough-cough* http://www.cynapse.com/resources/cynin-gpl-v3-open-source-license *cough-cough*). But because you've released your software as GPL, you can still play the good guy and justify your actions as "protecting Freedom(tm)" or some other noble-sounding BS.

So despite your "BSD lets megacorps control the entire industry" hand-wringing, the reality is that GPL3 is much more "megacorp"-friendly than the BSD license.

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