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.
Permalink for comment 515227
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Missing the point
by tomz on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 14:07 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

I haven't read through all the comments, but it seems to be BSD (not even saying 2 or 3 clause) v.s. GPL. But there is the Apache license and Mozilla Public license and others.

The BSD licenses don't say much - other than the copyright notice requirement and "as-is", is it that different than simply declaring it public domain?

The other side is the more complex licenses have been analyzed by engineers and lawyers to insure they are binding, i.e. they are likely to stand up in court and many have been tested. Perhaps there is no reason to test the BSD, but what if it was infringed? Or if the "as-is" doesn't hold up when it damages something?

I would not say the GPL is any more anti-business than any other license - Apple goes on with page after page, yet people use their software. The terms are simple and not hard to comply with, instead of paying money, you pay it forward.

That said, also look at OpenOffice, now Apache with the Apache license - and I would note Java is supposedly under that, but Oracle is suing Google. LibreOffice is the GPL version and seems to be attracting more development.

As others have noted, the quantity of projects is not as significant as the quality and maturity. Most of a GNU/Linux distribution is some GPL variant. The large amount of GPL software already available means it is being improved, not reinvented. This doesn't prohibit innovation, merely concentrates it. So an existing GPL project comes up with a totally new and improved thing, it isn't counted as new although it may have leapfrogged the competition.

And it comes down to purpose - I've used all the licenses, and it depends on whether it is for educational or standards usage where I might want to be lax, or if I want it to be and stay free (unless someone wants to pay for the privilege of taking it proprietary).

Reply Score: 2