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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Pragmatic vs theoretical
by thesunnyk on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 01:31 UTC in reply to "hm?"
thesunnyk
Member since:
2010-05-21

I feel for you, but ultimately understand why the GPL is seeing less use. I remember reading an article on OSNews titled something like "RMS was right all along". I think people are starting to recognise that the theoretical ethics that RMS is talking about are sound, but we can't follow the same path as it pretty much involves separating ourselves from technology -- the dude uses a Longsoon.

It's almost like he's a shaolin monk but most people see him getting kicked in the nads and instinctually say "err no thanks".

The fact is that a lot of open source code is written in a for-profit context nowadays. They'll use OSS as a "base" and stick a proprietary icing on top. The problem here is that since the GPL is "viral", they don't want it to "infect" the proprietary code, thus forcing them to release it (I believe this has happened with the Linksys WRT router). The move to use BSD is often a practical one to keep lawyers from looking into their code.

People in "pure" open source are aware that in order for their project to gain traction, the GPL is a major drawback -- LLVM is powering along while GCC languishes.

Ultimately, I think everyone recognises that a world with more GPL code is probably better for all of us, but we need an approach from the GNU guys that caters for the practical problems that a lot of people end up in. The zeitgeist needs to change a little at a time. Like Mozilla supporting H.264, it isn't necessarily the right way, but it may be the only way.

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