Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Jun 2012 23:56 UTC, submitted by Modafinil
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The Samba Team and seven kernel hackers have come together with Software Freedom Conservancy to help efforts to ensure compliance with the GPL by those who implement Linux and other GPL software. Richard Hillesley talked to Bradley Kuhn of Software Freedom Conservancy, Jeremy Allison of Samba, and Matthew Garrett, who works in his spare time with the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers."
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RE[5]: What a waste of time....
by Alfman on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What a waste of time.... "
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"Linux, like almost all open source software, is about 'scratching your own itch'. People contribute to Linux and open source, not because they want to compete and be the best and win awards...."

Oh I don't disagree with that, but I think these people would still exist without linux and I suspect if linux had failed to capture their interest then there would have been no shortage of competing "free" platforms to take it's place (for better or worse).


"[Competition] exists whether or not GPL is used."

Sure.


"The person I replied to claimed that if Linux were public domain, or at least not GPL'd, that it would magically have better driver support due to the kernel's internal interfaces being stabilized in face of competition."
"Well, BSD is right there for such a speculation, and its lack of GPL has not borne the results claimed."

I personally dislike the lack of an ABI (at least within major versions) for lots of reasons, but overlooking this opinion, I don't think we have strong evidence either way about whether the GPL license itself has impeded manufacturers from writing more drivers. Success is more often due to network effects that technical superiority. Most people agree that postgres is far superior to mysql, yet look who's on top?

At the end of the day developers should release code in whatever terms they feel comfortable with. I honestly don't know if the GPL's relative success is due to a network effect or because it strikes a coord with more developers. But I don't really care too much because I'm still free to use whatever license I want when I write software that I own the copyrights to.

I'm sure that we can both agree that when it comes to other people's copyrighted code, it's pretty arrogant to complain about their choice in free licenses.

Edited 2012-06-03 15:55 UTC

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