Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 12:41 UTC, submitted by nitsudima
GNU, GPL, Open Source David Chisnall casts a critical eye over the GNU General Public License and asks whether it's done more harm than good for the Free Software movement. "Looking back, has the GPL been a help, or a hindrance? And will it continue to be a help or hindrance in the future?"
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Do not bother with the article
by porcel on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 13:07 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

The linked article cherry-picks a few examples to push the idea that the code-sharing that the GPL legally requires is counterproductive, because companies would do it anyway and do it better.

Yeah, right, for each of the examples given, I can provide countless others on a 1-to-10 ratio of BSD code that was improved and never returned to its mainline.

So, the article in essence is another license-trolling attempt. People have very clear ideas by now about why they pick the licenses they use and to claim that the GPL has failed in view of the thousands upon thousands of GPL applications which get contributions from a host of companies and people is utter nonsense.

Reply Score: 20

After the war...
by wirespot on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 13:22 in reply to "Do not bother with the article"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

I agree. It's easy to stand in today's world of software and criticize GPL and FSF for select issues. But how would the world look if they never existed? GPL/FSF are a stick which was essential in forcing companies to start sharing and keep sharing.

Today many companies see the benefits of open source, but that's because there's already a movement with enough momentum in place: thousands upon thousands of FOSS apps and an interlocking FOSS ecosystem, a complete stack, OS kernel, drivers, userland. I very much doubt that this ecosystem would have gotten off the ground if we had to rely on the "honor system".

Reply Parent Score: 7

massa Member since:
2005-08-22

One word, a thousand examples: Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Yeah, right, for each of the examples given, I can provide countless others on a 1-to-10 ratio of BSD code that was improved and never returned to its mainline.

Becuase that's the goal of the BSD, doh.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

Becuase that's the goal of the BSD, doh.


Yep. But the article seems to be advocating improved participation in the upstream project as an advantage of BSD over GPL, which is what the original poster was objecting too. Whilst quality of contribution and engagement is more important than volume of code released "because we have to", I still agree with the OP - it's hard to imagine that the BSD license is *better* for encouraging meaningful community contributions.

Reply Parent Score: 4