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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I'm sorry, but its true
by reez on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 14:08 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

Of course this article doesn't cover everything, but it's true.

My personal main problem with the GPL is that it tries to force free software. The only problem is, you can't force freedom.

A lot of developers using the BSD or the MIT licenses developers want to make everything easy accessible.

Recently there was an OSNews article about EULAs. Most people complained about EULAs being to long and hard to understand. The GPL is IHMO the hardest to read OSI-License.

I also think GPL is the open source answer to all this EULAs.

There are also a lot of programmers writing GPL licensed code, without ever having read it. Isn't that stupid? The problem is that not everyone is a lawyer and even lawyers have problems with this license.

It's really bad. Everyone cries about all kinds of threats because of DMCA, patents, ... and now the FSF does the same thing with companies.

I mean everyone should use the GPL. It's a license, like every other, but one has to ask himself, if he wants to to support a GPL vs commercial license war or if he wants to just write free (as in non-forced freedom), open source software for EVERYONE.

I know, this post will get many negative votes from GPL advocates, even if I'm not against the GPL in particular. I just want easy to understand licenses with short text. Maybe the FSF can come up with this.

Last but not least: Stop these license wars! Just write good, free, open source code! You can re-license your code later, as long as all authors are fine about it. See Mozilla, they even have tri-licensed code.

Reply Score: 7

RE: I'm sorry, but its true
by Glynser on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 14:26 in reply to "I'm sorry, but its true"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

"I mean everyone should use the GPL. It's a license, like every other, but one has to ask himself, if he wants to to support a GPL vs commercial license war or if he wants to just write free (as in non-forced freedom), open source software for EVERYONE."

not sure if you've written what you intended to, but the GPL in fact forces freedom. So in that case, you can't really use the GPL if you want to write "free as in non-forced freedom" software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I'm sorry, but its true
by l3v1 on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 17:00 in reply to "I'm sorry, but its true"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

My personal main problem with the GPL is that it tries to force free software. The only problem is, you can't force freedom.


My personal problem is with people who think that when someone writes some code, (s)he is forced to choose GPL as a license when publishing it. Nobody is forced to do anything, everyone could just sit on their code, or publish it as is without any license, or use BSD or else.

The ones who feel "forced" are usually those people who - when starting some project - pick up some "free" source, happily modify it to their needs, but are suddenly unhappy when they "find out" they should contribute their modifications. Most of these people don't even know the difference of the licenses out there, I saw this happen a couple of times.

But let's pretend for a second that this "forcing" issue is real. You say, one can't force freedom. Right. But one can force free software, in the sense that if I pick GPL, then I "force" every cherry-picker to follow my lead, which I feel is a good thing. You should know by now, nothing is really for "free" in this world, take adherence to GPL as a price you pay for the privilege to use other people's stuff.

//edit:spelling

Edited 2009-09-02 17:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5