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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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

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

In that case contributting by will instead of by gun point its a lot better.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

In that case contributting by will instead of by gun point its a lot better.


Yeah, indeed. Contributing "because we have to" just produces unpleasant code dumps that, often as not, don't go *anywhere*.

But the GPL makes the requirements pretty clear upfront, so I don't think it's really "at gunpoint". It's not like companies only ever - or even usually - contribute to GPL projects because they suddenly find they're forced to. Sometimes this does happen. But many successful companies have chosen upfront to become part of the community and are only using the GPL code *because* they're willing to contribute back their code. If they hadn't wanted to do that, they shouldn't / wouldn't have chosen GPL code in the first place.

Using BSD licensed code lets them defer the decision about participating until a later date, lets them be selective about what stuff they do choose to release and possibly requires less compliance worrying from their legal department. So there are certainly advantages to it but, again, I think it's quite debatable whether it's outright *better* for encouraging community participation, even though it has some advantages.

Reply Parent Score: 8