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

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Mark Williamson Member since:

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

Hiev Member since:

I don't think so, you contribute to GPL because you are forced or get sued by the FSF, to the BSD you contribute because you want to, not forced.

Some may contribute to the GPL by will also, but is better not to be obligated.

Edited 2009-09-02 15:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0