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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RE: bsd vs gpl
by Soulbender on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 14:54 UTC in reply to "bsd vs gpl"
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

But you need only look at the landscape of open source to see that GPL is the clear winner.


Really?So tell me, what license is X.org under? Apache? Python? Perl? PHP?

Most companies simply do not want to use the BSD license to give away their code so some other company can claim it as their own.


Why would you think the BSD license allow that? The BSD license does not remove your copyright.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: bsd vs gpl
by TechGeek on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 01:01 in reply to "RE: bsd vs gpl"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"But you need only look at the landscape of open source to see that GPL is the clear winner.


Really?So tell me, what license is X.org under? Apache? Python? Perl? PHP?

Most companies simply do not want to use the BSD license to give away their code so some other company can claim it as their own.


Why would you think the BSD license allow that? The BSD license does not remove your copyright.
"


No, but it does allow a company to take the work ad make it proprietary without giving anything back to the author. Why would a company want to do that so that their competitors get to benefit for free? Share and share alike is a bit more of a realistic approach when it comes to business.

*EDIT* I should have said look at the landscape of business, since open source includes a lot of open source licenses besides the GPL. My point was that there is far more business interest going on in Linux than BSD from what I see.

Edited 2009-09-03 01:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: bsd vs gpl
by nt_jerkface on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 01:53 in reply to "RE[2]: bsd vs gpl"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

My point was that there is far more business interest going on in Linux than BSD from what I see.


I don't think that is directly the result of the GPL. I think a bigger factor is the tech press which has been in love with the Linux story from day 1. Linux has gained mindshare and intertia in the corporate world and a lot of it is due to the press. When you have Fortune 500 companies selling Linux based solutions it becomes a major endorsement.

At the same time I wouldn't call the GPL a failure. The GPL software base has certainly grown since its creation. But Firefox and Apache have also had tremendous growth so I think it is clear that the GPL isn't needed to have a successful open source project.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: bsd vs gpl
by Soulbender on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 07:17 in reply to "RE[2]: bsd vs gpl"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No, but it does allow a company to take the work ad make it proprietary


How do they "make it proprietary"? The original code is free and always will be.

without giving anything back to the author


To each their own.

Why would a company want to do that so that their competitors get to benefit for free?


What company would like to share their own changes and give away their competitive edge?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: bsd vs gpl
by segedunum on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 11:05 in reply to "RE: bsd vs gpl"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Really?

Take a look at this article, for one:

http://www.infoworld.com/print/85922

It asks us whether the GPL still matters, and then presents us with a table that says just over half of all applications they surveyed use the GPL - over 40% more than the next popular license, the LGPL. Even the GPL 3.0 is well on its way.

So tell me, what license is X.org under? Apache? Python? Perl? PHP?

You can't just pick out a few projects that don't use the GPL and expect that to disprove the fact that the GPL is the most popular license. Let's look at those projects though.

X.org is continually plagued with a lack of developers, a lack of code contributions and a lot of missed deadlines even though every open source desktop depends on it. There is a lack of unity, a lack of clarity and a lack of integrity, particularly when it comes to drivers, and you even have many drivers reimplementing up two two-thirds of the X server stack itself. Now, if you had all those developers and companies involved contributing common code back to one another the odds are that that situation would be vastly improved.

Apache is backed by developers working primarily for companies like IBM, so I can't see what difference the license would make to it nor what advantages the Apache License provides over others. They do have a page talking about GPL compatibility though which means that they see the GPL as important.

Python's license works for what they want it to do (namely that you can develop a product with an embedded Python interpreter) given that they're a development platform. They still talk about the GPL compatibility of the license, however.

Like Pythin, as a development platform Perl is going to need more flexible licensing than the GPL can provide, outweighing other considerations, but it and most CPAN modules are dual licensed with the GPL.

Why would you think the BSD license allow that? The BSD license does not remove your copyright.

Yes, your copyright doesn't disappear and headers and attributes have to be kept in place, but try enforcing your copyright under those circumstances unless the resulting source code is open. There's another ironic paradox.

Reply Parent Score: 3