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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Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

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

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

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.


I think you missed the main point of my post - that many companies use the GPL knowingly and therefore are willing contributors. They weren't forced to use GPL code, they chose to use it because they were willing to release their changes.

Nobody can force somebody to contribute to GPL projects if they haven't used GPL code in the first place. If companies aren't willing contributors to upstream then they shouldn't integrate GPLed code, since it's not best for them or the community.

The point was that companies need to make a choice up front about contributing back to GPL code, since if they don't want to contribute they should not use it at all. With BSD they can decide later on. The BSD way is less effort for the company but doesn't mean they GPL forced them into doing anything, it just requires them to plan ahead if they want to use it.

Plenty of companies are aware of this choice and are happy to make it - they are not being forced into anything if they knew the consequences of working with GPL code in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I think you don't understand mine, the fact that the companies are aware of the GPL before contributing, doesn't mean they do it pleasently, they may be doing it because they have to, not because they entirely agree.

Reply Parent Score: 1

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think so, you contribute to GPL because you are forced


Now that is stupid (sorry, it just is). Who forces you to pick a GPL'd source for your needs? Why don't you just code your own stuff with the licence you wish, or even never publish it? If you still pick someone else's work's results that (s)he chose to GPL, and you know it's under the GPL, and you still choose to use it and modify it, then you can't complain about anyone forcing you to do anything. It was you who willingly chose to adhere (in an optimal case) to the GPL.

Forcing you, right. Geez, my hair starts to go gray.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

You need to read the rest of my comments.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

"I don't think so, you contribute to GPL because you are forced


Now that is stupid (sorry, it just is). Who forces you to pick a GPL'd source for your needs? Why don't you just code your own stuff with the licence you wish, or even never publish it? If you still pick someone else's work's results that (s)he chose to GPL, and you know it's under the GPL, and you still choose to use it and modify it, then you can't complain about anyone forcing you to do anything. It was you who willingly chose to adhere (in an optimal case) to the GPL.

Forcing you, right. Geez, my hair starts to go gray.
"

Yup. GPL only forces you to contribute back in the same way that my local shops force me to give them money - if I get something from them I have to give something in return, but I know that in advance and have the choice to go elsewhere.

I get the impression that Hiev was partly trying to point out that requiring contributions of source does not guarantee quality contributions (compare the random "tossed over the wall" contributions of hacky vendor code various GPL projects get). Whereas a under a BSD-ish license you'll only get code from the really motivated contributors who actually want to help.

To me that doesn't make the GPL bad, since willing contributors will - to a certain extent - self select through their use of GPL code in the first place. But I can see the argument that contributors to a given BSD-licensed project are (more?) likely to be working for the benefit of the community than in simply ticking a legal checkbox so they can get access to some free code.

Reply Parent Score: 4

marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Licenses exist because of antisocial pricks like you who don't understand basic principles of conduct. Why would anybody complain about a ready made agreement? Because he'd like to subvert it but has no power. Poossy.

Reply Parent Score: 2