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: I'm sorry, but its true
by l3v1 on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 17:00 UTC 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

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