Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Apr 2012 19:25 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "A new analysis of licensing data shows that not only is use of the GPL and other copyleft licenses continuing to decline, but the rate of disuse is actually accelerating." This shouldn't be surprising. The GPL is complex, and I honestly don't blame both individuals and companies opting for simpler, more straightforward licenses like BSD or MIT-like licenses.
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RE[2]: Complexity?
by porcel on Sat 21st Apr 2012 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Complexity?"
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

You may rest your case on the complexity issue, but the GPL v3 is a much better license on many fronts,, but particularly if you care about the issue of software patents as you seem to care.

I seriously doubt that GPL use is declining. It remains the license of choice for about sixty percent of projects, according to the article┬┤s data and their projections may very well never be realized.

Of course, big proprietary vendors have been speaking ill of the GPL for a long time now and their marketing departments has spent a lot of money casting doubts and aspersions on the GPL, simply because it does not allow the release of proprietary software based on said code, something that the BSD license does allow.

In any case, software developers should think about what they want their project to be.

Would the Linux kernel exist today without the GPL and the friendly ecosystem around the code that it helped build?

I doubt so.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[3]: Complexity?
by Luminair on Sat 21st Apr 2012 22:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Complexity?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

AHHHH!!!! HE ISNT TALKING ABOUT WHICH IS BETTER, HE IS JUST SAYING GPL IS MORE COMPLEX!!!! AHHHHHHYOUFUCKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[3]: Complexity?
by BeamishBoy on Sat 21st Apr 2012 23:13 in reply to "RE[2]: Complexity?"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

Would the Linux kernel exist today without the GPL and the friendly ecosystem around the code that it helped build?


It certainly wouldn't exist if it was released under GPL V3.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Complexity?
by demetrioussharpe on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 03:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Complexity?"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

"Would the Linux kernel exist today without the GPL and the friendly ecosystem around the code that it helped build?


It certainly wouldn't exist if it was released under GPL V3.
"

Let's take it even farther. I seem to recall (& I could be wrong here) that Linux wouldn't even exist if there wasn't so much confusion about the legality of the BSD codebase. Back in those days, there were no Free/Open/NetBSD. Had that not been the case, then the messiah of Linux would be a BSD user & Linux wouldn't even exist. In all likelyhood, he'd probably be on the core team of one of the BSD's. If not, then he'd probably have his own BSD group.

It's not about profits or licenses for every single programmer. It really doesn't matter if someone gets rich off of a programmer's codebase. Most people seem to forget that the very same programmer who originally wrote the code could have just as easily gotten rich off of it. Also, even if a company poaches the code, the original code still exists. It can still be modified in various ways & the original author still has the opportunity to get rich from it...if they so desire.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Complexity?
by s-peter on Sat 21st Apr 2012 23:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Complexity?"
s-peter Member since:
2006-01-29

Would the Linux kernel exist today without the GPL and the friendly ecosystem around the code that it helped build?

I doubt so.


As BeamishBoy has mentioned, it wouldn't exist if it was released with GPLv3. Furthermore, due to the complexity of the GPL, it is debatable how it applies to binary kernel modules. [1] Currently, using binary kernel modules is allowed, even though according to different interpretations of the GPL, some or all should be disallowed. If the strictest interpretation of GPL would be applied, the Linux ecosystem would be much more limited. So actually part of the popularity of Linux is attributable to the fact that the Linux authors decided not to strictly apply the limitations of the GPL. (Ironically, strictly enforcing the GPL, or moving it to GPL3 would cause greater adoption of, and more contributions to BSD kernels.) Thus, the Linux kernel is more of an example of what a mess living with the GPL is, than how great the GPL is.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel#Loadable_kernel_modules_a...

Edit: typo.

Edited 2012-04-21 23:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Complexity?
by kwan_e on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 00:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Complexity?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The thing about licenses is that people are free to choose which license to use. You don't like the license? Don't use the license or any project that uses it. Simple.

Don't get on BSD's case for having an ideological freedom.

Certainly don't get on GPL's case for not being selfless. GPL is not a charity and was never intended as such. It's a pragmatic license for a pragmatic kind of freedom, acknowledging the fact that people like to be paid for their efforts (mostly in code and testing), and that freedom needs to be self-sustaining.

Like it or not, freedom is complex because life is complex.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[4]: Complexity?
by kwan_e on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 00:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Complexity?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Thus, the Linux kernel is more of an example of what a mess living with the GPL is, than how great the GPL is.


It's strange because Linus Torvalds himself made the choice to use GPL (v2), not because it was a popular license but because he liked the conditions in the license. He recognized the importance of reciprocated sharing.

Whatever you think about later developments in the GPL, the main feature of GPL (and the Creative Commons equivalent) is the reciprocation aspect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma#Strategy_for_...

The Tit-for-tat strategy is proven to be the best strategy for the Prisoner's Dilemma, after all.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Complexity?
by Soulbender on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 03:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Complexity?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

simply because it does not allow the release of proprietary software based on said code, something that the BSD license does allow.


Really? I could swear that many companies, for example Zimbra, provide community and commercial versions of their products where the commercial one contains proprietary code that never makes it to the community version.

Would the Linux kernel exist today without the GPL and the friendly ecosystem around the code that it helped build?


Considering Linus dislike for some parts of GPL2 and all of GPL3 then yes, it probably would. He has himself said that picking GPL was purely a practical decision and that he might have gone with BSD if it hadn't been for the At&T vs Berkely thing.

Reply Parent Score: 2