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Open Source Project Licenses Trending Toward Open Rather than Free

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the for-some-values-of-open-or-free dept.

Software 369

bonch writes "An analysis of software licenses shows usage of GPL and other copyleft licenses declining at an accelerating rate. In their place, developers are choosing permissive licenses such as BSD, MIT, and ASL. One theory for the decline is that GPL usage was primarily driven by vendor-led projects, and with the shift to community-led projects, permissive licenses are becoming more common."

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Misleading headline (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761725)

"Open Rather than Free" implies that there is some charge. Both licenses are "free" in terms of you can use the software without paying. The difference is that any works derived or using GPL type licenses also have to be released on the same license. Whether this is more or less open depends on your point of view.

Re:Misleading headline (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761757)

It's also a misleading summary and article.

The proportion of open source projects using the GPL, LGPL and AGPL is declining, not the absolute number of projects.

*GPL may not actually be in decline at all, the article doesn't say, it just says that it's falling as a proportion. This information is pretty worthless on its own.

Re:Misleading headline (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761799)

This information is pretty worthless on its own.

That's why it made it to the Slashdot summary.

Just curious there was a different summary about Africa. How would American Liberals run a campaign in a typical African country? Everybody is black and everybody except the government is poor. What would they campaign on?

"See there is horrible terrible racism! No wait a sec, they're all black..." "Those evil rich are oppressing the poor terrible pitiful poor by not giving them enough hand-outs! No wait, everybody is poor except the government. Shit. No group identity and no wealth envy. How the fuck are we going to get elected?!"

Re:Misleading headline (3, Insightful)

w.hamra1987 (1193987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761919)

well, technically... GPL cant decline unless a project is taken offline, the license doesn't permit the project to get another non-free license after it gets GPL'ed

Re:Misleading headline (5, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761993)

If you're speaking "technically", you're wrong. If I release a project under GPL, I can release it under any other license I like later.

The only time I am tied to GPL is if I choose to incorporate someone else's work into my project, and they don't want to change licenses.

So on a big project with lots of copyright holders, it is nearly impossible to switch to a more permissive license, but that's because it's so hard to get a big group of people to agree, not because the GPL doesn't allow it.

Re:Misleading headline (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762169)

If I release a project under GPL, I can create a non-GPL license fork later.

FTFY

You can choose to change your license on new code. However the code that is already release will remain GPL and can continue under someone else's leadership.

Re:Misleading headline (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762405)

Not necessarily true. The case law with respect to this is highly lacking. Your stance is what the FSF wants to believe, not necessarily what would be the case if this had more firm case law rulings.

Re:Misleading headline (3, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762531)

The case law with respect to this is highly lacking.

I am not a lawyer, however:

So you base your doubt on the lack of court cases involving forked projects? The lack of case law could be attributed to the contract agreement between the original author and the code users of the GPL version. The original developer convincing the court that the contract is null and void seems like a large obstacle to pass. Especially when the defendant is being accused to upholding their end of the written agreement, and I don't see a revocation clause within the GPL agreement.

The original author is free to make his new code more restrictive, however people who continue to use the code that was originally licensed as GPL has a contractual agreement that they are free to continue to make modifications of said code as long as they make a credible effort to send the changes back to the original developer.

The irony being that the submitted changes are copyrighted by the submitter and that code can not be added to the now non-GPL code of the original author.

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762053)

saying "well technically" at the beginning of a statement is just plain silly, it doesn't make it either more technical or more correct.

The original author, ie the owner of the copyright is perfectly at liberty to change the license to non free license anytime they choose even after they GPL it. Of course the code to that point remains under the GPL but the entire codebase can be released under any license the author chooses at anytime or even both GPL and non-GPL'd at the same time.

Who the fuck is Brian Proffitt? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761947)

Just who in the fuck is Brian Proffitt? Up until now, I'd never heard of him. I can't think of any open source software project he's worked on, or even helped lead.

Maybe I'm just ignorant about his accomplishments. If so, please inform me of them. Otherwise, can somebody tell me why I should care what he has to say about this, or anything else?

Lame (1)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762157)

That was an incredibly lame ad hominem.

Re:Who the fuck is Brian Proffitt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762175)

Don't kill the messenger just because you don't like the message.

easy tiger (5, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762183)

Just who in the fuck is Brian Proffitt? Up until now, I'd never heard of him. I can't think of any open source software project he's worked on, or even helped lead.

Maybe I'm just ignorant about his accomplishments. If so, please inform me of them. Otherwise, can somebody tell me why I should care what he has to say about this, or anything else?

He's a tech journalist, which by itself doesn't say if he's technically capable or not. And that, technical capacity is not a function of one's visible/publicized/recognized technical accomplishments in the field in question. There are tons and tons of people out there that have never contributed to, say the Linux kernel or the GCC toolchain, but who, by usage, observation and/or academic expertise (any combination thereof) can tell any random /.er how that shit works.

Your post smacks of arrogance (as it pairs the possible validity of the argument to YOU knowing the author - I mean who are you?). Secondly, your statement has a pedestrian, juvenile ad-hominem'ey nature. One would think /.ers who think themselves acutely intellectual would recognize it as such.

You don't attack a position by saying "who is this?". You do so by asking "what is this", by analyzing the merits of the arguments being written.

If the sole measure of an argument's worthiness of your time is whether the person who makes it is a publicly accomplished figure, then man, you should go tell Muhammad Ali that he was wrong for using Angelo Dundee (who learned the trade of boxing training and being a corner man by being a "bucket boy".) Or you should go tell countless of MMA fighters not to train with Eddie Bravo (who has no MMA record.)

Strategists and analysts (even in the ethereal fields of software journalism) are not necessarily made from being in the trenches or for having delivered an opus dei recognized by the fanboi masses. To pretend otherwise is just arrogance and an inability to argue a piece's worth without having to rely on ad hominem.

I mean for all we know, Proffitt's work is shit, or people feeds him stuff that he then publicizes on his name. But you don't get to that conclusion by saying "who the fuck he is", but by saying "let me try to be a little bit intelligent and analyze this thing if it makes sense or not."

If you don't have the time to do that, why do you bother asking "who the fuck is he". I mean, who the fuck are you to feel the necessity to say that? That's just being embarrassingly childish and sadly spiteful.

Re:Who the fuck is Brian Proffitt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762529)

"Maybe I'm just ignorant ... "

Maybe you should have stopped right there.

Re:Misleading headline (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762145)

What the article is saying that the GPL license marketshare is in decline, while the other less restrictive opens source licenses' marketshare is on the rise.

In other words, a large number of new open source projects are not choosing to use GPL licensing. While technically the number of GPL projects are not declining, their future relevancy (as far as the general computing community is concerned) is falling.

Since the goal of most GPL projects are to "scratch a particular itch" and not to be the most popular solution, I don't see this as something that a GPL project should be concerned with. Yet I do see this as a wake up call to GNU, since their goal is to remain a relevant force in community software.

Re:Misleading headline (2)

Moldiver (1343577) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761761)

It's not about more open - it's about more freedom.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761767)

Misleading... "Open Rather than Free" implies that there is some charge.

I'm not sure it's misleading at all — Free software and open source software are simply terms of art. "Open" no more means that it is supplied at a cost than "Free" refers to price.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762225)

It's misleading because the neither the Free Software Foundation's list of four freedoms required for something to be Free Software, nor the Open Source Definition requires something to be copyleft. I think there are some corner cases where something can be covered by one definition but not the other, but I've never seen one in the wild: projects tend to be either proprietary or both free software and open source. What the title meant was that open source project licenses are tending towards permissive, rather than copyleft.

Re:Misleading headline (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761783)

Perhaps you've missed the "free as in free speech, not as in free beer" train. You should look into OSI vs FSF. It would spare the moderators to do some research before posting.

GPL is viral so it will always tend to spread unless people duplicate the projects with other license terms. And with so much money in the corporate world, I guess that's what's happening - new [duplicating] projects adopting more convenient terms for making profit. Still, I'm happier this way than having to put up with binaries.

Re:Misleading headline (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762329)

GPL is viral so it will always tend to spread unless people duplicate the projects with other license terms

GPL is not viral. It can't "infect" code that isn't derived from GPL'd code. That makes it heredity, not viral.

Not just misleading, it's outright incorrect (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761839)

Even by the FSF's definition, "copyleft" and "free" are distinct terms. Every license in the summary is considered free by the FSF: BSD [gnu.org] MIT [gnu.org] ASL [gnu.org]

Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don't. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761925)

GPL advocates often have a pretty significant misunderstanding of freedom. It's one of the few things in life that's absolute. Either you have freedom, or you do not. There is no middle ground.

Forcing people to redistribute any source code changes that they make is more than enough to eradicate freedom completely. Freedom is inherently destroyed when restrictions like that are put in place.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761977)

The GPL is about the user's freedom not the developer's. It guarantees that the user can modify the source in any way they see fit without the developer locking them out now or later.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762011)

You have proven the GP's point. The GPL is a license that inherently removes freedom. Other licenses, like the BSD and MIT licenses, work to promote as much freedom as possible for everyone. To attain true freedom, it must be accepted that somebody making changes will not necessarily return those changes back to the community.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762153)

In order to have true freedom, then someone must have the freedom to take away any and all freedoms from someone else...

A truly free system will never last, because a few will always abuse that freedom to subjugate others. That's why we have society, where everyone is provided a certain level of freedom while sacrificing some too.

It's a compromise, because going too far either way doesn't work... The GPL works the same way as society does.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762273)

The GPL is about the user's freedom not the developer's

Is the user more free because he can't distribute a plugin that uses an LGPLv3 library with a program that uses GPLv2 while exercising the FSF's Freedom 2 (The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor)? Is the user more free because he can't combine libraries using either the Apple Public Source license, the Mozilla Public License, the Common Development and Distribution License or the Apache Software Foundation License (all FSF-approved Free Software licenses) with a GPL'd application?

It guarantees that the user can modify the source in any way they see fit without the developer locking them out now or later.

Any Free or Open Source license guarantees this. If I have some MIT licensed code, for example, I have an irrevocable license (unlike the GPL, by the way, which has some revocation terms built into the license, and more aggressive ones in GPLv3) that allow me to continue to use it, distribute it, and distribute derived works of it in perpetuity. The only thing that the GPL prevents is someone other than the copyright holder from creating a new version and distributing it without granting these same rights (the GPL does not prevent the copyright holder from taking something closed source). In either case, the last open version is likely to be forked if enough people care about it.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762491)

Is the user more free because he can't distribute a plugin that uses an LGPLv3 library with a program that uses GPLv2 while exercising the FSF's Freedom 2 (The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor)?

Is it actually the case that he cannot distribute the plugin, or only that he must distribute all the source code?

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762009)

Does anyone remember the adage "your right to swing your arm stops at your neighbor's nose"?

BSD is that you can swing your arms however you like and if you wanna punch someone's nose, go for it
GPL says that you can swing your arms as long as you don't punch anyone in the nose

Punching someone in the nose, obviously, is taking open source work and making it proprietary.

So lay off the false dichotomies and admit that freedom is not an all or nothing proposition.

Another example, btw, is having the freedom to drink beer but not having the freedom to rob a liquor store.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762181)

If someone can monetize your code better than you, that's your problem.

If you don't like it, relicense to a -- gasp!! -- proprietary license and let copyright protect you in the future.

Stop being all butt hurt cuz someone took your work, made it better, and released to people who were willing to pay for it. In the end, your creation is obviously making the world a better place if that's occured, so put it on your resume/cv and move on with life.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762339)

Sounds like you are the one who is butthurt.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (3, Insightful)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762365)

If someone can write code better than you, that's your problem.

If you don't like it, -- gasp!! -- write your own code in the future.

Stop being all butt hurt cuz you can't take someone's work, make it better, and release to people who were willing to pay for it. In the end, your creation is obviously making the world a better place if you share it, so put it on your resume/cv and move on with life.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762187)

Another example, btw, is having the freedom to drink beer but not having the freedom to rob a liquor store.

Entirely missing the point. The Dev provides the 'Beer'. The User can tell people he/she helped make the beer his/herself or perhaps add lime to it and call it his/her own specialty 'Beer'. The User may also drink the beer in public if he/she chooses to do so (until law-enforcement intervenes).

The same applies to software. The Dev provides the Free & Open Software. The User can tell people he/she helped make the software or tweak it and sell it as his/her own proprietary software. The User may also use the Software for malicious purposes if he/she chooses to do so (until law-enforcement intervenes).

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762215)

GPL says that you can swing your arms as long as you don't punch my nose.

FTFY

GPL is more for protecting the originating developer's right, while the BSD protects the user's freedoms. For example under BSD, the users are free to do whatever they want with the code (as long as they give credit). On the other hand, GPL users are also free to do whatever they want with the exception that they must provide the source code of any modifications back to the original author.

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762399)

BSD is that you can swing your arms however you like and if you wanna punch someone's nose, go for it
GPL says that you can swing your arms as long as you don't punch anyone in the nose

Punching someone in the nose, obviously, is taking open source work and making it proprietary.

This is an absolutely horrible analogy and you're using loaded words.

Punching someone causes harm to that person (even if they may have deserved it); making something proprietary is not ipso facto harmful. Implying such a thing is just a dirty argumentative trick to paint it in a negative light.

If the BSD and X11 people thought that allowing other folks to make things proprietary was bad they would have chosen another license. As it stands, we have very useful products from NetApp, Juniper, Isilon, Panasas, Sand Vine, and Apple (OS X uses FreeBSD). We have a pretty damn good (and secure) remove connection system (OpenSSH) that is widely used in third-party products. All because of the more open attitude of some people.

Permissively licensed software has benefited the world a huge amount, both in terms technological infrastructure, and in economic terms by allowing companies to build on a strong foundation. As has copyleft licensed software.

If you don't want permissive software for your project don't use it. But please don't disparage permissive licenses: some people want to give their work to the world as a gift: freely given with no expectation of anything in return.

If you want put something into the world with strings attached (GPL), that's fine, but why hate on those who don't care for strings (BSD/X11)?

Hyperbole alert! (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762401)

Punching someone in the nose, obviously, is taking open source work and making it proprietary.

So what do you call it when someone copies an open source work and makes a proprietary fork? Because you are making the classic mistake of theft vs. copyright infringement all over again. If I copy your source code I have not taken it, because I have not deprived you of it, which is what happens when you take something. It goes from one person's possession to another and the first party has had something taken.

As it turns out, the first party has been deprived of an unnaturally created "right" to control who may make copies. But is this equivalent to punching someone in the nose, or to cutting in line?

Re:Freedom is an absolute. You have it, or you don (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762027)

Telling people that the GPL = Free is like when America told the slaves that they were free. Its a HUGE step forward but still FAR from free.

I think you worded your comment perfectly and may help me explain to others in a way that can be better understood what free software really means. Thank you!

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761989)

It is ridiculous how the GPL people are trying to whitewash the terms of the license. The GPL certainly has its benefits, but it is counter productive to distort the term free to use in along with GPL. The GPL is most certainly "free" as in free of cost, free of obligation to release code and other terms of the GPL license.

Any non lawyer person would see that the BSD like licenses are most certainly free-er compared to GPL. The maintainers of the license should change the wording from free as in free-beer to free of cost but compulsorily open source.

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761997)

It is ridiculous how the GPL people are trying to whitewash the terms of the license. The GPL certainly has its benefits, but it is counter productive to distort the term free to use in along with GPL. The GPL is most certainly "free" as in free of cost, free of obligation to release code and other terms of the GPL license.

Any non lawyer person would see that the BSD like licenses are most certainly free-er compared to GPL. The maintainers of the license should change the wording from free as in free-beer to free of cost but compulsorily open source.

The free of obligation was meant to read as not free of obligation.

Re:Misleading headline (5, Informative)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762041)

From TFA:

That was the conclusion of Matthew Aslett's analysis of recent data from Black Duck Software

Do we even need to say anything else?

http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Black_Duck [techrights.org]

Re:Misleading headline (0)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762205)

Very poor ad hominem you got going there.

When you can't find facts, attack character!

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762059)

> "Open Rather than Free" implies that there is some charge.

Is it so? Being a non-native speaker, I wonder what is the correct way to say GPL allows for increased freedom than a typical open-source license.

In my limited comprehension, the title is accurate -- but the English language is ambiguous. Maybe it's time to coin a new word to convey the meaning of free as in having freedom? Or start using non-paid or gratis and stop using free for things that don't not cost anything?

> The difference is that any works derived or using GPL type licenses also have to be released on the same license. Whether this is more or less open depends on your point of view.

No, it's not dependent on anyone's point of view. It's less open, because it gives one less freedom (the freedom to take ownership) and maintains the freedoms of the ones up in the chain of copying, so GPL contributes to more freedom for the needier. After years of RMS explaining this, there cannot be any doubt. One may prefer one or another for one's own purposes, but things are crystal clear.

Also, the widening of the gap between Free software and open source is great thing, if not intended. If one likes open, that's great (or at least better than proprietary)... but some will not settle for less than a long lasting Freedom, so they demand the GPL.

Finally, any analysis based on percentages or rates is of limited validity. This is rather obvious, but since some people here are still graduating this might be worth pointing out...

You're wrong and your mods are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762077)

In this context, free does not refer to price. I'm amazed, given your UID, that you do not know that, and that the mods do not know that.

Read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open_source_software [wikipedia.org]

Read
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html [gnu.org]

I'm really, honestly quite amazed that readers on slashdot are so completely ignorant about these facts. Once upon a time, the free-vs-open debate was the single most important one here.

This isn't the place I knew, this isn't the place I thought it was.

Re:Misleading headline (4, Informative)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762345)

The difference is that any works derived or using GPL type licenses also have to be released on the same license.

Correction: may only be distributed under the same license. Please don't accidentally be Steve Ballmer's mouthpiece by spreading subtly misleading information about the GPL.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762387)

"Open Rather than Free" implies that there is some charge.

No, no it doesn't.

You can be charged for either Open or Free software.

The difference is what you can do with the source code afterwards.

Unfortunately, while nerds are friendly to case-sensitivity and have nominally accepted Free to mean "Free Software" and "free" to mean "free as in I hand you a beer and it's your beer" this does not come through in the headline.

Essentially, you are therefore complaining about the term "Free Software" (which is the correct term) and not about the headline, which simply uses the correct term. That's a valid complaint, but Slashdot is simply the messenger, conveying their message appropriately in the language of choice.

Alternative theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761727)

By numbers, we've gone from big projects (Linux, LibreOffice, KDE, Gnome) to little projects (JS library to do an image animation). GPL and LGPL make more economic sense for big projects. Permissive makes more sense for little projects.

Re:Alternative theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761765)

By numbers, we've gone from big projects (Linux, LibreOffice, KDE, Gnome) to little projects (JS library to do an image animation). GPL and LGPL make more economic sense for big projects. Permissive makes more sense for little projects.

Why? Are the GPL and LGPL on a sliding scale or something?

Is the fee for those licenses: size*free = zero ?

So the bigger the project the bigger the zero fee associated with the GPL or LGPL?

I don't know, The GPL is too complex for me to understand.

Re:Alternative theory (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761917)

Doesn't really matter, small projects without any money do not have any money to enforce a GPL license anyhow.

Re:Alternative theory (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761929)

That is why small projects are encouraged to transfer their copyright to the FSF. They will fight any legal battles on your behalf.

Re:Alternative theory (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761979)

Only as far as resources permit.

Re:Alternative theory (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762317)

Small projects tend to work to incorporate into other bigger projects. Large projects stand for themselves, they are not going to used with with other projects, it makes them easier to stay with the GPL, and you are not going to be breaking the GPL easily. The smaller projects are often tools to make bigger projects easier to complete. And a more Open to developers license makes them seem more attractive.
GPL license subscribes to the idea that everyone agrees with GPL Ideals, and has an infrastructure designed to work with the GPL. This isn't the case, some companies sell closed source tool, not because of greed and evil, but because if they open source it then competitors will take over their work, before they can make money off of it, that they need to pay off their staff who are working on their products. No for some organizations their projects work with the GPL other they do not. Now as part of the development progress there are byproduct mini-projects that are created that are not core to the business, and they want to release them so others can benefit. GPL means only people who make GPL products can use it, non-GPL such as the MIT license means more people can use them.

Term clarification, please (5, Funny)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761737)

Free as in beer, or open as in... beer?

black duck (5, Informative)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761753)

Surprise, surprise, yet another anti-GPL study from Black Duck software.

Re:black duck (4, Informative)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761789)

No it's the same one. The article is tagged "December 16, 2011". It's just the usual MS shill that re-posts this shit ad nauseam.

Re:black duck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762103)

It's just the usual MS shill that re-posts this shit ad nauseam.

It's Googe hater bonch! He gets first post with his many accounts! /. legend tells he is ex-Apple developer Donald "Matthew" Deatherage [tidbits.com] who got caught pants down with a 14 year old boy... [indstate.edu] but nobody really knows for sure....

Samsung Moves To Reduce Android Dependence [slashdot.org] , Apple Closes Marketshare Gap With Android [slashdot.org] , Apple Beats Android In U.S. Marketshare [slashdot.org] , Apple Closes In On Android Marketshare [slashdot.org] , Why Android smartphones are larger than the iPhone [slashdot.org] , Google Admits Wrongdoing In Mocality Scanda [slashdot.org] , U.S. Carriers Don't Want Stock Android Phones [slashdot.org] , iOS Closes Gap With Android Marketshare In U.S. [slashdot.org] , Google Sponsors Blog Posts To Market Chrome [slashdot.org] , Java ME Surpasses Android As #2 Mobile Internet OS [slashdot.org] , Galaxy S And Galaxy Tab Won't Get Android 4.0 [slashdot.org] , No Such Thing As Android, Only Android-Compatible [slashdot.org] , Android Chief Andy Rubin Deletes Openness Tweet [slashdot.org] , Android Update Alliance Is Already Dead [slashdot.org] , App Developers Betting On iOS Over Android [slashdot.org] , Europe Accuses Google Of Monopoly Abuse [slashdot.org] , Samsung Smartphone Sales Report Flawed [slashdot.org] , Google Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Feds [slashdot.org] , FTC Probes Android And Google Search [slashdot.org] , Is Giving Android Away Anti-Competitive? [slashdot.org] , Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing [slashdot.org] , Google Chairman To Testify At Antitrust Hearing [slashdot.org] , Google Was Warned On Rogue Drug Ads [slashdot.org] , Android Users Warned To Avoid Public WiFi [slashdot.org] , iOS Leads Android U.S Marketshare By 59% [slashdot.org] , Google Draws Fire From Congress [slashdot.org] , Google Broke The Law, Says South Korean Police [slashdot.org] , The Care and Feeding of the Android GPU [slashdot.org] ("Android's UX architecture has serious technical issues"), Advanced Trojan Attacking Android Devices In China [slashdot.org] , Web Exploit Spams Your Google Email Address [slashdot.org] , Critics Call For Probe Into Google Government Ties [slashdot.org] , FTC Ended Google Probe Just Days After Fundraiser [slashdot.org] , How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes [slashdot.org] , Google Engineer Spied On Teen Users [slashdot.org] , Celebrating Google's Failures [slashdot.org] , 37 States Join Investigation of Google Street View [slashdot.org] , Google CEO Says Privacy Worries Are For Wrongdoers [slashdot.org] , Scammers Distributing Fake Google Chrome OS Beta [slashdot.org] , Google Voice Mails Found In Public Search Engine [slashdot.org] iPhone Tops Sales Charts Of U.S. Carriers [slashdot.org]

Bias?

Re:black duck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762437)

Yep, it's dupe, http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/12/17/1735253/gpl-copyleft-use-declining-fast.

WTG, Timothy for posting a story that took me literally less than 10secs to determine its dupeness. But you know, it seems that you couldn't be that incompetent since you altered the headline from Bonch's original one ("GPL use is declining faster than ever") which was nearly identical to the previous story. You must have checked the article since you changed the headline to something which more accurately reflects TFA's scope. Are trolling Slashdot, Timothy?

Also, here's a rebuttal article:
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/03/03/142229/gpl-copyleft-on-the-rise

GPL, Copyleft On the Rise
paxcoder writes

  "Contrary to earlier analyses that predicted a decline of copyleft software share to as little as 50% this year, John Sullivan, the executive director of the Free Software Foundation, claims the opposite has happened: In his talk at FOSDEM 2012 titled 'Is Copyleft Being Framed?,' Sullivan presented evidence (PDF) of a consistent increase of usage of copyleft licenses in relation to the usage of permissive licenses in free software projects over the past few years. Using publicly available package information provided by the Debian project, his study showed that the number of packages using the GPL family in that distribution this year reached a share of 93% of all packages with (L)GPLv3 usage rising 400% between the last two Debian versions."

Depends where you look (5, Informative)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761759)

If you look at the work that Apple supports (clang, etc.), they are using non-GPL licenses. Same goes for code on CodePlex (the Microsoft site for C#/.NET open source projects). If you look at any of the ruby, python, javascript projects on GitHub, they tend to use a non-GPL license.

C/C++ projects make up 11% of the projects on github and these tend to be the languages that use GPL.

I personally use GPL for my projects because I am happy with that license, and use other projects that are GPL. Others may not, so they are free to choose a different language.

And we have heard repeatedly from Brian Proffitt that the GPL is dying/dead, but is still being used for new projects. Oh and this is article dated December 16, 2011, so why is this news now?

Welcome to the FUD machine.

Re:Depends where you look (1, Flamebait)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762005)

Apple is pretty hostile towards GPLv3. They won't distribute any code licensed under it. That's almost certainly why they stuck with an older version of Samba in OS X until they could replace it with their own implementation. Pretty much, once something goes GPLv3, they're going to fork & maintain, or rewrite from scratch.

Re:Depends where you look (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762297)

Apple isn't the only company. The patent clauses and termination clauses in GPLv3 make a lot of companies nervous. There is a lot of FUD in the classic sense surrounding the GPLv3, but the most important is the U: uncertainty. When legal says 'we're 80% sure that there will be no problems with distributing this code in our products,' management hears 'there is a 20% chance that this will be really expensive' and opts for a more permissively license alternative.

Re:Depends where you look (3, Funny)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762341)

Apple is pretty hostile towards GPLv3. They won't distribute any code licensed under it. That's almost certainly why they stuck with an older version of Samba in OS X until they could replace it with their own implementation. Pretty much, once something goes GPLv3, they're going to fork & maintain, or rewrite from scratch.

I wonder which side the hostility comes from.

My reason (1, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761777)

I can't speak for anyone else, but my personal reason for not releasing sotware with GPL anymore is because of SFC and other parties that use GPL as a way to feed lawyers at the expense of users.
I don't want my users to get sued. Ever. Even if they do something I disagree with. Lawsuits is not the way to go. Lawyers and "interest groups" leeching on other peoples work are, IMHO, a far bigger problem than users not giving back. At least users use the sofware, which was kind of why I wrote it.

And when wearing my manager hat, I don't want to risk getting sued over using or redistributing a piece of software, and I do not want to pay a corps(e) of lawyers to make sure that everyone tip-toe the line, and that letters of intent from busybox, Oracle or whoever else are answered properly. It's easier to avoid the problem altogether by always choosing a non-GPL version when available.
GPL is what I use when there is no other choice, and writing the software from the bottom up isn't viable.

Your mileage may vary, and I'm sure for many of you, it does. But please respect my viewpoint that those who seek to protect the GPL the hard way alienate both developers and users in the process. No matter what their motives are, I do not believe that the goal justifies the means any more than pirating justifies DRM.

Re:My reason (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761791)

FUD.

The only time 'users' get involved in legal action is when those 'users' are releasing GPL software as part of a product, and not releasing the source.

If you don't want to get sued over redistributing a piece of software then closed source software must make you piss yourself.

Re:My reason (-1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761863)

FUD.

A sheep's way of saying "I don't like what you say".

The only time 'users' get involved in legal action is when those 'users' are releasing GPL software as part of a product, and not releasing the source.

No, that is not true. You not only have to release source (which can be difficult enough, depending on the scope and profitability of the projects), but enough additional information to allow users to recreate binaries from the source. That can easily mean spending man years on documentation and giving away your proprietary build processes.
If doing static linking against certain versions of GPL, you may even have to give away the source to your own proprietary source code.

Keeping all this straight for projects with hundreds of OSS elements is far from easy. I find it easier to avoid the issues whenever I can, and use more liberal licenses, both as a developer and as a manager. And at a minimum, avoid the GPL licensed products where the copyright holders are known to be sue happy.

There's nothing FUD about this at all. Yes, there is F, but we've progressed way past U and D with the busybox and Oracle lawsuits.

Re:My reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761897)

And at a minimum, avoid the GPL licensed products where you're likely to be forced to comply with the licence.

FTFY

Re:My reason (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761909)

There's nothing FUD about this at all. Yes, there is F, but we've progressed way past U and D with the busybox and Oracle lawsuits.

You mean that busybox and Oracle have started suing users of, say, Android phones?

Re:My reason (1)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761913)

What kind of hideous shit are you doing that requires "man-years" of documentation for someone to just _build_ the software...

Perhaps you should look internally for the problem instead of blaming others for your horrible code / build processes

Re:My reason (-1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762061)

Perhaps you should look internally for the problem instead of blaming others for your horrible code / build processes

Have you ever seen a 10+ year old project with millions of lines of code in dozens of languages, and multiple platforms and build environments? No? Then come back and talk to the adults when you have.

Re:My reason (4, Informative)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762129)

Ooh, just off the top of my head
The Linux kernel

Build process?

# make
# make modules
# make modules_install
# make install

Sounds like you got duped by some devious vendor who wanted to ensure years of future support needs from you

Re:My reason (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761945)

I call bullshit on the statement:

"but enough additional information to allow users to recreate binaries from the source"

Since when did you have to teach people how to use the source? your only requirement is to release the source and it's modifications, not provide teaching support for people as well.

you're on slashdot, at least use a minimum level of intelligence please....

Re:My reason (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762025)

Since when did you have to teach people how to use the source? your only requirement is to release the source and it's modifications, not provide teaching support for people as well.

From the GLP:

âoeInstallation Informationâ for a User Product means any methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source. The information must suffice to ensure that the continued functioning of the modified object code is in no case prevented or interfered with solely because modification has been made.

If you convey an object code work under this section in, or with, or specifically for use in, a User Product, and the conveying occurs as part of a transaction in which the right of possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized), the Corresponding Source conveyed under this section must be accompanied by the Installation Information.

This has been used to pressure companies or individuals to give up proprietary build processes or special software. It's not just theoretical, I'm afraid.

Re:My reason (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761995)

A sheep's way of saying "I don't like what you say".

Not really, your post was just incorrect bullshit. SFC doesn't start suing for software they don't own the licensing to, unless they are hired by the copyright holder.

If you don't care what your users do with your software, there's little point in using the GPL.

Re:My reason (1)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762309)

He never said they don't sue for projects they don't own.

You couldn't even figure out what he's saying.

Re:My reason (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762201)

A sheep's way of saying "I don't like what you say".

No, your post either is FUD or is the result of having been fed FUD.

No, that is not true. You not only have to release source (which can be difficult enough, depending on the scope and profitability of the projects), but enough additional information to allow users to recreate binaries from the source. That can easily mean spending man years on documentation and giving away your proprietary build processes.
If doing static linking against certain versions of GPL, you may even have to give away the source to your own proprietary source code.

Keeping all this straight for projects with hundreds of OSS elements is far from easy. I find it easier to avoid the issues whenever I can, and use more liberal licenses, both as a developer and as a manager. And at a minimum, avoid the GPL licensed products where the copyright holders are known to be sue happy.

There's nothing FUD about this at all. Yes, there is F, but we've progressed way past U and D with the busybox and Oracle lawsuits.

Absolutely none of which is about users, it's about distributors. This is what I was calling you on.

And yes, if you link GPL stuff you have to open your source, that's the price of using the GPL functionality, if you don't like it, use something else. I mean, that's entirely the *point* of the GPL, that people like you, who want to use GPL software without reciprocating, don't get to.

If that's the reason that the GPL is bad for you, that your freeloading is not allowed, then good, stay away. I hope you do, as a developer and a manager, stay away from it, because you clearly have no intent of playing ball, and changing the license to get you on board gains the community absolutely nothing.

Re:My reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762307)

Yup, don't want to make the effort(or just plain don't want) to obey the license the software is provided under? The don't f'in use it! Simple really.

Re:My reason (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762455)

Back 10 years ago, when they started suing companies who violated the GPL, I figured that this wouldn't turn out good for the GPL, Why because the success of the GPL was based on sharing of ideas, once they brought lawyers into the mix you increased the cost of the use. If people are afraid to get sued for improper distribution of hybrid work, then they will work with less restrictive licenses.

The BSD and MIT licenses encourage sharing, however they don't demand it. One of the side effect of freedom is that with freedom people will do things that you don't want them to do. If you really support freedom, you need suck it up, and not go crying, when someone doesn't want to play at the moment.

Just calling out FUD doesn't mean it is. Sometimes the truth isn't what you want to believe... Sorry...

Re:My reason (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761823)

Lawyers and "interest groups" leeching on other peoples work

I'd be surprised if US law lets a lawyer take action for copyright infringement other than on behalf of the copyright owner? I can understand if you don't like the actions of the SFLC but, somewhere, someone must have instructed the lawyers — to them, perhaps the lawyers are not "leeching" from them, but helping them, even if you consider that they are not helping you?

Re:My reason (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761845)

(I'd like to consider myself a geek first, but I am employed as a lawyer, which might mean my view on this is a biased one, although, like the OP, I am questioning as to whether suing to enforce the GPL is the right approach.)

Re:My reason (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761975)

I'd be surprised if US law lets a lawyer take action for copyright infringement other than on behalf of the copyright owner?

With GPL, it appears that all you have to do is submit a change to get your name on the list of copyright holders, and you can apparently then sue on behalf of the entire software package. The original authors don't seem to have to be consulted.

The US also allows transfer of copyrights (which I consider illogical - the creator doesn't change because money or paperwork changes hands), which makes it even muddier - the onus is on the one who uses a piece of software to track down the current copyright holders. A task for lawyers.

I prefer to use a more liberal license if I can - keep the software free at the discretion of the authors, and don't give anyone an excuse to sue over it.

Re:My reason (4, Interesting)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762063)

Thank you for your thoughts.

With GPL, it appears that all you have to do is submit a change to get your name on the list of copyright holders, and you can apparently then sue on behalf of the entire software package. The original authors don't seem to have to be consulted.

I can't see this working as a matter of copyright law, but I don't know the US way of doing things. To my mind, you'd only have grounds to sue for an infringement in respect of the copyright of which you are the owner — if your change does not amount to a copyright work, I'd be surprised if a court would find you had standing to sue for anything, as your copyright has not been infringed. Making a minor (but still sufficient for copyright protection) change might be the way forward for that, though.

The US also allows transfer of copyrights (which I consider illogical - the creator doesn't change because money or paperwork changes hands)

The creator does not change but, when you buy a house from someone, you (or the bank...) owns the property in that house, not the creator — since copyright is a property right, the same rules apply. (You might prefer to be an author in jurisdictions where moral / authorial rights are regarded more strongly, where it is indeed impossible to assign ownership, as ownership is tied so closely to authorship.)

I prefer to use a more liberal license if I can

It sounds as if, in reality, you're more inclined towards a licence being a statement of intent / request — that you'd like someone who uses your code to do so in a particular manner, but that you are not going to chase after them with a legal stick if they refuse. However, since this would be difficult, if not impossible, to construct as a form of licence, you use a permissive licence to achieve the same ends?

This biggest disappointment to me is that, as with property generally, I cannot choose to disclaim ownership — for most of what I write, I'd rather simply disclaim it to the public domain. Whilst those using my work in an academic context will be bound by academic rules in terms of citation and the like, if someone else can benefit, great — since copyright was neither a driver not an enabler to the creation of the work, I'm unconvinced that copyright should exist over that work, but, since it does as a matter of law, I'd like to refuse to accept it. Which I can't...

Re:My reason (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762229)

And you can just say that the only requirement on using it is not to claim anyone in particular created it.
That's pretty much the most open license you can have.

Re:My reason (2)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762325)

the most open license

Thank you — yes, that's an approach which could be used to approximate the outcome. Similarly, I could use CC0 [creativecommons.org] .

The problem for me, though, is that it's an approximation, rather than the real thing. It's a licence, which requires something to be licensable, and, whilst the last attempts to be as far away from a restrictive licence as possible, it only work because of the existence of copyright, which is the very thing I wish to disclaim. Licensing under such terms might be the closest one can get to a voluntary gift to the public, but I still think it's a shame that I cannot abandon "my" copyright, forcing me to use a licensing hack instead.

Re:My reason (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762453)

This biggest disappointment to me is that, as with property generally, I cannot choose to disclaim ownership â" for most of what I write, I'd rather simply disclaim it to the public domain. Whilst those using my work in an academic context will be bound by academic rules in terms of citation and the like, if someone else can benefit, great â" since copyright was neither a driver not an enabler to the creation of the work, I'm unconvinced that copyright should exist over that work, but, since it does as a matter of law, I'd like to refuse to accept it. Which I can't...

You know I rarely use my moderation points since I don't come across any really good posts. In fact my moderation points just expired last night. This is one of the best things I've read on slashdot in a while though. I wish I had points to mod you up.

Re:My reason (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761927)

Of course, you are free to choose the license better suited to your needs for software you develop. But SFC and whoever won't sue your users without authorization from you. Besides, what is the "soft" way to protect the GPL?

As a manager, if you are worried about using GPL software you need to get some concepts clear: GPL lets you use the software however you want to, it only cares about what you must do if you give someone a binary copy of the program. So you don't have to really worry unless your software is derived from GPL software: unless you have built a new version of busybox with extra options you only need to provide the code to the binary version of busybox you are already providing in your product. And basically the same goes for the rest of the software as long as your own software doesn't rely "too much" (libraries and the like) on GPL software.

Re:My reason (2)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762285)

It doesn't matter what license the source code is under. If you're going to use it and distribute it to your customers, you better be dang sure your lawyer has vetted your right to use and distribute the code and that you are following the terms of said license in the first place. This is just as true for so-called open source as it is for proprietary code that you've licensed. I don't understand why people such as yourself make such a distinction between the GPL and other licenses. If MS produced a utility or DLL you want to use and distribute, you have to know its license conditions just as well as the GPL's conditions. Why is this concept so hard for so many companies to grasp? Complying with the GPL is not hard. If your company has a hard time with that, then yes you are right. You should be avoiding the GPL.

As for your viewpoint about alienation, how is breaking the law and seeking redress justifying the means? Do you treat proprietary licensed code as cavalierly as you do open source?. It's their code. If you don't want to use it in accordance with their license, then get code from somewhere else or write your own code. Plain and simple. Companies getting caught by busybox GPL enforcement just shows how companies are abusing open source software and trying to get a free ride just because they can download the source for free. Since busybox is GPLv2, compliance by these companies is as simple as posting the source tarball on their web site. And actually the GPL only says you have to produce the source code to the GPL'd derivative product on demand.

Bullshit (5, Informative)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761785)

Permissive licenses are universally chosen by companies (Android) while the GPL is chosen by community projects (Linux, gcc).

MS-PL? Who on earth has ever heard of that license? Perhaps the fact that the only source of the data is a company that is connected to Microsoft [techrights.org] has something to do with its mention? The fact that the same company has been emitting anti-GPL propaganda since 2008 is also interesting.

Slashdot, please don't propagate astroturfing.

Re:Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761821)

Permissive licenses are fairly handy when you're hoping to attract corporate sponsorship of parts of the code base or where you want to allow people to do whatever they like with it.

I think at this point, we can reasonably conclude that the GPL is overly cautious as BSD, MIT and various other permissive licenses don't seem to be having the kind of leeching that the GPL was originally concerned with.

Re:Bullshit (3, Informative)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761861)

It's possible, but to make a concrete example, as a user, the only reason I could upgrade my phone firmware after its manufacturer stopped supporting it is that Android's kernel is under the GPL. Users should always prefer GPL-licensed software as it only brings advantages for them. Instead, the trend today is to mark GPL as an extremist's license, because "software is a tool" and whatnot. Effectively cutting the branch on which we, as open source consumers, are sitting.

Re:Bullshit (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762361)

It's possible, but to make a concrete example, as a user, the only reason I could upgrade my phone firmware after its manufacturer stopped supporting it is that Android's kernel is under the GPL

The only reason I can upgrade my phone firmware after the manufacturer stopped supporting it is that the manufacturer (HTC) chose to release an updated (but unsupported) version of the blob that controls the GPU and a few other things to the community. As far as I know, there are no Android phones that have a completely open stack, or even a completely open source set of drivers.

This sounds like more of a reason to embrace community-friendly manufacturers than any particular license. The GPL in Linux hasn't prevented all Android phones from coming with binary-only drivers (if there are exceptions to this, please point them out to me), but being able to get long-term software support for their products (and therefore goodwill from users) without having to pay anything has made hardware manufacturers a lot more willing to cooperate willing to cooperates with groups like cyanogenmod.

Incorrect title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761809)

Even by the FSF's definition, "copyleft" and "free" are distinct terms. Every license in the summary is considered free by the FSF: BSD [gnu.org] MIT [gnu.org] ASL [gnu.org]

The word you are looking for is copyleft (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761853)

All of these licences are opensource and all of the permit you to create derivative works. In what way is, for example, a MIT licence not free?

Bull. Shit. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39761871)

Only copyleft licenses ensure that the development stays open and advances are returned to the community, by giving recipients of derived works access to the source and with it the freedom to change their software as they see fit. The only "freedom" that BSD style licenses add over copyleft licenses is to take all the freedom away from further recipients. The only people who benefit from that are people who value their own freedom over yours.

Shenanigans. (2)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761883)

This is bullshit. It's counting by project, not by importance or size. I'm sure if we counted by lines of code, the GPL would still be #1.

What's happening is that we are seeing new "projects" being created at an alarming rate, most of this projects being wordpress plugins that do nothing important, collections of shitty javascript functions, and themes for various CMS, forums, etc.

Sure, it's full of kids that "just learned" the latest "cool" language (you know the type, Ruby, Python, etc) and just create some project that is either trivial, or is going nowhere past "we uploaded a readme and a roadmap to sourceforge". Half of sourceforge is dead projects.

The truth is that projects aren't jumping ships. No GPL projects are trying to change their license.

I could report "The earth is getting smaller and less important", but the truth is that the inflation of the universe doesn't change the size of the earth, just what percentage of the universe it represents.

Re:Shenanigans. (1)

pankkake (877909) | more than 2 years ago | (#39761971)

The Black Duck KnowledgeBase includes over 540,000 projects

Looks like you're right, they must be counting every hipster Github project.

As for projects with actual users, I've seen more migrations from GPL2 to 3

Re:Shenanigans. (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762379)

The truth is that projects aren't jumping ships. No GPL projects are trying to change their license.

Projects aren't relicensing (it's really hard!), but GPL'd projects are seeing competition from more permissively licensed alternatives. It looks like in FreeBSD 10 we'll be able to replace all of the GPL'd components of the base system with permissively licensed alternatives. Doing that five years ago would have been impossible.

GPL is counterproductivenow (1, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762055)

This is because (I'm wearing my flame-retardant suit) the GPL isn't necessary to preserve software freedom anymore; and in its own way is restrictive of those freedoms.

1) It scares off a lot of people and companies who might otherwise use such software. Nobody wants to be caught staring down the barrel of a loaded lawyer because of their choice of software. Whether or not this fear is *realistic* is not relevant - it is a *real* fear.

2) By using a license to force-propagate specific freedoms, we restrict other freedoms - namely the unfettered freedom to do whatever you want with the source.

3) Free software is here. We've won. The strict rules of the GPL aren't necessary because people are willing to create, use, and propagate free software without them.

A lot of newer projects are more concerned with getting their source adopted and in use than with making sure users contribute back. And the best way to get better adoption is to use a license that doesn't scare people (and lawyers).

Re:GPL is counterproductivenow (5, Insightful)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762099)

Free software is here. We've won. The strict rules of the GPL aren't necessary because people are willing to create, use, and propagate free software without them.

Citation needed.

GPL3 focuses on anti-tivoization and patents. According to your reasoning, that's not needed because companies are voluntarily allowing their users to hack their devices, and they're not patenting software? You must live on another planet. Without an axe to wield like the GPL, free software is dead in 5 years. It's annoying so many people are just so incredibly naive, or corporate brainwashed, in this regard.

Re:GPL is counterproductivenow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762125)

Whether or not this fear is *realistic* is not relevant - it is a *real* fear.

So you're saying that ignorant superstitious people should be able to bully people who know what they're talking about into doing something suboptimal for themselves?

A lot of newer projects are more concerned with getting their source adopted and in use than with making sure users contribute back.

That's for each individual project to decide, and if some projects consider the latter more important then they're perfectly entitled to use a licence that helps promote that.

Re:GPL is counterproductivenow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762263)

The same arguments could be made about democracy. Democracy is here, we've won. Not allowing people the freedom to establish an undemocratic government is force-propagation of specific freedoms. I guess we don't need the constitution anymore.

Re:GPL is counterproductivenow (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762423)

A lot of newer projects are more concerned with getting their source adopted and in use than with making sure users contribute back. And the best way to get better adoption is to use a license that doesn't scare people (and lawyers).

Licenses which aren't the GPL scare me, because I always assume that eventually the critical people will end up working for some company that manages a closed fork.

http://www.ralphlaurenhommes.com/ (-1, Troll)

pologuo (2623495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39762483)

What a dupe. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39762519)

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/12/17/1735253/gpl-copyleft-use-declining-fast

Also, this:

http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2011/12/15/on-the-continuing-decline-of-the-gpl/

"UPDATE – It is has been rightfully noted that this decline relates to the proportion of all open source software, while the number of projects using the GPL family has increased in real terms. Using Black Duck’s figures we can calculate that in fact the number of projects using the GPL family of licenses grew 15% between June 2009 and December 2011, from 105,822 to 121,928. However, in the same time period the total number of open source projects grew 31% in real terms, while the number of projects using permissive licenses grew 117%. – UPDATE"

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