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Does GPL v3 Alienate Developers?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-thee-hence dept.

Programming 430

An anonymous reader writes "Via Wired, a blog post in which BMC Software's Whurley and Google's Greg Stein agree that the GPL v3 is currently on a path that will alienate developers. Stein has an interesting theory called 'license pressure' which is similar to 'pricing pressure'. 'Due to pressure from developers, all software is moving towards permissive licensing" translation, the GPL and developers are moving in opposite directions ... Developers care about the licenses on the software they use and incorporate into their projects, they like permissive licenses, and they will increasingly demand permissive licenses.'"

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Impression (2, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423725)

I was under the impression that the GPL license is mostly meant for "hobby" developers that want to make sure no one abuses their code to earn money on time they donate for the good of mankind. Not industry developers that want to earn money from their code. I might just have gotten it all wrong though.

Any developers willing to comment on what they want out of a license?

Re:Impression (5, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423869)

Not quite - it's designed so that any contributions to it, if the result is distributed, are given back to the community.

I think this also includes contributions that would allow non-GPLed software to access it.

Selling the non-GPLed + GPLed = make money off of other peoples work.

Though, to my knowledge, there isn't an OSS license out that prevents making money off of other peoples work.

Re:Impression (4, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424281)

This is partly why I've tried to convert my projects to BSD licenses. I have a substantial amount of code that I've written GPL, and after working with people on these projects for several years, its hard to remember who wrote what. As a result, I don't use that codebase in any work that I do for my company that may be distributed.

I'm proud of the code I write, and a lot of it is portable - I know it inside and out - but other people have fixed, added on, improved and optimized my code. As a result of that happening under the GPL, I can't use that for other closed-source projects I work on. It's frustrating, I don't feel comfortable using my own code because its GPL'd.

Anything I work on in the last few years goes out BSD licensed, and I'm trying to convert my existing projects to BSD licenses as well. GPL has its place in core utilities, but I won't be GPL'ing my own code again for some time. BSD licensing is the way to go, imo.

Re:Impression (5, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424597)

"This is partly why I've tried to convert my projects to BSD licenses. I have a substantial amount of code that I've written GPL"

As long as you're the copyright holder you can change the license when you wish. Or put your contributions to a GPL project under revised BSD or even in the public domain.

"its hard to remember who wrote what."

Ah, there's the rub. That's hardly the GPL's fault tho, is it? That's copyright law and your failure to do what copyright makes it necessary for you to do. Join the crowd and work for copyright abolition if you dont want to bother with that part.

"I don't feel comfortable using my own code because its GPL'd."

You dont feel comfortable using _their_ code because it's GPL you mean. You could have asked for copyright assignment if you wanted to accept the patches in that case. This is not a GPL problem, this is a situation you've put yourself in.

Of course, if the license were not the GPL, or you required copyright assignment, then maybe those contributors wouldn't have contributed. I sure know I wouldn't contribute anything non-trivial under a non-copyleft (preferably GPL) license.

"BSD licensing is the way to go, imo."

Nah, seen too much BSD code get proprietarized and used to screw end users. Not with my code they dont. They can write it all on their own if they want power over others that bad.

Re:Impression (3, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424703)

You dont feel comfortable using _their_ code because it's GPL you mean.

Well, yes. But at what point does a piece of code become tainted in that regard? Lets say I have a function that I put out, and then someone else fixes a few little bugs - an improperly initialized variable here, a null pointer check there... How does that impact the licensing of that code? Is that code now co-owned? Do I have to remove their fixes if I want to use it? They fixed bugs, things that I may have found over time. How does that legally impact that code?

If someone else releases some code, then I spend a few days fixing bugs in it, do I have copyright on those fixes?

The line is not so clear as one would like to think. And I tend to err on the of caution when it comes to these things.

Re:Impression (5, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424669)

I'm proud of the code I write, and a lot of it is portable - I know it inside and out - but other people have fixed, added on, improved and optimized my code. As a result of that happening under the GPL, I can't use that for other closed-source projects I work on. It's frustrating, I don't feel comfortable using my own code because its GPL'd.

Horsefeathers. You can use your own code for any purpose you like, under any license you like. Releasing it under the GPL places obligations on others who acquire the code under that license. It doesn't place any obligation on you, nor prevent you from releasing your own code under multiple other licenses simultaneously. What you actually appear to be saying here is that you're no longer sure what code is actually yours in project X, and you're afraid of using other people's code, which they released under the GPL, in a closed source application. The real solution to that issue is good record keeping and an effective version control system, so you know what code is yours and what is not. Changing to a different license is a way to avoid the particular issue you're facing, but it's neither the only one nor necessarily the best one. If you've truly gotten lots of outside assistance on a project, the first question I'd ask is if the same level of assistance would have been available under another license. I can't speak for anyone else but I'm quite willing to help advance a project knowing that my efforts are protected by the GPL. I'm not so willing to pitch in and help out if I suspect that you're going to take the product of my hard labor, stick it in a proprietary application, and stuff the money you get for my labor in your bank account.

Re:Impression (1, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424963)

I'm not so willing to pitch in and help out if I suspect that you're going to take the product of my hard labor, stick it in a proprietary application, and stuff the money you get for my labor in your bank account.

For almost every major project out there, someone somewhere is making money off of it. Would you stop contributing to the linux kernel because you know there are a bazillion vendors out there using that code to make money on their product?

I don't care what people use my code for. What I do care about is if that code is improved or fixed - I would like those changes. But if they don't want to contribute back, thats their choice. People who don't give back in that context don't get the full benefits, because they aren't working to improve the very code they're using.

The lines arent as clear as one might think - see my other post [slashdot.org] for an explanation.

Re:Impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424287)

You could actually probably use a Common Criteria license to prevent commercial usage of your code in a "derivative work". Of course RMS doesn't like this because preventing commercial use is bad (or so it sounds hearing him). Remember, the Free in FSF does not equal free of cost.

yes, GPL is a commercial licence (5, Insightful)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424379)

Correct. Further, GPLs v2 and v3 have clear statements saying that it's ok to sell covered software.

Enabling businesses to be built up around free software is essential for the progress of the free software movement. Our licences just have to ensure that those companies cannot harm the movement (neither intentionally nor under pressure from MS).

So if you distribute the software, you can't hide the source, and you can't sue the users for patent infringement, and you can't put it on a device that is set up to allow you to continue to modify without also giving the recipient that freedom. (Boo-hoo, you lose the "freedom" to screw others.)

And in the other direction, there is a warranty disclaimer so that distributing the software doesn't put people's business at risk.

Here's a summary of what's new in GPLv3:
http://fsfeurope.org/projects/gplv3/brussels-rms-t ranscript [fsfeurope.org]

As is typical of this type of FUD article, the author talks nothing about the actual content of the licence, and instead just gives baseless summaries and gossipy predictions.

Re:Impression (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424723)

Not quite - it's designed so that any contributions to it, if the result is distributed, are given back to the community.
Not quite. It's designed so that recipients of the code receive the same rights that the person who created the modified version received from the person who wrote the original.

You don't have to give changes back to the community, you just have to give your customers the FSF's Four Freedoms. You can sell GPL'd code, and a few authors of bespoke software do; they base their code on GPL'd projects, add some value, and sell their customers the derived work. Their customers pay them because a big part of the value they receive is from having someone knowledgeable about the code able to add the features they want.

Most people who make money from GPL'd code do so by selling support. Support does not mean answering questions about the software, it means fixing bugs and adding features that the customer wants. The fact that it is Free Software means that there is no lock-in - the customer can always go somewhere else for their support - and so they have to compete on price and skill.

Though, to my knowledge, there isn't an OSS license out that prevents making money off of other peoples work.
The CC non-commercial license does this, but I don't believe the OSI or FSF regard it as Open Source of Free respectively.

Re:Impression (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423915)

I was under the impression that the GPL license is mostly meant for "hobby" developers that want to make sure no one abuses their code to earn money on time they donate for the good of mankind.

Most hobbyist do choose the GPL from what I've seen, but I doubt they make up the bulk of GPL developers.

Not industry developers that want to earn money from their code. I might just have gotten it all wrong though.

Well, there are 50-100 developers in my office today and most of them work on GPL code at some point, paid by the company. I don't think we're unusual in that regard. When commercial developers release code as open source they do so with a motive of making money. You're not going to make money directly from OSS. You make money using OSS and getting free improvements from others and interoperability with other tools is the main benefit. The GPL insures you get those improvements and the competition does not grab all your code, and start a closed fork of it. The only time we use BSD licenses is when it is a vital infrastructure component we're trying to get widely adopted as a standard. In those instances, getting people to use and integrate it into closed software is more important than getting the improvements back.

Any developers willing to comment on what they want out of a license?

I think I just did. This is the situation as I see it and I think it has been stable for quite a while. I see more OSS development happening lately, but if anything it is code that old school people would release as BSD, now being released as GPL (and often failing to be adopted widely as a result). I guess I have to disagree with the article on that point (sort of). I see more code being released as GPL (both code that would otherwise have been less permissive like a closed license and code that would have been more permissive, like a BSD license). I see more LGPL code, which is a bit more permissive, I suppose, but I see that more as increased granularity rather than a move towards more permissive licensing in general.

Re:Impression (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424231)

Your post focus two points I consider important quite well.

"Business doesn't like the GPL": true when they are on the receiving end, but false when they are on the giving end. It makes all the sense for a company to realease its internal work as GPL and no, say, BSD, since they can always leverage any improvements made by others and avoid having other companies using their base code to get an edge.

"Not everything has to be GPL": quite true. Your example is dead-on: the FSF itself have recommended the use of BSDish licences when desimination is wanted. They said so, for example, in the OGG/Theora situations.

Re:Impression (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424789)

'"Business doesn't like the GPL": true when they are on the receiving end, but false when they are on the giving end.'

I'd change that to "true when they are in the middle". Business on the recieving end _loves_ GPL code. It means they dont have to worry about a supplier going bellyup, it means they can change providers, it means they can hire outside help with the code, it means the software isnt going to fork into a bazillion proprietary incompatible versions and it means it's there long term, and that invested time and money isnt going to vanish.

It's the middlemen, who want to recieve freedom but not give it to anyone else who dont like the GPL.

That's something I can live with.

Re:Impression (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423921)

Only company (employed) workers who want to benefit from open source more than they agree to give protest the change.
Greg Stein's view is maybe even not personal but Google's.
I am anonymous since I was flamed for having criticized Google's hand on open-source, who modify and tune up the linux kernel without giving back their optimisations to the communinity.... It was two years ago, no single Google critic was allowed. I never logged in since.

Re:Impression (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423963)

The FSF seems pretty clear that there's no problem with people selling free software or profitting from it in any way that doesn't restrict the freedom of others. Quite a lot of people use the code commercially. IBM has teams of developers improving it because they don't make their money on software.

Speaking for myself - I just want my code to be used. If I let people use it for free, there's still a decent chance that they'll offer any improvements back to the community. The free software concept is now sufficiently well understood that this tends to happen anyway.

Re:Impression (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424419)

In my view, the main reason people are writing code and donate it "for the good of mankind" is because they want to make a difference. Just that.

They think that by using GPL, their code will have the deepest possible impact in society.

However, and I think the author has a point here, they forget that by putting a restrictive license on their code, people will eventually move away from it, choosing another project in favor, which has a more permissive license.

Thus, simply put, if you want your code to live forever, become immortal, or how to put it, choose a permissive license (BSD or MIT or Mozilla or whatever)! :-)

Re:Impression (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424431)

The GPL is designed to avoid this scenario:

1 - Community writes one million lines of code and release them publicly: everyone benefits.

2 - Corporate developer writes 100 lines of code, adds them to the community work and releses a closed product, actually taking credit and money, for a work consisting of mostly open source.

This is exactly why you see around many wifi routers and firewalls using Linux plus some closed source wifi card driver whose producer gives nothing back to the community that helped them to enter the market, while the community still needs reverse engineering to write open source drivers for the same wifi chipset.

The GPL is like a lock keeping closed a drawer containing a pair of handcuffs. It's somewhat a restrictive license, but what happens if we remove that restriction?

Re:Impression (1)

J.R. Random (801334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424605)

I was under the impression that the GPL license is mostly meant for "hobby" developers that want to make sure no one abuses their code to earn money on time they donate for the good of mankind. Not industry developers that want to earn money from their code. I might just have gotten it all wrong though.

Yes, you did get it "all wrong". The GPL has nothing to do with preventing others from getting rich off the free labor of hobbyist developers. In fact, anyone who objects to someone else making money off his work should use some other license. The purpose of the GPL is to ensure that any downstream recipient of the software gets the source code in a form that actually enables him to make changes and distribute them. The restrictions on patents and DRM are simply consequences of that.

Re:Impression (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424651)

I was under the impression that the GPL license is mostly meant for "hobby" developers that want to make sure no one abuses their code to earn money on time they donate for the good of mankind. Not industry developers that want to earn money from their code. I might just have gotten it all wrong though.

Any developers willing to comment on what they want out of a license?


Yes. I could be said to work professionally in software. My job isn't as a developer as such, but the software is a (well, the only) means to an end. The end in question being my real job.

I have no interest in trying to sell my software (that's not the point). However, there is no benefit to me in just giving my software away for nothing: improved software makes my life easier, so I use the GPL.

For libraries, I use the LGPL, since I figure this makes people more likely to use the library (and give me back improvements).

Finally, patents could make my area a real minefield (they have started to a bit already), so I'm all for the GPL3.

So, that's the opinion of just one professional who develops software.

Nope (4, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423741)

Because as a developer we can always choose. GPL2, 3, BSD, Mozilla, MIT whatever we want. We are the ones in control. It's the users that can get annoyed when a package they could normally use can't after a license shift.

Re:Nope (1, Insightful)

crath (80215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423887)

As a "hobby" type developer (to use terminology suggested elsewhere in postings to this topic) I have elected to revise the licensing of all of the software I maintain to specifically be licensed under GPL version v2.1.

From my perspective, GPL v3 is overly restrictive and imposes too many limits upon those using my software; that is, v3 released software is no longer "free", it is instead burdened with a lot of FSF philosophy.

Re:Nope (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424173)

Interesting that a license (GPL3) which gives you more freedoms (i.e. freedom from worry about patent infringement) and which has additional provisions to ensure that your code remains free has been labeled as more restrictive... words do have a way of getting perverted.

GPL3 is only more restrictive to people who want to steal and lock up your code.

Re:Nope (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423979)

Only if you are the kind of developer who write everything from scratch.

If you're looking into reusing code somebody else wrote, or contributing to somebody else's project, you're stuck with their license.

Re:Nope (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424327)

Unless it's a BSD/MIT-style license, where you only have to credit the developers for their work, but can do pretty much whatever you want with derivative works (even make them closed source).

Developers are affected by licenses too... (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424071)

Because as a developer we can always choose. GPL2, 3, BSD, Mozilla, MIT whatever we want. We are the ones in control. It's the users that can get annoyed when a package they could normally use can't after a license shift.

That's true only as long as you don't link to any other libraries or use any other programs as part of your work. As soon as you link your software to other software on the system, you are affected by the licenses on the other software. So, unless you're developing truly standalone software (like assembly code for an embedded device), you are affected by other licenses.

As a hobbyist developer, I see problems with GPL v3 in the sense that it is not compatible with GPL v2. Therefore, if I wanted to release code under GPL v2, I could not link to any libraries or programs that ware licensed under v3. That's not too much of an issue now (since the license has not been released) but it could turn into an issue if adoption of v3 becomes widespread.

Re:Developers are affected by licenses too... (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424487)

Thought linking to libraries or other components was fine as long as you where dynamically linking. The only time the license became an issue even for commercial work was if you statically linked the code into your application. Difference being dynamic you call and ask for something, static the other code becomes part of your binary.

Perhaps this linking scenerio is a "hole" that was plugged in GPL 3, but I dont know but would like to find out if anyone here does know.

Re:Nope (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424155)

So if the GPL is to Developer Unfriendly then Developers will not use GPL 3. Thus the Users will not benefit from GPL 3, because little software will be made using GPL 3. RMS needs to realize that Developer and User Rights needs to be balanced in order for it to succeed. If the users have to much rights then the developers looses their rights, so Developers will not go in that direction. If the Developers have to much rights then the Users loose out and will not use the developers product.

I know good intentions are made to protect the user, but in reality if the other side gets screwed then the other side will do something else. It is like Taxing the Rich if you tax them to much then they will just move out of that high Tax area and the poor people in that area will get poorer because the services and jobs that the rich people own will no longer be there, and less tax revenue means less money for social services to help them out. But not Taxing the rich or Taxing them at the same rate as the poorer people will not overly benefit the poor because the rich will get get richer from the extra stored income. So there needs to be a good balance where Taxes are high enough for the service they need to get paid for but low enough to keep them there. The Same with GPL Developers need some rights to protect their use of their work and to have some protection from other code they may use so their product is used in a way they attend it to be used, but open enough for the user community to use the product the way they want to use it.

Re:Nope (2, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424353)

For the purpose of this discussion, there are two kinds of developers, the initial authors that pick the license, and the developers reusing that code under license. The second kind obviously would prefer to have as much freedom as possible to do what they want with the code, so if they got to choose, the license would be more permissive. On the other hand, the first group may not want the second group to take their code and sell it, or deploy it on a device like Tivo, so the GPLv3 might be exactly what they want. You seem to be confusing these two groups, since it's only the second group that is getting screwed.

Re:Nope (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424853)

For the purpose of this discussion, there are two kinds of developers, the initial authors that pick the license, and the developers reusing that code under license
I think this is a false dichotomy. I write Free Software, but I don't write everything from scratch. I use libraries written by other people. Some of the code I've released is in the form of libraries that will be used by others. Which kind of developer am I? I pick the license for my own code, but I have to ensure that the libraries I use are licensed under compatible licenses.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424773)

It's the users that can get annoyed when a package they could normally use can't after a license shift

I haven't noticed many users posting blog articles or sending letters to the U.S. Congress complaining about a software license. It appears to me that the GPL, due to its popularity and the massive amount of code released under it, has generated rants, propoganda campaigns, and even a letter from a CEO to the U.S. Congress explaining how it will be the end of the free world [groklaw.net] , and why? Before the arguement was always that it wasn't as free as it should be, at least in this latest rant the truth is used, because its not as permissive for businesses and software developers who would like to take the GPLed code, use it, and not have to give anything back.

I agree, developers are in control, and far from being idiots choosing a license under peer pressure and in dire need of direction from lawyers, CEOs, or even Congress, we use a license because it serves our needs.

The plural of anecdote? (4, Interesting)

scribblej (195445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423769)

I'm a developer, and I like it more than the GPL2. It seeks to do the same things, but it does them better. If I had a philosophical problem with the GPL I'd use a BSD license instead. I think it's vital that both types of license are out there.

This would be "Then they fight you". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423793)

Sorry, large evil software company. We like the GPL just fine.

Signed,
The developers whose software will still be around 10 years from now.

Nobody HAS TO use GPLv3 (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423795)

I encourage everyone to disable Javascript for slashdot.org in his settings
and to disable the loading of images from other servers than slashdot.org as
long as that FUD spewing loser is wasting our precious time here.

The name of his own site says it all:

http://www.randomdialogue.net/ [randomdialogue.net]
[...]"I have random things to say."[...]

That is what I get when I read Zonk's articles. Random
sensation about bullshit only Zonk cares about. I guess
as a kid Zonk watched too much CNN where every sack of
rice in china is a important and threatening story.

I would rather read the whole duped SCO and Jack Thompson bullshit AGAIN
than any new Zonk story.


Forget it... it's TOO LATE! The market has already decided:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=slashdot%2C++digg&c tab=0&geo=all&date=all [google.com]

Permissive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423819)

I like and demand permissive chicks

I respectfully disagree (4, Insightful)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423827)

That is not to say I don't think that there is a place for other OS licenses. But like most of the laws (whether administrative, statutory, or case) here in the United States, there is still an overriding set of rights written into the Constitution, and in many ways I consider the GPL including amendments like the "constitution" which supports Open Source.

As an "open source" developer for some time now, I disagree. In fact, once I am ready to release I doubt it will be under any version but the GPL v3. Why? Consider one question: Does the FSF and EFF back most or indeed any of the other versions of an OS license?


Because only the GPL has the full faith and backing of the FSF and the EFF. In the era of expensive patent and "anti patent" litigation, I want those organizations on my side for the same reason that --though I consider myself quite conservative in most political positions --, I don't automatically dismiss the ACLU as a leftist liberal organization. They have a good track record of protecting the important parts of our "electronic civil rights."


Pffft. (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423839)

So what you're saying is that people with a vested interest in making money on other people's code are demanding that code move to a more 'permissive' license like BSD instead of GPLV3? Because I've seen more projects move in the opposite direction -- moving away from BSD-like and into GPLV2 rather than the other way around. But, for the most part, projects that have BSD-like licenses and those with GPL-like licenses tend to either stay with the same license or move to a dual-license scenario. OTOH, I see more new projects going with GPL-like licenses over BSD-like licenses.

Whatever. I don't see GPLV3 causing any major shift in the open source/free software community

Re:Pffft. (5, Insightful)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423947)

Exactly. It's the permanent whinning of those that are only favourable of "open source" when it means that they can reduce the headcount by using it. I am still waiting to hear someone who actually used the GPLv2 come up with this kind of speech: until now the only voices against the GPLv3 are from quarters that are against copyleft and are scared that the loopholes will be closed. They disliked the door in the first place and now their complaining about the fixing of the holes with vague talks about "the developers want this and that". It all translates into

We would really like to get all the code with no strings attached so we can add our own strings to it. We dislike the GPL as is and really dislike the new one since it focus on fixing some clever ways we had of bypassing the spirit of the licence. Ideally we would like to get all the code - doesn't matter that we didn't wrote it or that we don't share it ourselves. GPLv3, BAD!

Re:Pffft. (5, Insightful)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424051)

"Developers are still the heart of the open source community"

Well, this guy is clearly talking about the wrong community. I think in the free software community it will get a lot of support from developers.

If you want an Open Source license, then use one. If you want a Free license then use one of those instead.

Crisis averted.

Re:Pffft. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424159)

So what you're saying is that people with a vested interest in making money on other people's code are demanding that code move to a more 'permissive' license like BSD instead of GPLV3? Because I've seen more projects move in the opposite direction -- moving away from BSD-like and into GPLV2 rather than the other way around.


Isn't a lot of the movement from BSD, etc., to GPLv2 to enable incorporating existing GPLv2 code? Whether that kind of pressure exists to move to GPLv3 is going to depend on how popular GPLv3 is on its own.

Re:Pffft. (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424283)

I don't understand I thought that if you didn't like the GPL v3 you could still use the older version. I thought v3 was for people who wanted something different like between a BSD and GPLv2?

Interesting "theory" (4, Insightful)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423859)

Quite. Whishful thinking on the part of those who are scared of the GPLv3. If it will "allienate" developers (who exactly nobody knows since ratio of bitching about the GPL is always inversely proportional to the actual coding in free software projets) then it will be great, nobody will use it, there are other licences out there and everything will be perfect for the anti-copyleft camp.

The "problem" with the GPLv3 isn't that it will allienate developers, it's exactly the opposite: most people against the underlying principle of the GPL - and especially those who have been relying on loopholes created by the changes in technology and society - are scared that it will actually be adopted - which I think it will, replacing the GPLv2 in new projects as the "de facto" copyleft licence. Don't like it, don't use it, but especially don't bitch about others using it, fell free *not* to use the code in the first place.

as a real developer... (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424429)

I really only have a few things to complain about:

* license proliferation and incompatibility (can't change Linux)

* that selfish anti-Linux ("GNU/Linux") rant in the preamble

* the stupid gname! "GNU" isn't gnice, it's moronic

* "consumer product" definition doesn't involve a fair chance to negotiate a contract

I wish we could move everything to GPLv3. Right now, every downloadable ISO image with GPLv2 binaries is in violation unless that site is also supplying the source. It's not enough to point people to the original source. This sucks; lots of projects are technically in violation. GPLv3 fixes this.

Re:as a real developer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424591)

I think the GNU/Linux part is important because people google GNU and find out that Linux is not just "open source" but free software-- very important when today Microsoft has tarnished "open source" wiht "shared source"

Fa6Orz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423867)

Projection (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423883)

I'm sure certain companies would like GPLv3 to be alienating open-source developers, but frankly I don't see that happening too much. The only people it's alienating are people who would never use the GPL anyway. I've heard this tune sung before, when GPLv2 was being introduced: all those unrealistic, idealistic, totally unneccesary changes RMS was introducing would completely destroy the license and developers would abandon the GPL as unworkable. We can see how accurate that prediction was.

Re:Projection (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423977)

The only people it's alienating are people who would never use the GPL anyway.

False. TiVo. And any GPL-based entity that wants to do a Novell type deal in the future. (You may not agree with either, but they are people who are using the GPL.)

Re:Projection (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424131)

TiVo is not a GPL-based entity. Just because they use Linux as the base OS of their otherwise closed-source, proprietary, DRM-encumbered, locked-down product, it doesn't mean that they have a business model based on GPL. The next thing you'll say is that Microsoft is a GPL-based entity because they provide GPL code in Services for Unix [zdnet.com] .

Re:Projection (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424191)

TiVo is not a GPL-based entity.


TiVo, since they in fact use the GPL, is not, an entity that wouldn't use the GPL anyway.

Since the claim was that the only people driven off would people who wouldn't use the GPL anyway, TiVo is a valid counterexample which disproves the claim.

Re:Projection (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424247)

Okay, then so is Microsoft.

Re:Projection (1)

SinaSa (709393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425009)

TiVo is not a GPL-based entity. Just because they use Linux as the base OS of their otherwise closed-source, proprietary, DRM-encumbered, locked-down product, it doesn't mean that they have a business model based on GPL.

So why did Tivo report to the SEC [guardian.co.uk] that GPL v3 will hurt their business?

no, not TiVo (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424539)

They do not use the GPL except when forced by the GPL.

They haven't written anything original, new, fresh, unencumbered by prior licenses... and then decided to use the GPL.

question motives (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423885)

The GPL is an attempt to license behavior and mitigate the natural greed factor in humans (corportations?). Legal minds have worked diligently over the last decade to bypass as many of the greed restrictions in the GPL as possible to commercialize open source software. In response GPL drafters are trying to contain the greed factor and keep open source from being constrained. Are they (corporations with money and patent portfolios) trying to box open source in? Is Google and BMC spreading FUD like Microsoft and Novell? It might be innocent, but I'd like to know their motivations.

FUD from a Microsoft shill (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19423899)

I believe this is the same columnist who wrote something like "Why Microsoft Loves Open Source," which took a very naively trusting view of Microsoft. He claims to be an open source advocate, but he is either stupid (or very naive), or an undercover shill for Microsoft.

I've read thousands of GPL3-related comments on Slashdot, and it is apparent to me that for the most part, the people who don't like GPL3 are people who already didn't like GPL2 -- people who either liken it to cancer or communism, or people who only like BSD-style licenses because they think that when code is freely given to them it means they should be entitled to re-use it in a proprietary product against the wishes of the original developer (and then claim that the GPL is stealing the food off their children's tables).

This is just FUD.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424237)

In Soviet Russia, GPL v3 spreads FUD about YOU!

Re:FUD from a Microsoft shill (1, Troll)

Jerry (6400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424663)

Exactly!

As an example of this kind of marketing manipulation consult "The Submarine" by Paul Graham.
http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html [paulgraham.com]

April 2005

"Suits make a corporate comeback," says the New York Times. Why does this sound familiar? Maybe because the suit was also back in February, September 2004, June 2004, March 2004, September 2003, November 2002, April 2002, and February 2002.

Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back? Because PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry, lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news. Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms.


The source of this FUD is, no doubt, Microsoft's PR firm.

Permissive vs. GPL? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423923)

The GPL is very permissive, it permits the *user* to always be in control of the software by preventing companies from restricting it using DRM and other mechanisms. It is *not* permissive to *companies*. So you have the developers in the middle. They sometimes work for the consumers. They sometimes work for the companies. The consumers don't want the companies to be restrictive. If the companies were really catering to the consumers like they should, they would find ways of creating software without restrictions.
 
(plug)...which is why I'm trying to get a project going for creating a hub for software development commissions at http://www.opendevelopmentnetwork.org/ [opendevelo...etwork.org] , even though the site is very dead at the moment, and also down. :) (but normally up) (/plug)

I'll be brutally honest (2, Insightful)

captnitro (160231) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423943)

Yeah, it does alienate me.

My drive is in writing code, and being able to look at other code that has what I want, plain and simple. In that sense, the GPL made it easy to do those two things: all technology is driven by convenience. PHP isn't popular because of its "enterprise-class frameworks", it's popular because it's easy to grab code from elsewhere, easy to write code in. Windows is easy because it comes with your computer. The GPL made it easy to be open-source.

In the past few years it seems everyone has become a zealot for something in computing, not because they're a visionary, but because they're a bully. And to be honest? I don't really give a fuck. I don't plan on using licenses for the advancement of some idealogue's great Cause, and I don't plan on consulting a lawyer just to write code and see if I'm Compliant.

So in the past few years I've released stuff as BSD/MIT/etc. (Gasps.) Do I care that people can use my code and not contribute back to the "community"? Not really. For one, I haven't found that to be the case. But secondly, it's just easier. It's easy to use code and to release code. No Visions, no Causes, no lawyers, no Compliance and papers-please-style-development. Just some guy on the internet putting his code up for use.

Re:I'll be brutally honest (4, Insightful)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424091)

I think it's great you have chosen to release your work with a BSD/MIT licence (really). But from reading your post it's apparent that you don't really seem to view the current GPL as suitable, so the GPLv3 will not change that. Every complain you have about the GPLv3 can be applied to the GPLv2.

Re:I'll be brutally honest (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424931)

Exactly. I pick (3 clause) BSDL for most of my code (a few snippets under MITL or public domain), but if I had to choose between GPLv2 and 3 I would pick 3. They both support the aims of the FSF, which I agree with, but the new version does it better.

Re:I'll be brutally honest (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424389)

Right on. I used to feel -exactly- as you do. After all the ugliness in the last couple years, though, I tend to look on the LGPL with a bit of favor, even if I still intensely dislike the GPL (2/3/whatever) itself.

Re:I'll be brutally honest (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424441)

"No Visions, no Causes, no lawyers, no Compliance and papers-please-style-development"

I understand where you're coming from but would like to point out that acceptance of the status quo is *not ideologically neutral. The status quo was created by ideologues who didn't like the previous status quo.

That doesn't mean you have be up in arms, or a "zealot" as people like to call anyone who talks about values. But be intellectually honest, and say that the prevailing Vision/Cause (and I guess lawyers) are, in sum, acceptable to you.

Re:I'll be brutally honest (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424899)

It's easy to use code and to release code. No Visions, no Causes, no lawyers, no Compliance and papers-please-style-development. Just some guy on the internet putting his code up for use.


Why not simply release your code to the public domain?

Straw Man (2, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423961)

It looks like someone's borrowed a theme from politics: the straw man. Take something that doesn't exist (this hypothetical band of developers and their even more hypothetical 'license pressure') and spin and pound your fist, and maybe noone will notice that you've created what appears to be a good argument out of pure nothingness.

GPL is working (2, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423987)

I am about to release a small project "DS Dictionary" which is a dictionary app for the Nintendo DS, under the GPL. I was forced to do so because I used the GNU GCIDE dictionary and two other GPL libraries. I contacted the author of those libraries, and they are GPL because the author in turn used another GPL library. The GPL is working today, and spreading, exactly as it was intended to do. And there is a large and ever-growing base of GPL software.

In this case, I'm very glad. I wanted to base my application on another project which was very similar to my own. But that person chose not to release the source to their application, so I was forced to go this route. It doesn't matter - this was a free tool and a useful experiment in learning to code for a new device. And the GPL source made it take 1/10th as long. I'm actually frustrated at the people who write code and horde it, so in some ways, I'm glad the GPL is forcing things to open-up.

Of course, I'll change my tune next week when I have an app I want to write where one library is GPL and the rest is not, and I'll have to go rewriting things.

Re:GPL is working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424705)

What about when one library is GPL 2 only and one is GPL 3 only. You'll have to make a choice. That's the thing that bothers me the most about the move to GPL 3. The license text itself may be superior, but it's presence and the disagreements about it could split the community into two groups that have to keep reimplementing each other's wheels.

I plan to stay on GPL2 and any later version to retain compatibility. But that's basically saying I'll be GPL 3, once somebody contributes a line of GPL 3 code. I'm not really sure what to do about it.

Re:GPL is working (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424971)

How much of that is "GPL2" and how much is stated as "GPL2 or later"?

don't worry about the FSF (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19423997)

It's silly to think that one license fits all. For something like the Linux kernel, a license like GPLv3 makes sense. For projects sponsored by companies, Apache 2 is a better choice (in fact, I consider Sun's use of GPL+commercial for Sun Java to be bad). What Stein's specific beef with the GPLv3 is, I don't get, since GPLv3 is largely GPLv2 with the Apache v2 patent provisions.

In any case, people like Hurley shouldn't spend time worrying about the future of the FSF. The FSF has been in this business for two decades and they know what they are doing.

Yes. (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424013)

It does me. I am actually considering taking over a FOSS project that lost it's maintainer. I was thinking about moving it to GPL but now it will stay BSD.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424423)

I can't understand what's the problem with the creation of GPL V3. If you intended to use GPL for your project in the first place, you can still use GPL V2. The new license doesn't make the old one disapear.
You only don't win the protection agaist patents that are on the new version of GPL.

Another point is that, if you're taking over a project, unless you have permission from every developer that put a line of code there to change the license (or forget the code and start over), you can't even change that license.

Re:Yes. (1)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424851)

So why not GPLv2 then?

just to annoy the astroturfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424031)

I have several GPL2 projects, a couple are quite popular. I'll be moving
all of those to GPL3 as soon as it's out. There is so much astroturfing
activity trying to talk it down that it must be a good thing.

That's why I like the LGPL (4, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424113)

LGPL allows me to reuse the code that I've written as open source, in my boss' projects. I distribute it free because I feel it'll be useful to other developers out there.

I have the tendency to write software libraries, because they allow me to reuse my code in several different projects. The executable programs are just a wrapper. So, the LGPL suits me.
Good examples of LGPL projects are the FFMPEG library, which the LGPL ensures it can be used for both commercial and non-commercial projects.

And if that's not enough, there's the wxWindows (wxWidgets) license, which is GPL + exception.

Re:That's why I like the LGPL (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424689)

It's your code that you've written. GPL it, then re-licence it for your boss to use. Nothing stopping a dual-licence. LGPL allows others to do things "less free" with it.

Re:That's why I like the LGPL (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424691)

Does your boss know that he must distribute the resulting executable under a license that allows the end-user to modify it?

Not many people realize this. But if you use a LPGL licensed library, you don't have to release your product under the LGPL, but you do have to release it with a license that allows modification.

Re:That's why I like the LGPL (2, Informative)

One Louder (595430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424997)

The LGPL basically says that you have to provide a "linkable" version of the code, so that someone can modify the LGPL components and recombine them with the non-free components - it doesn't mean that the non-free components must be modifiable.

You're correct that the combined work must be released with a license that allows this, and that many people don't know that they need to do it. It's one of the most common misconceptions about the LGPL - most people think they only have to publish the source to the free components.

Re:That's why I like the LGPL (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424751)

If it's code you've written, you can do whatever you want with it. The licenses doesn't apply to you, as you already have the right to distribute copies of your own code in in any form you desire.

You do not need a license to distribute code to which you own the copyright. The license gives permission for other people to be able to use and distribute the code to which you own the copyright, including derivative works.

Hence, LGPL doesn't allow you to reuse the code that you've written. You can reuse the code anyway, regardless of whether it's GPL, LGPL, BSD, whatever. The fact that you wrote the code allows you to reuse it.

Said elsewhere, but I haven't seen it like this: (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424141)

the disconnect isn't between people who want GPLv3 to be "Less permissive" or "more permissive", it's between people who think GPLv3 is "more permissive" vs people who think GPLv3 is "less permissive". Both sides want more permissive licenses, they just disagree on what constitutes "permissive". Some say "you won't let me take permission away from others, so it's less permissive!", others say "we won't let anyone take away permission, ever, so it's more permissive."

GPLv3 really just seems to be an attempt to make things explicit which were implied in GPLv2. Personally, I think that's a step in the wrong direction, because the moment you enumerate which things you can or can't do, as opposed to just blanket saying: "you can't, in any way, distribute this software if you, in any way, prevent others from distributing this software", people will say "oh, you said "patent", not "Billy's Intellectual Voucher Certificate", so my way of restricting use /is/ allowed!"

Re:Said elsewhere, but I haven't seen it like this (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424637)

Exactly. The GPL grants you a lot of rights, provided you grant the same rights to anybody you distribute to. It's symmetrical.

The GPL isn't very restrictive (hey, it includes a patent license, BSD doesn't have that). But that automatically also means that anybody using that code has to be unrestrictive downstream as well. Symmetry.

Most of the opponents of the GPL want a license to be less restrictive towards them, but still they want to be more restrictive themselves. Well, those people never were in the GPL camp in the first place, were they? So their comments about GPLv3 vs v2 don't seem very relevant.

google? greg stein? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424143)

Google is afraid that they won't be able to steal any more free software?
Greg Stein would like everything to be public domain so he can incorporate it into the google web server and then get a big fat bonus from his idiot boss when he tells him that *he* wrote all this code, because he is Greg Stein?
And where is that chris di bona fatass?

Translation (3, Insightful)

NatteringNabob (829042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424149)

We would like to make a profit from open source software and not return anything to the community.

mod 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424163)

'fiRst post'

Viral licensing (0)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424217)

I'm not a fan of GPL anyway, give me BSD/Apache/MIT any day.

Re:Viral licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424727)

copyright is viral

In the long run, doesn't matter, GPL will thrive (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424225)

While it's undoubtedly true that some developers will be alienated by GPLv3, I don't think that it matters in the longer term, because *all* free and open source software contributes to the building of the GPL'd community pyramid, in one way or another.

In the long run, the boundaries between code written under different FOSS licenses tend to get fuzzy, because all the best ideas from old software (and code, where allowed) tend to make a new appearance in software created under the latest license. It's just the way people work. Very few want to take a political stand by adding a feature into an old licensed version of a package only, and disallowing forward migration.

If you like, GPLv3 represents more than just a specific instance of the GPL licence. Once it is released, it will become the generic GPL for the new front line of free software development, and for most people the "v3" label won't matter. And if important non-GPLv3 software (Linux kernel excluded) contains anti-migrationary constraints, then it will be rewritten within the GPLv3-supporting community if enough people want it. It's inevitable.

The kernel seems to be in a different category, but as far as applications are concerned, I really don't think that a degree of alienation among some developers will matter much at all.

Exactly that's why! (4, Insightful)

cthulhuology (746986) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424235)

As we all know, the BSD license has pressured people into not using the GPL at all. Given the greater freedom to the end user it gives, it makes the market for GPL software utterly untenable. That's why Linux has switched to BSD licensing. The public domain, however, is so compelling, given its great degree of freedom and complete removal of all boundaries on use, Microsoft has placed all of Windows in the public domain. In fact, the only thing that stood between Microsoft and total world domination was their licensing which prevents certain people from using their software as they see fit!

Joke Joke!

There's an old rule of marketing which states "You can charge too little for a product". Just look at most people's gut reactions, GPL'd software is more valuable than public domain software. For developers and corporations like IBM, GPL'd software is more valuable than BSD software because of the GPL's additional sine qua non provisions. The spirit of fairness that is at the basis of RMS's 4 freedoms has value to developers and coporations. For most developers, protections against corporate profiteering preserve their personal ability to profit from their labor. The only people alienated are freeloaders.

Most Free zealots that I know never read GPL2 (2, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424241)

(or at least never understood it) so I doubt they'll be bothered by the details of what GPL3 actually says either.

Overlooked something... (4, Insightful)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424253)

Right now, there are roughly 3 types of OSS licenses.

  • Do what you want, but I own the copyright. (BSD, Apache 1 & 2)
  • I share my code, if you do anything with this you have to share yours the same way I share mine. (GPL)
  • I share my code, and if you re-use it you have to use it you have to tell people mine exists and thing you add you can pick the license. (Numerous licenses, including the CPL, EPL, LGPL).

The article states "look at the proliferation of licenses", as a sign that the GPL isn't filling a need. The simple facts are that the first two licenses are pretty much in the bag. Nobody writes new licenses that attempt to the accomplish the first two. Pretty much to a person, everyone uses Apache 2, BSD or the GPL to accomplish those goals. If you start looking down the list of other one-off licenses that are for OSS. Those are all about filling the need in the third item. If anything, it could be said that the LGPL is "failing". It isn't the "one true license" to accomplish the task. Essentially the proliferation of license's is about finding a "share and share alike" that can exist in a corporate environment. Where the core technology can be shared and developed by many folks, while the extensions and non-core pieces can be value-adds that are solve for money.

Greg Stein's a brilliant guy, and one hell of an engineer. But I think he's living in his own little world here. Lot's of folks like and enjoy writing software under the premise of the second type of license. Some folks do it under the first. In the end, the collaborative effort will virtually always win out. So in a lot of ways it doesn't matter if you use a license from the first or second group. That's why Apache has never been taken and had a closed competitor that is more used. Sure some commercial products are based on it, but none of them will ever quash Apache out of existence because they are so popular.

All the action is how to have an open source commercial license. The LGPL has a few terms that are a bit harsh on business, and have little to say with respect to patents or trademarks. In this day and age a license must address those.

Kirby

Google ________ (+5 Insigthful) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424265)

should first open source their indexing code and pagerank before talking about permissive licenses.
What a hypocricity!

Makes no sense (3, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424305)

This just makes no sense. The difference between GPLv2 and v3 is negligible compared to the difference between the GPL and other licenses.

It's basically the same license, it's just that it's written in a more legally robust way, more explicitly enforcing the things that GPLv2 is already supposed to enforce.

It's also had the most thorough community review process ever, for these sorts of things. Every word of GPLv3 has been debated by everybody who bothered to get involved, including all the major commercial users.

All news like this is just FUD.

Re:Makes no sense (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424635)

...it's just that it's written in a more legally robust way,...

Which makes it harder to understand for a layman, i.e. non-lawyer.

Why is this here? (2, Funny)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424557)

This guy seems to have an opinion (or maybe an agenda) concerning licenses, but can't be bothered to know the difference between open source and free software. It is hardly something worthy of mention on Slashdot.

My mom doesn't know the difference either. Should I get her to write an essay and submit it?

V3? (1)

lasthope (310935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424579)

It's time to wait for V4.

That's just whurley fishing for attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424583)

Don't feed the troll.

GPL = non starter for me (1, Interesting)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424601)

I, like many other people, develop commercial software. I can't use anything with a GPL license in our projects. That means my employer devotes $0 towards GPL projects.

On the other hand, we do occasionally use MIT or BSD licensed projects. When working with those we put in a lot of QA time (something most open source projects are severely lacking in!) and we put in some engineering time as well to fix problems we find or extend the project to do things it currently doesn't. That means my employer devotes manpower (and hence $$$) towards these projects.

It's not good, it's not bad, but it's something you should consider when choosing a license, especially software libraries.

Sounds like weasel words. (3, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424639)

If this person thinks that the GPL 3 is "less permissive", then he's right-- if one is speaking from the perspective of a corporation eager to use GPLed code as a "free ride" and profit off of it, whilst locking it away on proprietary embedded devices and never letting users hack on them (Tivo, I'm looking at YOU!).

The GPL is "more permissive" from the perspective of free software coders, in that it gives them the freedom-- and thus the permission-- to release code without wondering if it will end up going to line the pockets of some rich embedded device maker.

There's a saying in some circles in America: "Don't be so 'open-minded' that your brain falls out". Likewise, the goal of the GPL3 is to "not be so 'permissive' that coders get screwed".

If someone tried to smack you across the face, or rape you, or otherwise assault you, and you said "NO" and defended yourself, I suppose the attacker/rapist could complain that you were "not being permissive enough". But that's your right. Likewise, it's the right of developers to not fear that corporations will use their code as a free meal ticket, whilst the original coders get nothing in return. If you don't care if people lock derivatives of your code away forever, release it under the BSD, or into the public domain. The GPL is about freedom to hack on things, freedom to change and update and distribute and reverse-engineer-- not freedom to find sneaky ways to proprietarize open code for financial gain.

And by the way... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424725)

I propose that the very notion that developers are starting to want 'more permissive' (read: 'more BSD-like') licences is false. If it were true, then most new projects would be released under the BSD licence, or into the public domain. However, the GPL is just as popular as ever, and the only people whining about the GPL3 are, basically, companies.

The fact that corporations (particularly MS, but others as well) don't like the GPL3 is a very heartening sign. These companies like nothing better than to make obscene amounts of profit off of the hard work of others, whilst giving nothing at all back. They hate the GPL3 because it's designed to protect coders from having their work stolen, pimped out, and locked away.

Google and Tivo don't like GPLv3 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424867)

Because:

Tivo wants to use GPL code but prevent users from installing modifications to the GPL code on their boxes.

Google wants to use GPL code and add modifications that others are prevented from using or modifying by using software patents and lawsuits.

If you want to use free code and hide your changes, and further restrict users, BSD is the way to go.

Several sorts of developers... (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424923)

> Developers care about the licenses on the software they use
> and incorporate into their projects, they like permissive licenses,
> and they will increasingly demand permissive licenses.'"

I was thinking for a moment that you talked about the developers who choose a GPL* license for very good reasons.

But no ! No ! No ! You are simply talking about developers (or companies) who want to benefit from the work made by other developers, and don't want to contribute anything back.

Let me say you something, there is another sort of developers : the ones who care about the Free Software licenses on the software they WROTE, and who expect these licensing terms to be respected by other people. And this may surprise you, but I'm sure developers of proprietary software want their own licensing terms to be respected as well when other people want to use their work...

I've always like mit liscense more than any gpl... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19424953)

mainly because it doesn't require me to put code back out there... sometimes it can be more of a hassle to figure out what alterations I did then to just leave things closed source. One area where this is especially true is in game engine design. You have a lot of really complex speghetti code going on sometimes... stuff that is hard to sometimes comprehend yourself much less re-release and explain to the public... This is why Torque, 3impact, or some others like that as a game engine is way better than Ogre or Quake, or other gpl junk that isn't as refined or as well developed.
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