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Survey Says GPLv3 Is Shunned

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the opinion-is-divided dept.

GNU is Not Unix 382

willdavid writes in to note a survey of open source developers conducted by Evans Data that indicates a real rift in the community over GPLv3. The survey was based on in-depth interviews with 380 open source developers and no estimated margin of error was given. "Just 6 percent of developers working with open-source software have adopted the new GNU General Public License version 3... Also, two-thirds say they will not adopt GPLv3 anytime in the next year, and 43 percent say they will never implement the new license. Almost twice as many would be less likely to join a project that uses GPLv3 than would be likely to join... [Evans Data's CEO said] 'Developers are confused and divided about [the restrictions GPLv3 imposes], with fairly equal numbers agreeing with the restrictions, disagreeing with them, or thinking they will be unenforceable.'"

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Slow adoption is to be expected (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20748305)

It is much easier for new projects to start out with GPLv3 than old projects to convert. Unless the committers transfer copyrights to a central body like in the case of the gnu tools and FSF, it is hard to move to another license if not bordering on impossible.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (4, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | about 7 years ago | (#20748463)

Not to mention any project with files licensed under GPLv2 or later is, for all intents and purposes, GPLv3 anyway.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (3, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | about 7 years ago | (#20748585)

Not necessarily. GPL version 3 only provisions do not apply to it, unless it is changed to be licensed under GPL 3 (only, or "or later").

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

stinerman (812158) | about 7 years ago | (#20748757)

Obviously.

My point was that all these projects can be counted as GPLv3 projects, or is it that important that I formally fork such a project to be counted in the numbers?

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

cnettel (836611) | about 7 years ago | (#20748933)

As one of the stated intents of GPLv3 is to close several loopholes, I think you should fork if you find the new license important.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (2, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | about 7 years ago | (#20749041)

They SHOULD all be counted as GPL2, because until they are explicitly moved to GPL3, they are not GPL3.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (2, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 7 years ago | (#20748485)

Unless the committers transfer copyrights to a central body like in the case of the gnu tools and FSF, it is hard to move to another license if not bordering on impossible.

Unless, of course, all the commits were "GPLv2 or later", in which case the project was effectively already under the GPLv3 from the moment it was released.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (4, Informative)

hansonc (127888) | about 7 years ago | (#20748837)

wrong.

If I'm the user of the code e.g. Tivo and I don't decide that I want to comply with gpl v3 I don't have to in that case. For you to force me to comply with v3 you have to relicense it as v3 (or later) it's not a retroactive license which probably wouldn't be legally enforceable anyway.

Not exactly (3, Informative)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | about 7 years ago | (#20748849)

Something licensed that way can be used by both GPLv2 and GPLv3 projects, but can't use GPL3 code itself without converting to GPL3. It's still under GPLv2 until then.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (2, Interesting)

huckamania (533052) | about 7 years ago | (#20748851)

I think this attitude is why so many developers are turned off by the GPLv3.

Is there a clause in the GPLv3 that makes the "or later" mandatory? If that's the case, might as well sign it all over to the FSF or better yet just put "This software is released in whatever manner RMS decides at any time now or in the future".

Still, I wonder about the legality of enforcing a license that doesn't exist or didn't exist when you first got the source. "This software is released under a future license which we will let you know about when we get around to it" doesn't sound very legal.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

Ajehals (947354) | about 7 years ago | (#20749029)

IANAL, but IFAICS It's an option for the recipient of the software, you can comply with the terms of Version X or if you prefer, a later version. When you are distributing the software you would be in a position to choose which is more suitable. It is *not* a case of the copyright holder (usually the developer) or the FSF being able to turn around in 5 years time and tell you that your distribution of the software is longer legal, unless you somehow fork the code and have it re-licensed, or if you have included code that is compatible with the earlier license (and the earlier license is compatible with) that adds some extra stipulation that you disagree with.

As much as the anti-GPL / anti-oss crowd would like you to believe the GPL isn't an instrument that will force you to do something that you haven't agreed to, more-over if you don't like the GPL ignore it, after all however you look at it, it is a license that gives you more rights with regard to the software you have not less, if you don't like the GPL then use the software and be bound under normal copyright law with regards to anything else (i.e. don't distribute.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

chromatic (9471) | about 7 years ago | (#20749049)

Is there a clause in the GPLv3 that makes the "or later" mandatory?

No, nor the GPL v2. The FSF recommended including that clause, but it's silly to release your code under a license you haven't seen.

Still, I wonder about the legality of enforcing a license that doesn't exist or didn't exist when you first got the source.

That's obviously impossible. How could anyone agree to a license that doesn't exist? Anyone releasing software with the "or later" clause believes sufficiently that any new version of the GPL released by the FSF will be in the same spirit as the existing versions. More power to them. That doesn't mean that if they distribute software to you right now that you have to agree to the GPL v4. (Nor do you have to agree to the license to use the software, per the wording of the license itself.)

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (3, Informative)

Experiment 626 (698257) | about 7 years ago | (#20748863)

Unless, of course, all the commits were "GPLv2 or later", in which case the project was effectively already under the GPLv3 from the moment it was released.

Wrong. The "or later" does not mean that whatever the most recent version of the GPL has been published is the one that applies. It means someone wanting to copy / distribute / whatever the software is free to do so under the terms of the GPLv2, or any later version that they might prefer the terms of. If the GPLv4 came out next week and said "to distribute software under this license, you have to send RMS a case of beer", you could distribute "GPLv2 or later" software by either providing its source (the GPLv2/v3 option) or by sending RMS a case of beer. New versions of the GPL give you more choices in licensing "or later" code, they don't retroactively change the terms of the deal like some shady EULA.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 7 years ago | (#20749147)

I know that. I meant the code is released under the GPLv3 in addition to whatever other licenses apply (like the GPLv2). Of course it's still available under the GPLv2 terms as well, at least until someone accepts a non-GPLv2 patch (GPLv3-only / GPLv3-or-later).

Re:Slow adoption is to be expected (1)

Cobalt Jacket (611660) | about 7 years ago | (#20748667)

Not everyone is as eager to regress as you are.

one word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748321)

SAMBA

Confused... (2)

advocate_one (662832) | about 7 years ago | (#20748329)

who actually commissioned the study??? cos studies don't just happen by themselves... they cost money

Re:Confused... (1)

BibelBiber (557179) | about 7 years ago | (#20748399)

Really? What about student projects? They do studies all the time and they even have to pay for it (so they get some feedback).

Microsoft FUD, I imagine. (-1, Troll)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20748561)

It's not much of a study. All they did was take any of the latest Vista business uptake studies and substitute GPL3. EndJoke. There are enough copyright clauses that say "Current version of GPL" for me to not take this study seriously or to think they did not ask enough or the right developers. One of the questions was answered:

Lack of skills in an organization was the greatest barrier to a migration from Windows to Linux

Whatever the study was, it's been spun into pure FUD and should not be confused with either news or research.

Re:Microsoft FUD, I imagine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748819)

No one cares what you imagine, Twitter.

The world operates on facts, not your paranoid fantasies.

Re:Confused... (1)

fymidos (512362) | about 7 years ago | (#20748657)

They might have done it for their portfolio:
"... and you can see here a survey that proves that GPL v.3 is a bad thing, with our expertise on the subject we can provide similar quality studies on GPL 2, and even GPL 4 if you so desire"

Re:Confused... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 7 years ago | (#20748769)

That one didn't seem to cost a lot. But also didn't get very usefull results.

The number of interviwed developers is a joke (at least for supporting that conclusion). There is no information about how those developers were selected (or anything else, in fact there is no usefull information at TFA).

Re:Confused... M$? (or not) (3, Interesting)

joe 155 (937621) | about 7 years ago | (#20748937)

couldn't say who actually coughed up the money for this one, but they do list M$ as clients. We all know M$ aren't above what we might (generously) call "interesting" techniques when it comes to dealing with the GPL (not least, IIRC, calling it a "cancer"). Evans also list some (what I would call) nicer companies though - especially from the open source POV - including but not limited to RedHat and Sun. You can check out the full list here;

http://www.evansdata.com/company/clients.php [evansdata.com]

Re:Confused... (1)

Plasmic (26063) | about 7 years ago | (#20749129)

I was also skeptical, but then I Googled. My quick analysis is that Evans Data specializes in developer community research and that most of their research has resulted in pro-OSS results, if anything. For example, here are the titles of previous press releases:
  • Nine Out Of Ten Linux Developers Refute Sco's Linux Lawsuit
  • Evans Says Java Is Catching Up To .NET
  • Linux Adoption Not Slowed by SCO Lawsuit
  • Access to source code is the "primary motivating factor" in operating system adoption among embedded systems developers
(They also did one on KDE vs. Gnome, but I didn't take the time to parse the results.)

Anyhow, my sense is that this is more legit than not. Regarding sample size, they opted for in-depth interviews on lots of topics (GPLv3 was but a small piece of the study, it seems) instead of spamming a few questions to lots of folks. For the specific topic of GPL v3, I'm sure everyone would agree that a focused survey with a large sample size would likely be better ... though it could be less accurate as you begin to include people that aren't actually involved in license decision-making or OSS development.

I concluded that it shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand, but someone should dig deeper.

Fork (1)

BibelBiber (557179) | about 7 years ago | (#20748343)

To quote an earlier article: "If you don't like it fork it."

Re:Fork (1)

WK2 (1072560) | about 7 years ago | (#20748665)

To quote an earlier article: "If you don't like it fork it."

That just may be the dumbest idea I have ever seen on slashdot. You can't fork a project because you don't like the license. In some cases you can, if the license allows distribution and is not copyleft, but GPLv3 is copyleft.

Re:Fork (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 7 years ago | (#20748765)

If there also exists an earlier, GPLv2 version, you can start your fork with that. Of course, if the project started out as GPLv3, you're stuck with it.

Remember! (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20748345)

Those restrictions are for your freedom. It is important to take freedom away to protect it. Truly allowing freedom would allow freedom to be taken away, and we can't allow that, so we've taken away some freedom to allow true freedom to flourish.

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't understand that perfectly.

And I'm sure I'll get modded down, but before you do that, read through my first paragraph carefully and tell me what I've said differently than the GNU people.

Re:Remember! (4, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | about 7 years ago | (#20748443)

GPL protects the freedom of the code, not the freedom of the developer. Big difference! If you want developer freedom, use the BSD license or some such. Different tools for different problems :)

Re:Remember! (3, Informative)

Lost+Found (844289) | about 7 years ago | (#20748495)

What the GPL is really concerned with beyond the code is protecting the freedom of the code's user. BSD aims to give the initial recipient of BSD-licensed code the freedom to make copies and changes in virtually any way they want whereas GPL aims to give those same freedoms and enforce them in second and third and fourth order copies, etc.

Re:Remember! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20749099)

I have to say, if I was sitting down to build a business using a GPL3 stack vs using a GPL2 stack, the GPL3 stack would make me feel a lot more secure that some dickhead from the BSA wasn't going to come mug me in broad daylight once I started to see some success in my endeavors.

There may only be a few developers in the very large pool that jump right on to this license, but if those few developers put together a comprehensive tool set that is released under this license, it could attract a large number of users who worry about this very risk and find the safety offered to them very appealing.

Re:Remember! (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 7 years ago | (#20748753)

GPL protects the freedom of the code, not the freedom of the developer.

Code doesn't have freedom. People do. The GPL protects the freedoms of people to use, share, and modify software.

If you want developer freedom, use the BSD license or some such.

The ability to create proprietary code based on free software - to say, "I got to use X freely to make my program Y, but if you try to use Y freely I will use government force to stop you!" - is not freedom. Freedom requires equality; any relationship in which one party will not allow others to do what they do, is not free.

Re:Remember! (1)

edwdig (47888) | about 7 years ago | (#20749083)

The ability to create proprietary code based on free software - to say, "I got to use X freely to make my program Y, but if you try to use Y freely I will use government force to stop you!" - is not freedom.

You can if you want to, but you don't have to. That's freedom.

Freedom requires equality; any relationship in which one party will not allow others to do what they do, is not free.

That's what the GPL is doing. The author of the GPL code can do whatever they want with it, such as make it proprietary, but the recipients of the code have restrictions on how they can use it.

Re:Remember! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20749005)

GPL protects the freedom of the code, not the freedom of the developer. Big difference! If you want developer freedom, use the BSD license or some such. Different tools for different problems :)

Well, exactly! The GPLv3 is only really "free" if you completely agree with the FSF on the definition of "freedom".

It's odd that RMS, who is ordinarily a stickler for proper nomenclature, would insist on using the word "freedom" when he really means "user freedom". I can only imagine that he's perfectly aware of the fact that "freedom" is a loaded term that has a broader meaning than he intends. Frankly I find his appropriation of the term "freedom" obnoxious.

Re:Remember! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748461)

It's not about how accurately you can quote the FSF. It's about whether or not it's right to have a software license place restrictions on hardware.

Re:Remember! (4, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 7 years ago | (#20748649)

It doesn't restrict hardware. You can make your hardware DRMed like hell. You just can't run GPLv3ed software on that DRMed hardware. That's a restriction on the software (don't run it on DRMed hardware).

Re:Remember! (1)

Rycross (836649) | about 7 years ago | (#20748505)

I don't think the characterization is fair. You are talking about different freedoms, and the trade offs between them. Not all freedoms are equal, and not all freedoms are good. If you'll excuse the hyperbole, in an anarchy, you have the freedom to murder and steal, but I don't see many people clamoring for those freedoms in our society. I'd imagine the FSF has made a decision about which freedoms are more important. "Software freedom" isn't quite as clear cut a decision as my example, and is largely dependent on your opinion.

Re:Remember! (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20748567)

The thing is, I don't disagree with you. I'm fine with the GPL in any form, because frankly, it's the author's decision to use it and I respect that. My point is that it's a confusing muddle to wade through, particularly given the FSF's propensity (and RMS in particular is guilty of this) for playing "clever" wordgames with everything that they touch. There's a point where clear talk about the realities of the situation serve the cause better than rhetoric designed to spin the upsides and hide the downsides, which is very much what most explanation of the GPL come down to.

I'm not saying don't use it. I'm not even saying it's bad. I'm saying it is murky, and the article makes perfect sense to me because of that murkiness.

Re:Remember! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748521)

So... I get it now... GPLv3 is the next Patriot Act. Oooh... I got another one, how about we give Microsoft and Mayor Bloomberg all of our guns too. That will certainly help us out during the next national disaster when the gov. is unable to immediately restore order.

The whole reason this country was founded was because they finally figured out you don't protect rights and liberties by taking them away.

Re:Remember! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748587)

Those restrictions are for your freedom. It is important to take freedom away to protect it. Truly allowing freedom would allow freedom to be taken away, and we can't allow that, so we've taken away some freedom to allow true freedom to flourish.

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't understand that perfectly.

And I'm sure I'll get modded down, but before you do that, read through my first paragraph carefully and tell me what I've said differently than the GNU people.

That first paragraph was damn funny.

Re:Remember! (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20748647)

You're essentially correct though I suspect you were trying to express sarcasm in your post.

The government takes the freedoms of killing, torturing and in general harming people away (the cynical might say to monopolize them for itself, but that's another subject), but few could argue that we are less free because of that.

The whole BSD vs. GPL issue stems from different viewpoints. The BSD/total freedom camp approaches freedom from the individual viewpoint, while GPL approaches it from the side of the common good.

From an individual viewpoint, freedom is decreased by not being able to kill, but from a community's view freedom is increased because of a highly philosophical and "zealot" viewpoint about the importance of life is uphold. The highly philosophical theories about the sacredness of life coincide* with the fact that if noone is allowed to kill, everyone is better off, which of course translates to individual good aswell. What is good for a community of people, is bound to be good for the majority of the individuals making up the given community after all...

*Moral right or wrong doesn't automatically translate into advantage in scientific terms, but in the case of GPL, sharing and being open is not only morally good but is also backed up by mathematical research and empirical observation telling us that by cooperating everyone gains and being selfish leads to temporary advantage of individuals, but consequently everyone is worse off. If the party wishing to cooperate follows the classical tit-for-tat strategy, the end result will be a good for everyone situation in the case of a cooperating environment and a very slightly worse off case for the cooperating individual if the environment is hostile. In case of a mixed environment, cooperation wins.

Re:Remember! (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20748747)

I was expressing an honest concern, and trying to do so in a memorable way. It's not that I disagree with the GPLv3 (or any version, really.) Personally, I think it's a fine license, and I understand it and its goals, or at least I believe I do. That uncertainty, however, is the kicker.

Ultimately, the GPL has begun the process that all legalese follows - it is now becoming too complicated to understand without paying a lawyer a very large sum of money. Given the target audience and the goals, this is not a good thing.

Re:Remember! (2, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20748839)

Ultimately, the GPL has begun the process that all legalese follows - it is now becoming too complicated to understand without paying a lawyer a very large sum of money. Given the target audience and the goals, this is not a good thing.
Your beef is with the legal system, specifically legalese. It is the way to enter into official, legally binding agreements. Without the GPL using legalese, it would be worthless for it's goals. If you want to know what the GPL is about, be sure to read the documents on FSF's site that detail the intentions ("spirit") of the license.

If you need legal certainty that the GPL is what it appears to be and FSF's interpretation and execution of codifying their intentions into legalese is correct, then you of course need to consult a lawyer. It is the legal system's fault normal people need a legal interpreter in order to conduct official business.

Re:Remember! (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20749015)

Sure, I get that. But there's an ever-increasing complication that makes things more difficult with each go-round. In general, simplification is a desirable goal.

Also, there's no point in shifting the blame. Sure, the legal system makes everything impossible. Playing into that game and supporting it (as the FSF does, by choice or by necessity) means that the blame falls squarely back on those shoulders.

Re:Remember! (2, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20749091)

Actually, the GPL was always good at using the opponent's tools against them. It is after all using copyright to achieve it's goal. Without copyright, there would be no need for GPL, as we'd have a pretty level playing field, as all code would be practically BSD licensed. In such a world the advantages GPL provides for free software authors wouldn't be necessary anymore.

Re:Remember! (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 7 years ago | (#20748879)

The government takes the freedoms of killing, torturing and in general harming people away (the cynical might say to monopolize them for itself, but that's another subject), but few could argue that we are less free because of that.

You better hope they allow fair use as an affirmative defense then, and do not outlaw tools that enable such fair use. Because most probably "the government" will not be there when you get harmed, tortured or killed - they will only investigate after the fact.

In the same way, ignoring the license should be allowed when the copyright owner breaks laws or terms of your contract.

Re:Remember! (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 7 years ago | (#20748825)

I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but if you are, then please be aware that taking freedoms away to protect other freedoms is the basis of all law. You aren't free to hit me because you've had that freedom taken away from you.

Unless you are an anarchist, you really have no basis for criticising the GPL in this regard, because you agree with this logic applied to different areas.

Re:Remember! (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 years ago | (#20748941)

Those restrictions are for your freedom. It is important to take freedom away to protect it. Truly allowing freedom would allow freedom to be taken away, and we can't allow that, so we've taken away some freedom to allow true freedom to flourish.

read through my first paragraph carefully and tell me what I've said differently than the GNU people.

Nothing. You got it right. But you apparently don't understand it yourself.

Your 'first' paragraph is EXACTLY the reason, and indeed the ONLY reason murder is illegal:

To paraphrase your 'first paragraph':

Those restrictions [we've outlawed murder] for your freedom [to live]. It is important to take away your freedom [to murder people] to protect your freedom [from being murdered]. Truly allowing freedom [to murder] would allow freedom to be taken away [ie everytime you excercise your freedom to murder someone else loses their freedom to live], and we can't allow that, so we've taken some freedom [to murder] to allow true freedom [to live] to flourish.

The FSF thinks the freedom of EVERYONE (including the people who got it from you) to modify and use GPL code trumps an individual developers freedom to prevent them.

Its not terribly complicated.

Re:Remember! (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20749093)

Apparently I do understand it, and you don't get my point. I'm not arguing about the freedoms, I'm not arguing about the spirit or intent of the GPL. I'm saying it's murky, and I'm saying the FSF engages in spin attempts through word games. Plain and simple, sir.

It's all good, in the end. I expected the zealot masses to rise up and explain to me very carefully how I'm stupid, using bad analogies and seizing on the wrong points. I've dealt with it here for years.

Maybe I want my code to be used Commercially! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748357)

I don't care if my code is used by Megacorp, or Minicorp cause I may not want to write code to do something myself if you already did. If you were not smart enough or cared enough to make a profit your problem. This crap about oooh it can't be used cause you make money B.S. is crap. Copy, Paste, Done with Quota.

Re:Maybe I want my code to be used Commercially! (4, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 years ago | (#20748559)

The GPL isn't about preventing commercial use. If you bothered to read the license(s) you would know that.

It's about preserving users' freedoms. If a commercial entity uses GPL code and distributes that to end users (even paying ones), they're obligated to give them access to the source code. It's that simple. GPLv3 just adds some extra clauses to prevent companies from weaseling around the spirit of these simple terms by using any software patents or the like.

If you don't care about commercial entities taking your code, making changes, distributing it to users, and then refusing to give those users (which may include you) access to their modified code, then release your code under the BSD license, or into the public domain. It's your choice. Stop complaining about other peoples' choices.

Re:Maybe I want my code to be used Commercially! (2, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 years ago | (#20748751)

GPLv1 and v2 look at free software being sidetracked or misused by private interests who want to subvert it to their own goals. What GPLv3 has done is tackled the opposite problem... private interests attempting to subvert GPL'd code by contributing code to a GPL project which has other non-copyright restrictions attached to it (eg, patents). The idea here is that someone can contribute a key piece of code and have a submarine patent on the algorithm. The entire project becomes popular, things are modified over time, and then bam! Patent holder comes out asking everyone who uses that entire codebase for patent fees based on the algorithm they added. Often that bit of code can be replaced, but that's no so easy to do when you're dealing with embedded software already packaged or out in the real world.

Re:Maybe I want my code to be used Commercially! (2, Informative)

huckamania (533052) | about 7 years ago | (#20749163)

It's more likely that a patent infringement would be added unwittingly by a third (or fourth) party. The GPLv3 does what it can, but it can't magically give immunity from patent infringement. Well, except for the case you outlined which is probably the least likely to occur.

Still, SAMBA!

So 6% adoption in a few months. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748365)

It'll be a GPL3 world by 2009? (just pointing out the meaninglessness of these numbers)

Re:So 6% adoption in a few months. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748549)

5.98125% of that 6% is the GNU project. Only 7 actual projects that RMS doesn't have control over the licensing of use the GPL3.

Re:So 6% adoption in a few months. (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 7 years ago | (#20748551)

By 2009? I think a lot of people have strong feelings about not using it.

It's now the Vista of Open Source Licensing.

Oh dear! (4, Insightful)

mmcuh (1088773) | about 7 years ago | (#20748373)

Oh dear! Another rift in the community, etc. Really, how many articles of this type have been posted to Slashdot in the last few weeks?

And the statement "Just 6 percent of developers working with open-source software have adopted the new GNU General Public License version 3" is obviously false, since the vast majority of GPL-licensed software have copyright notices that say that the software is available "under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version" - which includes GPL version 3.

What is this "Evans Data Corporation"? It would be interesting to see any other press releases they have written.

Re:Oh dear! (0, Redundant)

BibelBiber (557179) | about 7 years ago | (#20748421)

A very good reason not to put this kind of "optional" in your license again (whatever you think of v3).

Re:Oh dear! (1)

cromar (1103585) | about 7 years ago | (#20748493)

I am wondering who they are, as well. If it helps, they also did this study [zend.com] about PHP.

Ooh, and here's one [softpedia.com] where they say Linux is gaining ground over Windows in certain areas...

Re:Oh dear! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 7 years ago | (#20748565)

It's not obviously false. The GPLv3 is a more restrictive license, the copyright holder, if he wishes to enforce this higher level of requirements for distribution, must distribute his code under it. It's rather silly to say that since the person wishing to make use of the license can choose a more restrictive (Gplv3) license - what's the point?

The whole point of Gplv3 is that the FSF and several assorted righteous nutjobs thought they would "get one over" on Microsoft. They didn't, but Groklaw and other assorted retards really think they were quite smart about it. Regardless, for a company to be bound by Gplv3 the software they distribute must be explicitly licensed under Gplv3. The "or later" clause only makes sense if the "or later" version is _less_ restrictive, in which case a distributor can point to that clause and the newer, less restrictive version of the GPL as a defense if accused of copyright infringement.

Complicated, I know, and I'm sure you just don't get it.

Re:Oh dear! (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | about 7 years ago | (#20748695)

The "or later" clause only makes sense if the "or later" version is _less_ restrictive, in which case a distributor can point to that clause and the newer, less restrictive version of the GPL as a defense if accused of copyright infringement.
No, the "or later" is important regardless of whether later versions are more or less restrictive. If a piece of code is distributed under "GPL version 2 or, at your option, any later version", you can use parts of it in your own program that you distribute under GPL version 3 or later. You could not do this if the code you wanted to use was licensed under GPL version 2 only.

Re:Oh dear! (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20748743)

Oh dear! Another rift in the community, etc.
Someone should do a study about the correlation between articles predicting a rift in the community and slashdot posters sneaking in goatse'd links. It might make more sense and possibly be more entertaining than the study in TFA.

Re:Oh dear! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748903)

What is this "Evans Data Corporation"? It would be interesting to see any other press releases they have written.
"Our Data in the News [evansdata.com]
The following is a sample of recent articles featuring Evans Data."

Click the links at top of page for more info on your first question.

"Or later" nullifies restrictions (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 7 years ago | (#20749111)

Any project released "under the terms of the GPL v2 or later" gains nothing from GPLv3 since anybody can accept GPLv2 instead, and likely will. This means that all those new restrictions imposed by GPLv3 only apply to those people who want to abide by them, which obviously excludes any company trying to Tivoize that project or sue it for patent infringement. So to state that any "or later" project is now under GPLv3 is definitely incorrect. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and a multilicense project is only as restricted as its least restrictive license.

I'm confused... (1)

packetmon (977047) | about 7 years ago | (#20748375)

'Developers are confused and divided about [the restrictions GPLv3 imposes], with fairly equal numbers agreeing with the restrictions, disagreeing with them, or thinking they will be unenforceable The conundrum... If a packet falls in an OSPF forest of Spanning Tress does it send an ICMP-Unreachable

Re:I'm confused... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 7 years ago | (#20749133)

The conundrum... If a packet falls in an OSPF forest of Spanning Tress does it send an ICMP-Unreachable
I think it actually finds a nice Spanning Tree Loop and lives out the rest of it's days in un-inhibitted tree-swinging bliss.

No need to phone home when you can keep on going forever!

FUD, and not well founded.... (0, Redundant)

nweaver (113078) | about 7 years ago | (#20748381)

The GPLv3 is full of FUD, a lot of it well founded. There is a reason I won't use it, but then even GPLv2 isn't as free as I like (BSD forever, yada yada yada)

This article is also FUD, and unlike other GPLv3 fun, it is NOT well founded.

That 6% are actually using GPLv3 already is not an indication of failure, but a pretty big success, and suprisingly high. That 40% will never touch GPLv3 is not suprising, because how many of them are BSD zealots rather than GPL zealots anyway.

Re:FUD, and not well founded.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748527)

Aren't these the same as the projected adoption rates for Vista?

Re:FUD, and not well founded.... (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 7 years ago | (#20748727)

That 6% are actually using GPLv3 already is not an indication of failure, but a pretty big success, and suprisingly high. That 40% will never touch GPLv3 is not suprising, because how many of them are BSD zealots rather than GPL zealots anyway.

They mostly seem to be Apache zealots, judging by who won the OSS popularity contest that was part of the same survey.

Maybe for Now... (1)

cromar (1103585) | about 7 years ago | (#20748405)

Anyone who pays attention to the discussions on ./ would know there is division of attitudes toward GPLv3. I'm fairly confident it will gain more support, what with the FSF behind it, and as new projects come out.

By the way, anyone have more information about just who exactly the Evans Data Corporation is, and whether they are a respectable source of research? (I noticed this is a press release and not an independent article...)

Evans Data = Marketing Research Firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748583)

Brag list of their clients [evansdata.com] and page includes their address phone numbers. Links to more info on the rest of their site included on the web page. They seem to specialize in doing Marketing Research within the tech community, have they ever talked to anyone here? Opinions?

Re:Maybe for Now... (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#20748745)

anyone who pays attention to the discussions on slashdot will be entertained, but the likelihood of finding out completely accurate and useful information in a comment thread is rather low. I do sometimes find very interesting things, but I've never considered slashdot as a port of call in a software decision process, news, yes, flamewars yes, even intelligent discussions, but that's all.

I changed my project to gpl3 on the day it came out, my software was gpl2.0 or later anyhow, and I wanted to make the change formal, including the new license as text. I'm sure the few people who actually like my software won't feel inhibited by the license.
Its more important for very successful projects with a real risk of being indiscriminately ass raped by proprietary companies. For almost all gpl projects the gpl3 won't make any difference whatsoever.

That won't stop the arguments, but speaking as someone who actually studied the license in detail, I think its a lot better than gpl 2.

I rather suspect that a lot of people who disagree with gpl3 are doing so because they spend their evenings photoshopping Linus Torvalds head to Tam River screenshots, taping it to their monitors and fapping away while the serenity soundtrack plays in the background.

There you go, a reasoned response, didn't I do well :-)

No Margin of Error (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 7 years ago | (#20748449)

The survey was based on in-depth interviews with 380 open source developers and no estimated margin of error was given.


No doubt because it wasn't a random sample in the first place, so a "margin of error", which reflects the sampling error, would be meaningless.

Re:No Margin of Error (1)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | about 7 years ago | (#20748515)

If you replace all instances of "GPLv3" in the article summary with "Microsoft Vista" this would be a repeat of an article a a couple months ago.

Re:No Margin of Error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748697)

It was a random sample of Open Source developers. If they had sampled Free Software developers, I am sure GPLv3 would have fared better.

Previous post.. (1)

JCWDenton (851047) | about 7 years ago | (#20748511)

A previous post by a fellow /.-er also on the GPLv3 he outlined how right and wrong and not clearly definable. Im not sure if it was also a humerus attempt but I would really liked to find it again.
It was more or less a list of what to expect in upcoming versions of the GPL.

1. Webservices communicating with the gpl licensed code also need to be opened up.
2...
|
6...

it was truly genius..

statistics (-1, Offtopic)

wwmedia (950346) | about 7 years ago | (#20748513)

98% of all statistics are made up. ~Author Unknown

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. ~Aaron Levenstein

Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable. ~Bobby Bragan, 1963

Statistics can be made to prove anything - even the truth. ~Author Unknown

Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off. ~Paul Brodeur, Outrageous Misconduct

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable. ~Author Unknown

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math. ~Author Unknown

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts - for support rather than for illumination. ~Andrew Lang

One more fagot of these adamantine bandages is the new science of Statistics. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases. ~Theodor Billroth

Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say. ~William W. Watt

Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches. ~W.I.E. Gates

There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up. ~Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy

I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable. ~Mrs. Robert A. Taft

Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture.... ~H.G. Wells, The Undying Fire

The average human has one breast and one testicle. ~Des McHale

While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician. ~Arthur Conan Doyle

A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions. ~M.J. Moroney

Statistics may be defined as "a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty." ~W.A. Wallis

After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, "Lies - damned lies - and statistics," still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of. ~Leonard Courtney, speech, August 1895, New York, "To My Fellow-Disciples at Saratoga Springs," printed in The National Review (London, 1895) (Thank you, Mark)

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." ~Mark Twain, autobiography, 1904 (but, as yet no actual record of this under Disraeli's authorship)

The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus. ~Laplace, Théorie analytique des probabilités, 1820

I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live. ~Louis D. Brandeis

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic. ~Joe Stalin, comment to Churchill at Potsdam, 1945

I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone - the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity. ~George Gallup

Vista-ization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748523)

GPLv3 is the Vista of Open Source Licenses!
Maybe it's time to coin a new term like Vistafied, or Vistication.

Not a Problem (0, Redundant)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 7 years ago | (#20748545)

This isn't a problem, just a different choice of license. I personally do some LGPL v2 stuff, and won't use v3 since it's revision of LGPL is too restrictive for my tastes, while BSD is too free.

I can't say I'll never use or join a v3 project. It's all a matter of what goals the project has.

Not everyone wants to follow the full-blown Stallman ideas of socialist software but still wants to publicly collaborate and protect copyright. Others want to follow the BSD model, and some are into the full-blown over-the-top protectionist idea of proprietary code.

GPL-2 vs GPL-3 just like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20748555)

Fidel Castro vs. Fidel Castro's son.

Fud-mongering (5, Funny)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | about 7 years ago | (#20748577)

Only 6% of developers...have adopted GPLv3...Two-thirds say they will not be adopting GPLv3 anytime in the next year, and 43% say they will never implement the new license

Interesting to compare this "shunning" with Vista [slashdot.org] :

less than 2% of UK-based firms have already upgraded all their desktops to Windows Vista. Just shy of 5% said that they have begun a Windows Vista desktop upgrade program. 6.5% said they will upgrade in the next 6 months; 12.6% in the next 12 months; 13% in the next 18 months; and 18% in the next two years

Summary : GPLv3 is more popular than Vista

Re:Fud-mongering (1)

magictongue (603212) | about 7 years ago | (#20749033)

Setting humor aside, there is lots of FUD being thrown around between the licenses. If one reads both license they are far more similar than different. GPLv3 just adds some clarifications, patent safeguards, and DRM safeguards. Over the years companies and individuals became quite creative in attempting to making open source code, close sourced. This is due mainly through creative reading and rationalizations that most like will not hold in court. Making the license clearer is a benefit since it reduces the attempt to read into it eliminating conflicts and misunderstandings. Just the other day I heard of a company that differentiated between static linking and dynamic linking. They argued that by dynamic linking the work is no longer derived. Hence, one can take open source code, compile it into a dynamic library, and then disregard the GPL. I am curious as to the real reason for the shunning? Is it FUD, do the developers have a real grievance, or are developers simply procrastinating.

Vista? (4, Funny)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#20748625)

You mean the GPL3 is the Microsoft Vista of the open source licensing world?

Re:Vista? (0, Troll)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 7 years ago | (#20749019)

Vista was just the marketing codename for that operating system.

Didn't you hear that Microsoft announced yesterday that the official designation for the OS is "XP, Millenium+7 Edition"?

Re:Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20749151)

That's what the FUD-sters who wrote this article would have you believe.

GNU and Samba (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | about 7 years ago | (#20748669)

All things GNU are going GPLv3, as is Samba. That's a pretty big and influential body of code, and it hasn't been established under the new license for very long. I'd give it time and I think you'll find version 2 will become more of a minority license. It could take years, and it will never be 100%, but I'd hardly call it a rift.

Why I don't like the GPL3 (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#20748699)

Much of my programming knowledge (especially API usage) came from looking at source code (this was before "Open Source" and the GPL was so popular). I was interested in learning and using, not redistributing, so the license didn't matter. Heck, once I learned assembly language, I didn't even need the source code.

I personally prefer a BSD-style license. For some purposes, a GPL (never closable) license is preferable. I think we've all heard the arguments enough times. But the GPL 3 isn't about sharing code, it's about enforcing a philosophy that I don't agree with.

Gee duh. (2, Insightful)

heli_flyer (614850) | about 7 years ago | (#20748711)

The basic problem with this article is that it confuses Open Source with Free Software. They probably polled BSD, MSPL, Mozilla, etc developers and asked if they were planning to switch to the GPLv3, and as would be expected, most said "no". To me, it's just the obvious restated as something insightful.

shunnnnnnn (1)

Raleel (30913) | about 7 years ago | (#20748779)

shuuunnnnnnnnn the non-believer! shuuuuunnnnnnnna

First Charlie the Unicorn and now GPL3 (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | about 7 years ago | (#20748789)

What's next?

Pale-faced android... and TPS reports. (1)

fo0bar (261207) | about 7 years ago | (#20748803)

I first read "[Evans Data's CEO said]" as "[Even Data's CEO said]".

"Yeah.... I'm going to have to ask you to stay on duty an extra shift... Oh, and if you could Make It So, that'd be great. Yeah...."

The takeup is actually pretty strong (0)

ribuck (943217) | about 7 years ago | (#20748805)

A six percent takeup in a few months is pretty strong, and one-third of those polled haven't ruled out adopting it in the next year. Give it a few more years, and I think GPLv3 will be the dominant GPL version.

After all, how many projects still use GPL version 1?

Re:The takeup is actually pretty strong (2, Informative)

phantomlord (38815) | about 7 years ago | (#20748925)

After all, how many projects still use GPL version 1?

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
Version 1, February 1989

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
Version 2, June 1991

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
Version 3, 29 June 2007
Mind to venture a guess how many non-FSF/GNU projects were created in the 28 months that the GPLv1 was the current license versus how many projects were created in the 16 years that the GPLv2 was the current license? Predicting the dominance of the GPLv3 based on the current usage of GPLv1 is a little disingenuous.

As for the GPLv3 being the dominate license in a few years, I've read that RMS already wants to get a GPLv4 out soon. If it's within the next 3 years, the GPLv3 will barely have time to catch on and the rapid license changes will make the GPL look unstable to non-FSF zealots.

Re:The takeup is actually pretty strong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20749061)

I hope not. It's draconian idealism from an egotistical leader personified and adopted by zealots. Given the choice between GPLv2 and GPLv3, if GPLv2 is abandoned, I hope a widespread adoption of GPLv3 kills off FOSS.

So, RMS may have found the limit (1)

GroundBounce (20126) | about 7 years ago | (#20748853)

That's his job.

But does this actually mean anything? (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 7 years ago | (#20748949)

43% will never use GPLv3. How does this compare to the number who will never use GPLv2 either (ie, the BSD folks)?

23% might use GPLv3, but not this year. Because there's really no reason to rush and/or the "improvement" might just not be worth the hassle of relicensing.

Using GPLv3 scares away twice as many people as it attracts. Using it instead of what? If this wasn't specified then people are probably comparing it to their "normal" license, in which case BSD people will be scared away and GPL people mostly won't care.

Only 6% have adopted GPLv3. Because really, what's the rush?

Really, I don't see that this says much of anything. They should ask better questions next time.

Uh... (1)

Keyper7 (1160079) | about 7 years ago | (#20749085)

GPLv3 is controversial because it imposes restrictions on what you can do with programs implemented under this license.

Isn't that what licenses usually do?

I know the rest of the paragraph clarifies what he meant, but isolating this sentence was not a very good idea.

Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20749125)

2/3 (~66.67%) + 43% + 6% > 100%

Linus is right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20749145)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

Who TF is Evans Data? (1)

LorenzoV (106795) | about 7 years ago | (#20749157)

I have no idea who Evans Data is, but the report referenced by the article reminds me a lot of the studies that Microsoft has paid for. As in: "He who pays the piper calls the tune".

Even if the data are correct, I'd suggest that there simply has not been sufficient time since GPL3 has come into being for new releases, hence new licensing, to have adopted it.

Of course, YMMV, ICBW, and all that.
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