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GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the taking-great-liberties dept.

GNU is Not Unix 808

itwbennett writes "Use of the GPL, LGPL, and AGPL set of licenses is declining at an accelerating rate, according to new analysis by the 451 Group's Matthew Aslett. In fact, the 451 Group projects that GPL usage will hit 50% by September 2012. Instead, developers are licensing projects under permissive licenses such as the MIT, Apache (ASL), BSD, and Ms-PL. The shift started in 2007 and has been gathering momentum ever since. Blogger Brian Proffitt posits that 'the creation of the GPLv3 and the sometimes contentious discussion that led up to it' may be partly responsible for the move away from the GPL."

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BSD license was always more permissive, so great (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409764)

GPL caused too many problems for companies and tried to enforce all software to be open source. GPL itself was very restrictive license, and it's great to see more open licenses like BSD and Apache gaining usage fast.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409786)

I don't see why anyone would not want to use the GPL if they want their software to be free and open. Why create something, give it out for free, and then allow businesses to take your work, profit from it, and give nothing back? Maybe these developers are hoping to get bought out by a large company someday?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409808)

Why create something, give it out for free, and then allow businesses to take your work, profit from it, and give nothing back?

Because if you truly want to promote freedom and free code, you also have to let people to profit from it. Freedom isn't picking who gets to enjoy that "freedom" based on some rules.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (4, Insightful)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409824)

Exactly. It's like saying you have freedom of speech but you can only say what I want to hear.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410032)

It's more like having freedom of speech, but anyone who feels like it can revoke it. GPL doesn't restrict freedom, it enforces freedom.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410162)

It's more like having freedom of speech, but anyone who feels like it can revoke it. GPL doesn't restrict freedom, it enforces freedom.

Yeah, except a company which decides to use and modify open source software without giving back does not revoke anyone else' right to the code... so, in other words, it's not like that at all.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410194)

No, it's like saying you have freedom of speech, and if you want to use it you must also let other have freedom of speech.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409852)

Red Hat seems to have no problem profiting while selling mostly-GPL'ed code...

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0, Troll)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409874)

Are you familiar with the phrase "the exception that proves the rule" (and its etymology)?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0, Flamebait)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410048)

And the biggest abuser of GPL? Anyone? Yes, you are right, it is GOOGLE.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410146)

Sorry, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Which google product are you accusing?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410158)

I'm aware that it's a legal term, not a physical or natural law.

Does 38 have to be prime to prove the rule that there are no even primes greater than three?

So tell me, o mighty spouter of clichés, what the fuck your statement has it to do with the question at hand?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409888)

I can profit while using GPL code. I simply can't take and not give back.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409916)

>I simply can't take and not give back.
Unless you don't distribute it. In which case you can do exactly that.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410080)

>I simply can't take and not give back.
Unless you don't distribute it. In which case you can do exactly that.

Just like Google does. And GPL doesn't prevent any of that, while it's essentially the same. Google also improves upon GPL'd software, but just because it's server side they don't need to give it away. You're working towards Google profiting while they have no need to give anything back. They aren't distributing the code, but end result is essentially the same.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409980)

The problem with that claim is that it's not even remotely true. For example, consider Google. They have their own private fork of Linux (GPLv2) which includes things like their own filesystem. Some changes are contributed back to the community because maintaining them in a private fork costs more than the loss of competitive advantage from sharing them. Some are kept private, because the scales tip the other way.

In contrast, Yahoo uses a private fork of FreeBSD on a lot of their systems. They employ several FreeBSD developers and contribute a lot of changes back if doing so won't give away a serious competitive advantage, but they keep some things private.

One project has a permissive license, the other has a strong copyleft license, but the behaviour of downstream users is identical in both cases. The GPL doesn't stop you using, modifying, or profiting from the code without giving anything back, it only prevents you from refusing to share the source for your modifications with anyone who receives a binary.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410094)

The problem with that claim is that it's not even remotely true.

Err, it is true. Perhaps I wasn't specific enough, and the response before yours acknowledges the only case in which it is true.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410144)

And even that is not wholly correct. Perhaps this works best:

I can profit while using GPL software. I simply cannot close the source code as a means of forcing my customers into a dependency on me. Which is why the GPL was created in the first place.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410116)

So if I invent a robot with my own ai code but it uses GPL apis and links can I sell them? Nope

Thats redistributing. What if I onvested 5,000,000 making the code? Whoops competitors now use my code and undercut me because they didnt have to invest the 5,000,000. I go out of business.

Google gets a free ride because they are not redistributing. For everyone else who makes smart appliances you are screwed. Small business owners are too. You cant sell your company as that too counts as redistribution. People blasted Bill Gates for calling it viral but he has a point. If it links to gpl you dont own it.

Just google router xompanies? Gnu went after them

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410152)

Their own filesystem implemented in the Linux kernel? Maybe your sources are better than mine, but I doubt it. If you're talking about GFS, what I have heard is that it is implemented in user mode, not the kernel. Wikipedia also says this.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409890)

What about the freedom to profit? It is a right for people to want to make money and why is that bad? Student loans, kids, retirement, and a car are considered basic rights and responsibilities. Aint got no money? Then you cant have any of it? Cry all you want but the grocery store doesnt care that you do great things for humanity when your kids are hungry. They just want your money.

So your rights if you own the code are important too. Thats life

Yes I advocate the BSD license.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

Filter (6719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410034)

gpl first freedom (0):
"the freedom to use the software for any purpose"

"we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can."
from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

The cost of distributing someone else's gpl work is licensing your derivative work under the same license. The face up fairness of this deal is what appeals to so many developers. Every license has rules.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410092)

Heh, but I don't want to, which is why I write GPL3 code.

The GPL lets me ensure payment in some form. Either I get source, or I can possibly get money in exchange for a different license.

If you're not happy with that, then of course I don't get anything, but since there's nothing in it for me if I let you use my code without benefitting from it, it doesn't really make a difference.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409832)

For personal use, not everyone is in it for the money. <shrug>

And as far as the political aspects, to most companies GPL == toxic, and they don't care about the details.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409934)

In my previous job I had customers who were deathly afraid of GPL to the point where they would not allow me as their supplier to use any open source code in the products I supplied regardless of what the license was or if it saved money.

For these people anyway GPL was a real impediment to the acceptance of open source.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409978)

Yes, I've heard similar stories many times in recent years. You see small companies that don't want anything to do with it because they're afraid of risks they don't fully understand. And you see large companies that don't want anything to do with it because their legal departments are well aware of the risks and issue company-wide bans, and you don't argue with company-wide bans from Legal.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410030)

to most companies GPL == toxic

In my experience, it's a little bit more complex than that. To most companies, the GPL is complicated. They can almost certainly use GPL'd code without violating the license, but their lawyers aren't 100% certain. Their lawyers are certain that they can use BSD licensed code without violating the license. Their lawyers are also certain that they can use proprietary code without violating the license, because they get a license that explicitly permits them to do what they want.

I've seen several cases of the GPL driving companies to buy proprietary solutions: given the choice between buying a proprietary license and using free GPL'd code, they'll pick the proprietary solution and limit their (perceived) liability. If there's a BSD licensed alternative, they'll use that and quite often contribute changes back (after all, it's usually cheaper than maintaining a private fork).

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409884)

Probably because they want their software to be used. I'm running a one man LLC and for my current work, if something relies on GPL then I simply can't use it. I do plan on making my work open source, but on my own time and schedule -- my plan is one to two years after initial release to make that version or an improved version open source. That gives me time to make money off my work (and clean up my code), while hopefully helping other devs out. Not to mention that certain parts of my code may not be legally able to be released due to platform restrictions. Using GPL code means my plan goes out the window, so GPL code can go sit off in its corner and chew its toenails as far as I'm concerned.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2)

Balial (39889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409904)

Some developers are very happy to have their work included in something and used widely. BSD makes companies include an acknowledgement of the use of your work, so you can know you made that project happen. Presumably, if a lot of money is being made by some company that includes your free software, you've helped build something cool that people want. I think a lot of developers see GPL as a "taking my toys and going home" license which discourages free use. If you weren't going to make a million dollar idea with your software, why stop someone else?

Do you get the cash? No. Are your motives really that good if you opened your software only to make money? No. Does a commercial venture using your code prevent free projects from springing up around your work and building the same things as you could if you'd GPL'd it? No.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409914)

I don't see why anyone would not want to use the GPL if they want their software to be free and open. Why create something, give it out for free, and then allow businesses to take your work, profit from it, and give nothing back? Maybe these developers are hoping to get bought out by a large company someday?

Probably, not everyone values the freedoms in the same way. Some people do open source and/or Free software purely out of self-interest. Say I really don't want to develop some software, but I really want/need that software because existing solutions don't really meet my needs. So, I create an open source project, not because I want my code Free, but purely because I want other people to help maintain it. Now, some company might come along and commercialize the code. But, from my perspective, this is great. I didn't really want to lead the project in the first place. I'd rather keep using the free version, or pay a little bit for the paid version. Also, if I later want to sell out, that is good for me.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (4, Insightful)

l00sr (266426) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409954)

Agreed. I think the shift has occurred because of increasing corporate interest in open source. BSD is seen as more corporate-friendly than GPL, when in fact it should be the other way around--BSD allows your competitors to reap the fruit of your labor without giving you anything in return. Start-ups, however, are lured by the idea of being able to close-source everything once their product becomes a smash hit, while established companies face genuine legal issues preventing them from linking GPL'ed code with closed-source code from vendors.

So, start-ups really need to ditch the bait-and-switch fantasy that's driving them towards the BSD. Back in the real world, most such start-ups will fail long before they ever create a popular enough product to pull this trick, and it will partially be due to the fact that they brilliantly gave away all their work to their closed-source competitors for absolutely nothing in return.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409956)

The GPL isn't a license so much as a political agenda. You can summarize it in a couple sentences, but sit down and actually read the whole thing some time.

Many companies use software internally. They take that work, profit from it, and give nothing back. How is the GPL any better than BSD under that scenario?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2, Interesting)

syzler (748241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409970)

I need to make a living and am currently doing that by writing iPhone apps. GPL is fine in an idealistic world, however people are not idealistic and do not give you money for being a nice guy. When I release software as open source (https://github.com/bindle/BindleKit), I do it to be helpful to others. The GPL greatly restricts the ability of some one to use my software. Just because one developer uses my library in a proprietary application does not exclude another developer for using my library as well. What is the point of software being called open source when it is not usable by developers?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410012)

If you made something that could make you a fortune, pay for your house, student loans, and a company of your own then you would understand why.

Case in point? Look at earlier this week when someone invented something with cameras that no one else could do in /. stories? Problem was the toolkit is under GPL. How is that fair? There work was worth money but the GPL forced them to give away the algorithms to conpetitors so a whole clone of the toolkit was needed.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410104)

How is that fair?

How isn't it fair? They didn't make the toolkit, and they agreed to the license. They should've used something else if they didn't want that to happen (too bad for them if it doesn't exist).

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409788)

everything has pros and cons, we can have something good for "economics" but bad for society as a whole

That is what happens with GPL and BSD

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409812)

RMS for some reason wants to kill all GPL projects.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1, Insightful)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409836)

there would be no pirates with pure GPL software, technology is supposed to be for the good of all, not to enrich a few guys.

And yes, I know I'm being utopic, but that is true

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409872)

there would be no pirates with pure GPL software

Wow, that's the first convincing argument against GPL I've heard.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410018)

Right, because obviously nobody would redistribute GPL code without complying with the requirements. Give me a few minutes whilst I laugh at you for missing the cases where that's happened. Probably the first one to pop to mind was Pornview a graphics viewer that ultimately did just that.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410062)

Yes there would. Compile a program, give a less-computer-literate friend a copy of the binary. Don't give them the source, because they've no need of it (and can grab it from upstream if they really need it). Forget to include a written offer good for three years to provide the source. You've just violated the GPL, meaning that you have no license to distribute the software, and are therefore a committing copyright infringement (or 'piracy' in the vernacular).

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409854)

I have yet to see any evidence that GPL creates more benefit for society than any other FOSS licence. Can you provide anything?

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410036)

Perhaps the fact that all these new, fancy mobile devices running Android have kernel sources available. I'm sure if it were BSD we wouldn't see anything, and hacking them to do as we wish would be considerably more difficult.

Of course, this is my opinion and you are free to reject it as "invalid" if you see fit.

That maybe isn't even the core question (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410068)

One reason to be for the GPL as a FOSS license is that it is there.
There often are problems with merging code and projects under different licenses,
and having more of them, isn't better.

2nd answer:
Not all popular licenses are FOSS licenses.
The BSD license is a permissive license.
Calling it a business license would be as sensible.

3rd answer:
Many good intentions have been invested in the GPL.
It is a license with a concept behind it.

BSD greatly benefited society. (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409900)

everything has pros and cons, we can have something good for "economics" but bad for society as a whole

That is what happens with GPL and BSD

False. BSD has been incredibly good for society. UC Berkeley's sharing of their implementation of Unix is the very origin of the FOSS movement. BSD is where many original Linux developers learned how to do their thing. And where many Linux developers, to this day, find some pretty useful code.

Society generally benefits from the more open and more flexible approaches. Society usually does not benefit as much from the "this is the one and only true path" approach of the zealot.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409922)

It might be, but from my perspective I think it is not. If you are developing a library, it's IMO better to not to have it GPL'ed. Actually, GPL libraries are used mostly from commercial providers , a variant of 'free for non-commercial use'. If you want to make society better with your software, do it LGPL or BSD or something like it; then ANYBODY can use it for ANY project; not only free (or some more-or-less-private) project. If more people can use it, it's better for the society than if less people can use it.

As for patches being brought back - because there is a cost involved in maintaining libraries, I believe the commercial use is giving back the patches to the community; unless they did a major rewrite - in which case the 'loss' to the community is limited, because they would have written the library completely by themselves if the license didn't allow them to rewrite it and keep it private.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409798)

The alternative licenses mostly give you more freedom to make money. Making money with the GPL requires a LOT more diligence since v3 came out. But at least they won the battle...

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409906)

Because the only way to make money is to take open source software and ensure that the recipients of your modified version cannot have the source code? Or that the source code must absolutely be integrated deeply into yours?

Making money with the GPL requires a LOT more diligence since v3 came out.

I know, those pesky anti-DRM requirements sure make it hard to squeeze your users for money.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410130)

Because the only way to make money is to take open source software and ensure that the recipients of your modified version cannot have the source code?

Don't be ridiculous!

As Richard Stallman's personal example proves, you can also get MacArthur Fellowship grants, work in academia, and get paid to lecture and sleep on other people's couches wherever you go.

Or that the source code must absolutely be integrated deeply into yours?

And again, you are being ridicuous!

Look at the huge numbers of integrated development environments and graphical debuggers that have arisen around gdb because you don't need deep integration, and gdb itself lends itself so readily to use as a modular component via popen(3)! Why do you think it has such a sophisticated and useful macro command language, with stack variables and the ability to do shadow state locally, rather than forcing you to allocate memory on the target to store string variables?

Oh wait. Perhaps that was not the best example of a GPL'ed product from the FSF itself which can be used modularly in other software...

-- Terry

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409886)

I agree.

In my view, BSD is real free software. You give it to the world for anyone to benefit or even profit from, as long as they give you credit for it.

GPL not only forces the user to give away their work too, but is too "viral" a license for my liking. I understand the principles behind it, and it has given us so much, but I always feel it comes at the price of personal liberty.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409988)

Right on. BSD is the real free software license.

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409912)

I think it's more related to the Political BS around GPL and the GPL3 stuff

Maybe one needs a 'new GPL' something in the spirit of it, but as simple (or at least as simple as possible) as the BSD

I understand why would someone use the GPL versus the BSD, except that for somethings it really doesn't matter

Re:BSD license was always more permissive, so grea (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410164)

The freedom to deny others the same freedoms you enjoy is not part of a free society.

GPLv3 threw out the baby with the bathwater... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409810)

When companies realized that if they ship GPL v3 code in any way, shape, or form, a customer could demand any trade secrets from them, the legal bean counters went nuts.

An example would be a machine that skins oranges. Any GPL v3 code used in the machine would force the maker to hand over to customers on request the CAD blueprints for the mechanisms, the timing involved, down to the color of the engineer farts when the thing is put together.

I personally have seen companies who had to re-engineer a whole embedded controller from Linux to Windows CE just so they did not bump into GPL v3 issues.

Re:GPLv3 threw out the baby with the bathwater... (3, Informative)

mossholderm (570035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409828)

"I personally have seen companies who had to re-engineer a whole embedded controller from Linux to Windows CE just so they did not bump into GPL v3 issues."

Too bad for them, since most of Linux isn't GPL v3. The kernel certainly isn't and huge portions of userspace aren't either... ESPECIALLY in the embedded space, where people use slimmer versions of things like libc.

Bull! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409840)

Linux is not under GPLv3. Never has been. Never will be. What you speak is nonsense.

Re:Bull! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410096)

When people say 'Linux' they usually mean Linux-and-all-of-the-associated-cruft. Typically this at least includes GNU libc, GNU binutils, and GNU coreutils (which, between them, are more code than the kernel), and typically the GNU shell (bash) and GNU libstdc++. All of these have no moved to GPLv3 (in some cases with the runtime exemption). Remove them, and even though you still have 'Linux' you don't have a system that can run any of your existing code.

Re:GPLv3 threw out the baby with the bathwater... (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409924)

and of course that was more profitable than actually being competitive :D nice

Re:GPLv3 threw out the baby with the bathwater... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410108)

And yet trade secrets are just like patents and copyrights in that their main purpose is to keep the competition out in the cold.

Companies that reject the GPL are doing so out of spite for end user freedom, or fear of same from competitors.

Re:GPLv3 threw out the baby with the bathwater... (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410110)

I personally have seen companies who had to re-engineer a whole embedded controller from Linux to Windows CE just so they did not bump into GPL v3 issues.

Which seems to be examples of poor decision making as Linux has remained on GPL v2 and there are no plans to change its status. This is a little ironic as I believe one motivating factor was the "Tivo-isation" of Linux in a certain brand of set top boxes/ recorders

Corollary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409820)

Blogger Brian Proffitt posits that 'the creation of the GPLv3 and the sometimes contentious discussion that led up to it' may be partly responsible for the move away from the GPL."

Also, it may not be.

Communism always fails eventually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409822)

It's a rule.

Fuck3R (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409830)

prospects are Whether you BSD has always irreco7erable The project to Fear the reaper SLING you can

Film at 11. (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409834)

Wait... something heavily steeped in politics, flamewars, and cult of personality might not be as popular as something that "just works"? Whoa.

Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1, Interesting)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409842)

the creation of the GPLv3 and the sometimes contentious discussion that led up to it' may be partly responsible for the move away from the GPL.

I'm in business to make money. I also love OSS and have spent literally hundreds of hours personally contributing back in many different ways. The problem with GPLv3 is that I can't use it in an application I develop unless I release any changes/mods I make to the source code.

That's my secret sauce. If I'm a startup and trying to form a niche in an industry, why would I want to give my recipe away?

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409876)

The problem with GPLv3 is that I can't use it in an application I develop unless I release any changes/mods I make to the source code.

That was true with the GPLv2 as well.

That's my secret sauce. If I'm a startup and trying to form a niche in an industry, why would I want to give my recipe away?

Boo hoo, so write it yourself. Why is it every complaint against the GPL seems to come from those who want to mooch and not contribute?

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409938)

>Boo hoo, so write it yourself. Why is it every complaint against the GPL seems to come from those who want to mooch and not contribute?

why is it that every GPL fanatic thinks that unless you're willing to give everything away for free at the drop of a hat, that you necessarily are a non-contibuting mooch? oh yeah .... "fanatic". nm ...

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (0)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409968)

why is it that every GPL fanatic thinks that unless you're willing to give everything away for free at the drop of a hat

Why is it that every Anonymous Coward troll thinks that they're entitled to the efforts of others for free?

a non-contibuting mooch

Because the first thing the whine about is having to contribute their changes back. They absolutely don't want to do what the GPL requires, and they whine about it.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410120)

Why is it that every Anonymous Coward troll thinks that they're entitled to the efforts of others for free?

WTF? AC trolls are very diverse. Some of us are very commited to contributing to the community and just like to combine that with posting Goatse links. So don't tar us all with the same brush.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410006)

We're not saying you have to use the GPL. We're saying if you want to use GPL code, then you have to give back to the community. We're also saying, why release the code at all if you don't want to help build the community? Giving your code away and letting other people sell it without also contributing back to the code base is pointless.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409960)

That is why GPL is declining. GPL is too restrictive for most to make money from it. So they don't use it.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410002)

Proof? Any?

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410100)

It's not that. The reason GPL is problematic is that it's all too easy to copy and paste a couple of lines of code out of some open source project into something you're working on. If it's under a BSD license, no problem. If it's under a GPL license, you're screwed. For this reason, the safest default policy for big corporations is to deny all use of GPLed software to remove the temptation.

The result of this is that folks working for those companies are less likely to spend time working on GPLed projects. More importantly, because those companies are not bringing in GPLed source from the outside, they are no longer forced to use that license for their own code. The net effect is that less GPLed code gets produced.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (0)

vinehair (1937606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410112)

The problem with GPLv3 is that I can't use it in an application I develop unless I release any changes/mods I make to the source code.

That was true with the GPLv2 as well.

That's my secret sauce. If I'm a startup and trying to form a niche in an industry, why would I want to give my recipe away?

Boo hoo, so write it yourself. Why is it every complaint against the GPL seems to come from those who want to mooch and not contribute?

Why is it every shout of 'write it yourself' to people saying that the GPL viral source-release 'feature' has downsides, seem to come over the internet, presumably created with dozens of individual pieces of software they did not write, on hardware they did not manufacture, by people in houses they did not bit, fed by food they did not grow, in a society they did not create and perhaps, not even contributed to? I'm using extremes to be a dick, but my point stands - there is a phrase 'standing on the shoulders of giants,' and yes, that applies to industry and producing a profit, using technologies and concepts that, surprise, may not have been invented by them, but merely refined and targeted. If someone says that a particular license is not suitable for them, why the pithy 'boo-hoo' response? Pithy is indeed the word I have to use to describe much of the open-source movement.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410140)

Moochers with big legal muscles.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409946)

Umm, that is entirely the whole point of the GPL. Why should you be distributing other people's code without abiding by the conditions they did?

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

mossholderm (570035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410050)

Because typically what you are saying is incorrect. If you are writing an application, you are usually free to choose any license you like. LGPL was created so that you can link against libraries without worrying about giving up your secret sauce. The glibc library is an example of this. Granted, you need to take care, in some people's minds, to avoid GPL'd libraries, but it is your choice to use or not use GPL'd libraries.

Don't like it? Don't use them.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410124)

The sad thing is that if EVERYONE gave up their secret sauce you'd have an army of chefs improving it into perfection.

The problem with utopias is that they are fragile.

All it takes is one maverick defecting against everyone else to turn a utopia into an oppressive monopoly.

Re:Fine with me, GPLv3 sucks for business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410160)

Lies lies lies. GPLv3 doesn't mean you cannot keep your changes private. v3 merely stops companies stealing code to use in embedded systems and not let the user / device owner have access to the code. All GPL code can stay private.

Nice try Mr. PantsOnFire.

Visual Flash (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409850)

... of Richard Stallman shedding a tear with text below: Forever alone.

What projects are they measuring? (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409862)

From the article, it isn't clear to me what criteria they used to include projects in their survey. It would be interesting to know the numbers based on impact of the project -- a zillion little drivers released under BSD could skew the results.

Wasn't GPL *intended* to be transitionary? (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409896)

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure you will), but wasn't the point of the GPL to enforce the rules of open-source while it was still emerging? The idea was that open-source projects would be more vulnerable when the open-source movement was new, and it would be more likely that some company would take BSD-licensed code and not just release it as their own, but be able to effectively relegate the open-source one to a small niche of irrelevancy. Now that pretty much every company takes open source seriously, it's not as necessary - if someone were to take Firefox, tweak the branding, and release it as their own commercial product, they wouldn't be able to take all the marketshare Firefox has simply by virtue of being a "real" company, not "a bunch of open-source basement-dwelling commie nerds".

Re:Wasn't GPL *intended* to be transitionary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409952)

So was communism, according to Marx.

Re:Wasn't GPL *intended* to be transitionary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410064)

So now that "pretty much every company takes open source seriously", how does that keep companies from Tivo-izing your BSD-licensed code and re-creating Stallman's classic printer driver problem all over again?

Re:Wasn't GPL *intended* to be transitionary? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410072)

Now that pretty much every company takes open source seriously, it's not as necessary

Not according to RMS. He would consider your statement not only false, but a direct endorsement of Microsoft, ritual human sacrifice, and child pornography.

It stopped being about the software (0)

Dhrakar (32366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409926)

Personally, I think that the downhill slide started when the GPL became more about protecting the philosophy and less about protecting the programs. Keeping open source open is all well and good, however, forcing folks to open up their goodies is not good. One person's freedom to share their code is just as valid as another person's freedom not too. Of course, having said that it is important to note that the person who does not share their code is going to have to work that much harder to ensure that their users are getting(and kniw that they are getting) a good,reliable deal. We have all seen examples of both great and sucky closed source and open source software.

Re:It stopped being about the software (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409948)

forcing folks to open up their goodies is not good

What does it force? The only new things in the GPLv3, at least that I recall, was a bar on using it in systems that locked the system down and prevented the user from installing custom built versions of the GPL software.

Re:It stopped being about the software (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410176)

Which strikes an anti DMCA nerve with Big Content folks who don't want to lose the leash they have their users bound by.

Telling a commercial company to use the GPL is like telling an alcoholic to lob a nuke at the brewery.

Companies LOVE screwing their users over, and giving that up is too hard.

mod Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38409940)

wall: *BsD faces a the project to (I always bring my

How is this licence scored? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410004)

One of my projects was released under the WTFPL: http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/ [zoy.org]
 
I'm not exactly sure what this entails other than it releases me from liability if someone else uses it. There are so many hobbyist level projects these days that someone is probably replicating your project's purpose under a different codebase it doesn't really matter what you licence it under - you're lucky to get 2-3 people using your project's code. My other project got released under "the Berkeley licence" simply because my father went to school there years ago, and it was relatively short. Maybe I should make a "free licence roulette" website to help other hobbyist projects pick random licences.
 
TL;DR most hobbyist developers only include a licence as a formality

Re:How is this licence scored? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410074)

TL;DR most hobbyist developers only include a licence as a formality

Caveat: failure to include a license leaves "no redistribution" as the only reasonable answer to license questions.

PHASES !! FROM MBA G. NOME !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410020)

Phase 1. Create software to honor RMS via GPL route !!
Phase 2. ??
Phase 3. Profit !!

Program to honour R.M.S. (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410166)

while(!false) people.select("stallman.richard[middle_letter='m']").hair.comb(combs.grab());

Bad statistics (3, Informative)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410042)

The statistic shows percenage of actual project count, and doesn't anyhow respect the overall usage or size ("importance/weight") of the software.

I'm therefore afraid that the plot is biased by a large amount of tiny projects that are used by 10 people and choose some cc-by-sa alternative because it's simple enough and often a "default" choice.

MS-PL (4, Interesting)

markkezner (1209776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410052)

I see that the Microsoft Public License is grouped in with the other permissive ones like Apache and BSD. Honest question though, is the MS-PL actually a popular choice for non-Microsoft projects? I've never really seen it much, and my intuition says that a decent set of open source devs would be allergic to a Microsoft license.

Its About the Projects Changing (4, Informative)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410070)

Licenses are like programming languages - the right tool for the right job. Some projects - especially those authors want adopted in a business environment - are going to want to go with more permissive licenses. A trend like this says that more and more projects feel they need to be more permissive, not that people are abandoning the GPL. The question becomes why do they need to be more permissive? I'd wager a guess that it has a lot to do with the number of corporations involves in supporting, expanding, and creating open source applications. As for myself, my next two projects are going to be using GPL 2 - but then again corporate adoption of my software is not a goal.

Economy (2)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410102)

I would have to imagine that the more the economy goes into the toilet the more independent developers (that may now be unemployed) and corporations (that may be struggling financially) are choosing to profit from their work to stay alive. The GPL and LGPL license terms have been taking a beating recently, but the acceleration of their potential demise may also be due in part to the realities of our current, global economic condition.

GPL best for services (1)

etresoft (698962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410142)

GPL is best for companies using it as a service. They can take the GPL'ed code, make proprietary changes to it, and then use that software to sell services and/or advertising to people using free services. This is the best way to profit from GPL. As long as they aren't "copying" the GPL'ed software, they have no obligation to release any changes or derived software.

Even the BSDs are not completely GPL-free yet (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38410150)

However, they're trying to get rid of GPL software in the src tree [freebsd.org] as fast as they can.

Propaganda disguised as an "article" again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38410198)

This text has noting to do with reality, and is all skewed and twisted with the point of directing our behavior in a certain direction. (Well, all communication is, a bit. But here, it's the only purpose.)

By the way: The problem with licenses is, that they are still a part of the "intellectual property" delusion.
There is only one way to kill that and all the organized crime that feeds off of it: NO license.
But because in reality, this means others taking your code (which itself is obviously OK), but then using "licenses" and their bought criminals in the government to sue YOU.
So to solve that, do the following:

Create a "'NO LICENSE' LICENSE". Which should only say that "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANYTHING WITH THIS CODE. AT ALL. EVER."
This assumes that anyone who didn't fall for the "IP" lie, knows that licenses are by definition nonsense and never enforceable, and hence invalid and void. So we can still use that code freely however we want. But anyone who is retarded enough to have fallen for the lies, will have to adhere to this "license" and never ever use your software. Punishing himself for his stupidity, and giving natural selection a push in the right direction. :)

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