Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

A softer GPL?

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/24/2000; 7:38:33 AM
Topic:A softer GPL?
Msg #:20084
Prev/Next:20083 / 20085

I've really enjoyed this discussion so far.

If there's a consensus, here's what I think it is.

The GPL is the definitive open source license agreement.

But it's a little hard on commercial developers. Which is my own POV.

When I was releasing "MacBird" as open source, I read the agreement and said "NO FUCKING WAY" really early in the recitals.

I used the MIT license because it was apolitical and simple and came closest to representing the reasons why I was releasing my code.

The GPL recitals got me really angry, such disrespect for my profession. And now I wonder about developers who release stuff under the GPL. "They seem like honorable people. How could they agree with the recitals?"

So I wonder if the GPL is the place to start. Take its source and take out the poison pills. Come up with another agreement, with credit to the GPL for the inspiration. I'd like to be able to support open source, have a consensus agreement, and make releasing open source a total no-brainer for people who want to do it. Right now, imho, it is not a no-brainer.

Here's a barrier to growth for open source. Remove the barrier and instead of having an Open Source Community, you'll just have the Software Developer Community. In other words, when you open yourself truly, you win totally, and at the same time you disappear. I know that sounds Buddhist and spacy, but I've always thought software had that kind of secret at its core once you cut through all the bullshit.

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