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

Re: A softer GPL?

Author:Eric Kidd
Posted:8/24/2000; 11:14:47 AM
Topic:A softer GPL?
Msg #:20105 (In response to 20084)
Prev/Next:20104 / 20106

The GPL is the definitive open source license agreement.

Sort of. :-)

The GPL (and the "Lesser GPL") are fairly definitive. But the X/BSD/MIT/etc licenses are used by many major projects: XFree86, FreeBSD, sendmail, bind, and so forth. Perl, Python and Apache all use fairly similar licenses, too.

So if you think the GPL is too restrictive, you're not alone.

The GPL recitals got me really angry, such disrespect for my profession.

Same here, actually. It was really angry for about two years, until I first used RMS's software on a regular basis. If he hadn't written so much good code, I would never have forgiven him for some of his remarks.

It's weird, isn't it? I've forgiven another programmer for feeling that way, but I'd never forgive a user who made the same arguments.

Full disclose: I've worked briefly with Stallman, I respect him, he makes me very uneasy, and I disagree with him. Yes, I am confused. :-)

And now I wonder about developers who release stuff under the GPL. "They seem like honorable people. How could they agree with the recitals?"

Do they?

In my experience, not everyone who uses the license accepts the politics. The GPL tends to protect developers from outright exploitation, and I know many people who use it for that reason alone.

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.

Do you just want a "no-outage" license? Or did you have something special in mind?


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