Licensing Open Source in General
roland at netquant.com.br
Mon Feb 18 18:47:24 CST 2002
with the ongoing discussion about this topic has brought me to think about
licensing open source(OS) in general.
I think a broad discussion involving all major OS advocates is long
overdue. I think there should be made a webpage somewhere to start
discussing this topic on a serious basis.
Two important licenses:
Many projects are started with the xGPL nowadays. It just seems natural.
Any other license for open source looks unnatural at first glance. I think
the popularity of Linux has contributed to this. But is the xGPL a good
I think one of the main reason for the xGPL is that developers have the
fear that their project might be hijacked and their work used to make
profit by some companies. As Brett Glass pointed out, this is not a fair
point of view. After all if a companies adds value to a project by creating
new features why shouldn't it be allowed to sell it and make money out of
it? The GPL prevents this from happening but where is the advantage in
that? I think the GPL retricts software development because many good
projects cannot be done by companies because they are not allowed to use
any GPL code as basis of their products. The sad thing is that this affects
mostly small companies. Big companies can allow themselves to reinvent the
wheel, coding everything they need. I think a lot of small businesses could
do money out of open source if the licensing allowed this.
Linus Torvalds wrote:
"But _personally_ I don't want to do
significant work under that kind of copyright and having to wonder
whether the best version of Wine will be free in the future.."
Personally I keep wondering if it would be that bad if we had a company
producing a better version of WINE than the free one. Why should this be
bad? If you don't like it, you still can use the free version. And look at
FreeBSD. AFAIK there is no proprietary version better than the free version.
Apple based his OS X on lots of free software and contributed back a lot:
This wouldn't be possible with Linux I think.
Best regards, Roland
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