[clug-talk] Article on Licensing

Robert Lewko lewkor at telus.net
Tue Nov 23 05:26:25 PST 2004

On November 23, 2004 08:44 pm, Niels Voll wrote:
> Not sure if you noticed - I didn't make a case for or against the GPL or
> BSD style licensing - I was just trying to say, that forking is not a
> consequence of licensing.
> Come to think of it, I think the whole argument GPL vs. BSD may be a bit
> of a waste of energy. I think they both have their place (just like
> closed source needs to stick around to a degree). Plurality is good !
> Isn't it much more important to discuss for example the implications of
> software patents rather than to have sibling squabbles between BSD and GPL?

I can see a definite need to be clearer in my thought processes.

What I really meant was the effects of forking.  With a GPL project, forks may 
be possible, but the contributors are what make the project a success.  If 
both flourish then wonderful, but I think that history shows that one branch 
or the other will more successful.

The important thing is that noone can make  one branch private, support it 
with lots of money/power make it popular and essentially hijack the project 
permanently with all the dangers that that implies.

In an ideal world, software infrastructure (authentication protocols, 
communication protocols, OS's, etc.) would not be able to be controlled by 
one entity or group whose purpose is to limit the power of others to 
interoperate with their software (did you hear that MS?).  There are so many 
reasons that this is a good thing that I cannot name them all!  In my mind 
the best way to do that is to use a licence that limits the power of any one 
entity to restrict access to the code.  That's the GPL!

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