GPL: Freedom or hypocrisy? (19)

1 Name: Citizen : 2007-12-16 00:23 ID:VaZvC5Ws This thread was merged from the former /debate/ board. You can view the archive here.

What do you think, 4-ch, of this controversial open source license?

Its proponents point to how it keeps free/open-source software free by preventing modified versions from being closed-source, say it reflects the attitude of "I'll share, but only if you share, too", and claim that it is responsible for lots of the open source software we have today.

Within the open source community, the GPL has also been criticized for a number of reasons, from the opinion that there's ambiguities in it and it's best not to keep open-source code locked behind uncertainty, to specific criticisms against parts of the license deemed not helpful to freedom, to dismissals of the whole idea as hypocritical. However, the GPL remains the by far most popular open source license. let's discuss it!

2 Name: Citizen : 2007-12-16 02:38 ID:Heaven

GPL is good because I can resell the software :)

3 Name: Citizen : 2007-12-17 12:14 ID:Heaven

You can resell APL-licenced software too.

4 Name: Citizen : 2008-02-11 17:26 ID:9MXttYX0

GPL's good, the only problem is that many people tend to forget about licensing when they find source code. I've seen many a program that blatantly rip off open source projects without so much as mentioning their names, much less following proper protocol.

5 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2008-02-12 18:57 ID:Heaven

Whenever this topic arises I feel apathy. There are plenty of OSS licences to choose from; this is much ado about nothing.

The largest problem with the GPLv2 in my opinion is that it mixes up the legal with philosophy too much. Perhaps they should have cut it into two parts: the actual legalese, and a separate document that explains what it all means.

I like the LGPL and MIT licences a fair bit.

6 Name: High Fructose!nIP2DlX816 : 2008-02-15 18:08 ID:4y2BmjUq

I usually prefer the BSD license, or, if it's a very simple program, to just release my code into the public domain.

For one major project that I undertook with a friend, we used the Eclipse Public License.

I understand the aims of the GPL, and I like the idea, but for my own code, well, I really don't care what you do with it, I'd rather it's just out there and as easily accessible as possible. I really don't care about "credit", I'd be satisfied simply to know that somebody else was getting some use out of my code, and if I don't know, it's not like I'm especially disappointed.


I think there is room for discussion though, given that the GPL is the most popular license, and also there's the GPLv3 controversies...

7 Post deleted.

8 Post deleted.

9 Name: Citizen : 2008-02-23 09:04 ID:XjPiqsQJ

Why not just always use public domain?

10 Name: Citizen : 2008-02-23 20:57 ID:Heaven

Because then someone can take your code and patent it.

11 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2008-02-23 22:48 ID:Heaven

I can't tell if you're serious or not, >>10.

12 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2008-11-17 00:08 ID:Heaven

Fuck the GPL. I use this license for all my projects.

13 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-10-19 04:13 ID:Y4zKAlqf

The GPL is here to force companies into sharing their modifications of source code. That's the theory.

In practice, companies don't modify GPL code, they just want to copy-paste it, but they can't because it's GPL, so they either: hide it, or get another piece of code.

With BSD, that wouldn't happen.

14 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2012-05-09 14:33 ID:429OSdz3

I prefer BSD/MIT/etc. licenses because I think people should be able to do whatever they want with my code. Even if I believed all code should be free software, I wouldn't want to legally require people to make it happen with software I wrote. Reminds me of religious conversion before marriage or something.

It always surprises me when people see things like the WTFPL and are shocked at such a liberal license--yet things like the MIT license are almost identical! (and will probably hold up better in court)

I'm really not a fan of Theo de Raadt, but he put it best:

All this said, I don't mind if other people GPL their code. They can license it however they want. They wrote it.

15 Name: Ricardo Santos : 2013-02-27 12:32 ID:bih3mhoT

Public domain by definition cannot be patented.

However some countries have difficulties of allowing their citizens to public domain their own works. Apparently they believe that they own the people thus they get to decide if your work can be public or not. :)

I'm just glad that patent offices where invented late in our history. Imagine if the wheel and how to make fire where patented. Not to mention all the construction methods.

On todays fast moving world there is no legitimate reason to allow patents of more than 7 years.

16 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2013-03-01 16:11 ID:G8AUJ3T0

> However some countries have difficulties of allowing their citizens to public domain their own works.
Related reading:

Fortunately, the CC0 licence is pretty much the same thing.

17 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2014-02-23 17:25 ID:LW/P+qwI


> In practice, companies don't modify GPL code

In practice, companies modify and redistribute Linux all the time. The GPL makes sure their improvements are GPL as well.

18 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2014-05-02 22:58 ID:IOp1NDqU

I prefer something more like the Ken Silverman BUILD Licence, though it's not entirely ideal (what with the weird Internet distribution bit). A movement that considers it a necessary freedom to let Joe Ratface sell my work on some CrappStore and not give me a cut can go fuck itself. Looking and modifying without selling should be enough.

19 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2014-08-02 13:06 ID:Fbg0y0WV

I think that most importantly, the GPL is not an open source license, although it does force open source, but a free software license. The difference between open source and free software is basically just a philosophical one, so the GPL is bound to be very caught up in its philosophy.

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