Re: [dev] [GENERAL] License manifest

From: Christoph Lohmann <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2014 18:18:37 +0200


On Mon, 12 May 2014 18:18:37 +0200 FRIGN <> wrote:
> On Mon, 12 May 2014 10:20:26 -0300
> Amadeus Folego <> wrote:
> Hey Amadeus,
> I love your music!
> > So, given this context, is there any manifesto about this particular License
> > choice? E.G is there a reason to avoid GPL?
> Well, let's take a look at the GPL first: It's a strict free software
> license, which means that it doesn't permit incorporating or even
> linking a GPL-software without publishing the software itself under a
> free software license and/or ship the software with the source-code
> used.
> We at suckless agreed that there should be the freedom for everyone to
> use the software in proprietary software as well.
> That's why the GPL is often considered harmful, as it inhibits the free
> flow of knowledge and often leads to complete rewrites of software,
> just because the authors are pissed off by it.
> Using the MIT/X-License, which is more permissive, we allow the users
> to make free choices.
> Now, why MIT/X?
> The MIT/X-license is very similar to the 3-clause-BSD-license with the
> difference that the MIT/X-license doesn't play around with the
> advertisement clause (in either ways).
> Moreover, the MIT/X-license makes clear what the end-user is allowed to
> do, including the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
> distribute, sublicense and/or sell the software, stressing what we
> consider most important.

History made me thinking about that stance in suckless. Yes, it’s com‐
plete freedom, but the GPL made it possible to open up platforms not
open before. For example the US navy is using Open Source software to
kill people. I can’t really support this. Programming isn’t neutral any‐
more. And, as OpenSSL shows, corporate assholes never really give back.
With the GPL you at least get their crown jewels, if they piss you off.

For my contributions to suckless I still use MIT/X, but new projects get
the GPLv3. The harder the better. I’m waiting for GPLv4 to have the vio‐
lator’s children work for me as programming slaves.


Christoph Lohmann
Received on Mon May 12 2014 - 18:18:37 CEST

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