Re: [dev] [GENERAL] License manifest

From: Anthony J. Bentley <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2014 13:46:02 -0600

Christoph Lohmann writes:
> On Mon, 12 May 2014 18:18:37 +0200 FRIGN <> wrote:
> > 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.

Not just people who dislike it. Even GPL lovers have to rewrite their
software due to the GPL.

Example: LibreCAD, a fork of QCad, which had been relicensed by the
authoring company under the GPLv2. LibreCAD wanted to support AutoCAD's
DWG file format. Unluckily for them, LibreDWG (a FSF project) is licensed
GPLv3+, and the FSF refused to relicense. The GPL made the code so free
they couldn't use it.

Example: the SMB implementations in Samba (GPLv3+) and the Linux kernel
(GPLv2), which literally cannot share even a single line of code. It's
really fascinating that people seem to love the idea of a license that is
so easily made incompatible with _itself_.

> 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.

Yeah, ask Landley how much useful code Busybox got out of all those lawsuits.
Corporations are terrible at writing code. We don't want their garbage.

Anthony J. Bentley
Received on Mon May 12 2014 - 21:46:02 CEST

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