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GNU is Not Unix Open Source News Apache

Is GPL Licensing In Decline? 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the way-of-the-dodo dept.
GMGruman writes "Simon Phipps writes, "As Apache licenses proliferate, two warring camps have formed over whether the GPL is or isn't falling out of favor in favor of the Apache License." But as he explores the issues on both sides, he shows how the binary thinking on the issue is misplaced, and that the truth is more nuanced, with Apache License gaining in commercially focused efforts but GPL appearing to increase in software-freedom-oriented efforts. In other words, it depends on the style of open source."
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Is GPL Licensing In Decline?

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  • BSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zamphatta (1760346) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @02:17PM (#39838625) Homepage
    Personally, I prefer the BSD licenses. There's more freedom in it. Although, I can see why people like the GPL & Apache licenses, I think they're a little too restrictive.
  • Personally, I think the whole open source gig is fading away. The next generation of programmers have been raised to live and program in flashy iDink walled gardens and have neither the interest or the inclination in releasing or collaborating on code.

    In their world, code is something that is packaged into an app, approved by Apple, and then sold for profit. It is not something which can even be freely compiled and run on their devices, let alone shared and co-written.

    Ultimately computers and the Internet are growing up, moving out into suburbia, and accepting pre-packaged convenience over creative potential. People want shiny and slick, and really couldn't care less freedom, code, control, or innovation. There's probably an App for feelings like that anyway.

    The Internet is becoming squaresville, one settled Mac user at a time.

  • Who Cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2012 @02:46PM (#39838783)

    You ask me: "Is GPL Licensing In Decline?"
    I ask you: "Who Cares?"

    if the GPL fits your goals (personal, business, etc.), then use it.
    If the GPL doesn't fit your goals, then don't use it.

    If the whole world goes GPL or I am the last person on Earth releasing code under the GPL license .. does it really matter, if we're all meeting our goals?

  • Personally, I think the whole open source gig is fading away. The next generation of programmers have been raised to live and program in flashy iDink walled gardens and have neither the interest or the inclination in releasing or collaborating on code.

    This happened 30 years ago, except then it was the DOS and then Windows world. The F/LOSS movement largely came from a later generation of programmers who realized that walling everything up sucks and impedes progress. And, although it was before my time, I understand there was a similar dynamic a couple of decades before that. Seems like just another turn of the wheel -- assuming you're even right, which I doubt.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @03:36PM (#39839029)

    This is the fifth story[1] based on a single article by one single shill. If this were mere trolling, I'd be grudgingly impressed. As this is a commercial scheme, I hate the guy with passion.

    [1]. counting only those I noticed and remember, so there's probably more.

    100% true. The way this keeps coming up is a very clear message. That message is:

    Microsoft and Apple hate the GPL because it represents a chance to break their duopoly on personal computing by creating a complete independent environment.

    Whenever we have this discussion it gets pointed out repeatedly that Apple must love F/OSS because they use so much of it. What doesn't get pointed out is that the OpenDarwin project to build a system based on Apple's open source failed for lack of cooperaton from Apple and lack of involvement from their developers. This is symptomatic of Apple's attitude; they will take whatever you give them. They will even co-operate wherever they see clear profit. They will never support things which give their users freedom to work in ways that Apple doesn't approve of. Microsoft's hatred of the GPL is so well documented in their own words that nobody even tries to claim otherwise, except for a few "Microsoft has changed" voices that we have been hearing for years without seeing anything actually changing. Note, however, that Microsoft has quite happily used BSD software all over their system.

    Microsoft and Apple don't mind F/OSS as long as it is a box and they can charge you for the use of the box and limit what goes in and out of it. They fear GPL based open source as something which might allow you to create your own box and choose what you want to allow in and out of there. They are doing that by making sure that whatever you do with a computer you have to go through one of their systems. They are aiming to head back to the bad days of the 1980s when you didn't just pay for your compiler software; you actually paid run time licenses for the libraries you used. This is what app stores and their percentage taxes are about. This is what the GPL threatens by giving every computer programmer the chance to contribute to and modify the code.

    These stories keep coming up because the various PR shills here want to make people behave differently from their own interests. Remember that and choose the GPL whenever you have the option.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @03:56PM (#39839139)

    So there are more projects overall, but less of the new projects use GPL. That isn't bad in the slightest, quite frankly. It'd be more telling if projects were relicensing away from the GPL, but they aren't.

    Right up until GPL V3 the numbers were consistent, it was going up quarter by quarter, after GPL V3 the numbers were flat for the first quarter (as businesses looked it over) and then it has been a straight down curve ever since. look up the numbers yourself, it makes a pretty little bell curve.

    Why not just link to those numbers right now?

    But you see posts like yours, where yes you did get all butthurt EXACTLY as I predicted

    No I didn't, I told you to cite some sources rather than throw around ad-hominems and "anyone that disagrees with me is just butthurt" 4-chan style arguments.

    A FOSS advocate uses FOSS because it is the best tool for a particular job they have, FOSSies look upon it as a religion, FOSS advocates argue their position with the pros and cons, FOSSies see everything as a personal attack on their Deity.

    So anyone that disagrees with you is immediately slotted into the second category, right? Cause that's what you're doing now.

    This phenomena isn't exactly a secret, it is why we have comics like this and this and actual syndromes like this one.

    So two webcomics and some arbitrary website that appears to be anti-Linux hate site. Seriously, that's what the third site you linked comes across as. It's almost insane in how curled back on itself that site is with hatred. That's as bad as calling Linux insecure and linking to three bugs, two of which were over FOUR YEARS OLD. Your hatred is almost as irrational and insane as the "worship" you ascribe others as having.

    If you would like to see an example of this syndrome BTW, please go to linux Insider and look up anything posted by pogson, its soo funny to watch a FOSSie as he keeps saying "That other OS" or M$ because he's sure that if he types the actual word then MSFT Ninjas will get him, hilarious!

    Because one guy is representative of everyone.

    Eventually you'll realize that you're at least as crazy and irrational as the people you claim to rail against.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @04:28PM (#39839259)

    No, he rejects the notion that sharing is wrong. He also suggests that if you do share, you shouldn't feel bad because, as he said, the EULAs have no moral force, only legal.

    since he publicly states that neither copyright laws nor software licenses should have any force, anyone can pirate a GPL program and use his statements as promisory estoppel.

    Hardly. His statements are for him alone and do not apply to any and all GPL programs.

    And then you wrap up with an ad-hominem. Man, you FOSS/GPL haters are real clever with your arguments, y'know?

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @04:46PM (#39839365) Journal

    Whenever we have this discussion it gets pointed out repeatedly that Apple must love F/OSS because they use so much of it

    No, its pointed out that Apple must love F/OSS because they contribute to so much of it. Take a look at LLVM, WebKit, CUPS, and a number of other projects and see how many contributions are funded by Apple. They contribute to F/OSS for exactly the right reason: If two or more companies need the same thing, it's cheaper if they cooperate on implementing the same thing than if they each implement their own (incompatible) ones and keeping them private. Apple has ridiculous amounts of money, enough to easily fund developing their own compiler suite and HTML rendering engine, but if they contribute to LLVM and WebKit then the same amount of effort is added to the work by Google and others and the result is even better.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClickOnThis (137803) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @05:03PM (#39839439) Journal

    RMS is himself a "hater", so what's good for the goose is good for the gander. He is on record as advocating that people pirate proprietary/closed source programs rather than pay for them [gnu.org] - in other words, copyright law be damned when it doesn't support his flawed vision, because copyright that supports closed source is "morally wrong".

    No, that's not what RMS is saying at all. Let's look at the paragraph that appears to upset you the most.

    Many users unconsciously recognize the wrong of refusing to share, so they decide to ignore the licenses and laws, and share programs anyway. But they often feel guilty about doing so. They know that they must break the laws in order to be good neighbors, but they still consider the laws authoritative, and they conclude that being a good neighbor (which they are) is naughty or shameful. That is also a kind of psychosocial harm, but one can escape it by deciding that these licenses and laws have no moral force.

    In this paragraph, RMS is not avocating that people pirate proprietary software. Rather, he is illustrating the cognitive dissonance faced by a "good neighbor" who wishes to share, but is stopped from doing so by licenses on proprietary software. His point is that one can assuage that cognitive dissonance by assuming the laws have "no moral force." See the difference?

    If you actually look at the rest of his essay, it is abundantly clear that what he does advocate is having programmers release the source code of their programs, and allowing others the freedom to use and modify the program as they wish, provided they do not stop others from enjoying the same freedom. Pirating proprietary software (with no source-code available) obviously is an impediment to that, so why should he support it?

    The funny part - since he publicly states that neither copyright laws nor software licenses should have any force, anyone can pirate a GPL program and use his statements as promisory estoppel.

    Good luck with that. The GPL has held up in court against its violators on many occasions.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @06:34PM (#39839955)

    Notice how many simply insult?

    I'm not sure if you're referring to something I didn't see, or are just talking past me. If you are, that's pretty rude. Oh and for the record, I haven't insulted you once.

    That is how you can spot a butthurt FOSSie BTW, they have NO arguments so all they can do is insult.

    This is called projecting. You fling ad-hominem attacks constantly and accuse others of doing it to you.

    Imagine I am a hardware manufacturer, I can go Linux, which means i either have to throw the stability and reputation of my company's products to some kernel dev who may or may not give a shit

    Oh please, this has to be the dumbest argument I've ever heard. If you're a hardware manufacturer, the quality of your driver and your reputation depend on their ability to code their way out of a paper bag. I invite you to highlight how a kernel dev could harm your reputation or your driver. It sounds to me like you're making shit up rather than relating actual experience.

    I can "pull an Nvidia" and pay an entire team to do nothing but deal with Torlvald's breakage by constantly updating the drivers

    Which is a tradeoff: you keep your sources closed, but in turn no one fixes the "breakage" for you. You also don't get any bugfixes.

    or I can just write FOUR little drivers and be finished until 2022.

    But why should an open source project be obligated to support your closed source driver until 2022? Oh right, because they should be like Microsoft and only release a new kernel once every several years rather than constantly iterating on it.

    It is THIS reason why Linux is crippled without an ABI, because any manufacturer can cover Windows from 1999-2022 with a single CD and that's it, you are done.

    That's a bunch of nonsensical hyperbole and you know it.

    Your entire argument boils down to: Linux should stop being so flexible for the sake of those poor, poor hardware vendors that want to keep their drivers proprietary for whatever reason, and they should support them forever!

    Which is utter nonsense.

    But instead because there are so many FOSSies, which again treat the OS as religion and thus all edicts as religious dogma, instead you'll get excuses or insults.

    You have received no insults or excuses.

    Even the one kernel dev they constantly post in rebuttal is a FOSSie, who even writes in his rebuttal "And I hope all of those that use non free drivers have them break constantly!"

    Who posts this in rebuttal? What kernel dev is this? Can you cite anything you post? With something having a shred more credibility than anti-Linux hate sites?

    Note to all: Hairyfeet cannot post a real argument. He can only throw out ad-hominems, unsubstantiated arguments, ridiculous arguments, and "sources" of questionable veracity.

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