[Haskell-cafe] Hmm, what license to use?

Thomas Davie tom.davie at gmail.com
Fri Sep 26 04:12:09 EDT 2008

> Now I have fairly strong feelings about freedom of code and I
> everything I release is either under GPL or LGPL.  What I like about
> those licenses is it protects freedom in a way that I think it should
> and it forces a sort of reciprocity which resonates very well with my
> selfishness.  Re-licensing code under BSD is not something I'm willing
> to do without something that compensates for that reciprocity, and I
> can think of several kinds of compensation here but they all pretty
> much boil down to either fame or fortune. ;-)

Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the discussion, but I  
thought I'd add my own thought re the gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling  
is that the point of open source is to allow people the freedom to do  
what they want with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely  
against this idea, in that they restrict what I can do with the code  
to only things that are similarly licensed.

I've seen this cause problems even in environments where there's no  
commercial gain to be had.  Take for example the zfs file system.  Sun  
have been kind enough to completely open source it.  Unfortunately,  
linux users can never hope for stable version that works in the  
kernel, simply because the GPL stipulates that zfs must be relicensed  
to do so.

That's my 2p's worth on why I use the BSD license over the GPL.  In  
short, the GPL does not promote freedom, it promotes restrictions,  
just not the restrictions we've grown to hate from most companies.


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