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

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Fri Sep 26 04:38:06 EDT 2008

On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 9:12 AM, Thomas Davie <tom.davie at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.

You are completely right, both that the comment is a bit off-topic and
in point.  It can be argued that the (L)GPL is restrictive.  However,
I fall on the side of "the freedom to take something free and make it
proprietary is not a freedom worth protecting".  Also, I'm a selfish
bastard ;-)


Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
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