29 May 2008

Er, Yes, and What About the AGPL?

Here's a post explaining Google's support for just seven open source licences:

The trend around licensing is obvious: GPLv2/GPLv3 represent 42.6% of the projects, and Apache is 25.8%. MIT, BSD, and LGPL are at about 8% each, Artistic at 3.5%, and MPL 1.1 at a mere 2.7%. This follows my own observation about how people license their projects. If they are advocates of Free Software, they will choose GPL; advocates of Open Source will choose Apache (a more modern and thorough permissive license, compared to BSD or MIT). And this is exactly what I recommend to people: choose GPLv3 or Apache v2 based on your personal philosophy.

Well, actually, there's another rather important trend that is conspicuous by its absence: adoption of the Affero GPL. To which Google seems strangely allergic....

8 comments:

Greg Stein said...

Trend? We (Google) are open to considering the AGPL as a choice on Google Code, if ... again IF there are a lot of projects that adopt it.

Currently, there is no trend that I'm aware of. The number of AGPL projects is very low.

Cheers,
-g

glyn moody said...

Impressively fast pickup, there: you don't have a private search engine or something, do you?

As for the AGPL, Palamida has found 77 projects (http://gpl3.palamida.com:8080/) currently; not many, I agree, but then how many projects use the Artistic Licence....?

Peter said...

Greg: Why is it a prerequisite that lots of projects must have adopted the AGPL before Google considers it? Why not take the lead?

On another note regarding the quote above - "choose GPLv3 or Apache v2 based on your personal philosophy" - We should keep in mind that one's philosophy may be freedom first yet find wisdom in choosing a more permissive license in a particular circumstance. By contrast, one's philosophy may be pragmatism first yet find strong copyleft to best reach that goal in a particular circumstance.

Greg Stein said...

Glyn: per my post, 3.5% of the 100k projects... so about 3500 projects.

Peter: we want to reduce the set of licenses, not add. We'll follow rather than lead when it comes to adding licenses.

And yes, I agree with your refinement around licensing. But: if people don't know much about licensing and ask, then I'd recommend one of the two. In your scenario, it sounds like the person is well aware licensing options and know which/how to choose.

glyn moody said...

Thanks - I'm amazed so many use the Artistic Licence, whose main virtue seems to be a witty name....

Peter said...

Is there currently a license that does what the AGPL does? Reducing is fine if it is done by eliminating licenses that basically accomplish the same goals. Which license already does what the AGPL does? If there is no license, then it seems that AGPL should be an exception to the goal of reducing licenses.

glyn moody said...

Indeed.

Dreamer said...

Indeed! (Waiting for Greg's response...)