07 June 2007

The GNU GPL Is Dead - Not


The FSF should realize by now their influence is waning. Look at the plethora of alternative licenses. Now they’re really hamstringing themselves with Version 3, taking the license further and further from where industry developers are heading. Developers are still the heart of the open source community, and their support is integral to success. Are provisions concerned with patents and digital rights management really what developers want to see addressed? Do they care when Eben Moglen says "the time is rapidly approaching when the GPL is capable of leveling the monopolist to the ground?" Developers demand more freedom, not less. They want clear, practical leadership, not bombast.

Er, well, no, actually: more and more companies are adopting the GNU GPL; indeed, many that started out with dual licensing end up using just the GPL (for the full half-hour argument see hier.) The plethora of other licences represent background noise in comparison.

What's interesting is how, after years in the wilderness, RMS, the GNU GPL and the FSF all find themselves at the centre of so many debates around freedom and openness - not because they've moved there, but because the debates have moved to them.

No comments: