Community soap opera reruns
Posted Oct 3, 2006 23:07 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
In reply to: WOW! Community soap opera - and then some!
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
3. Are we about to witness a huge FOSS licensing split?
It has happened in the past, it will happen again. First it was the BSD license, the X license, the Apache license, etc. Then people got fed up to see their
code being used by unscrupulous companies to make a cheap dollar and create needless incompatibilities in the process. So developers switched en masse
to GPLv2, which preserved their intent of having free code. Meanwhile some corporations pushing weaker licenses for obscure ideological reasons, with little effect.
Now many developers don't like the motivations behind the GPLv3, so (being a bit blind like we all are sometimes) they will stick to GPLv2. Eric Raymond et al will take advantage of the disagreement to push people to softer licenses. In a few years we will be fed up of seeing our code used in "see but don't touch" embedded devices, where its freedom serves no one but its new masters. So devs will try to contribute to projects where the original freedoms are preserved and not abused; some GPLv3 kernel will be there waiting for them, hopefully written in C++.
There is a second, more benign scenario: DRM will be a huge failure in the market and nobody will use it anymore, as predicted by some. In this case the anti-DRM clauses will have no effect, so just for the anti-patent clauses the GPLv3 would have some benefits. A third possibility: DRM could also become mandatory, in which case we are done for anyway; "see but don't touch" freedom would be of no use. I wouldn't bet for any of these two alternatives.
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