Freedoms granted by the GPLvX
Posted Oct 18, 2006 8:29 UTC (Wed) by drag
In reply to: Freedoms granted by the GPLvX
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
People don't beleive that FSF has other developer's wellbeing at heart.
People like FSF and RMS and such have tried to do power plays in the past in attempt to 'make' the software be Free (by their definition) and have irritated and alienated a number of developers in the past.
Beleive it or not a lot of the software developers who put code into Linux and other things..
Don't think that software freedom for end users is relevent or matters. That they aren't developers and the source code is lost on them, worthless.
Many people if given a choice would not give code to GPL'd projects if it wasn't for the fact that the GPL license compels them. The price of releasing code is worth it to them for the benifits they get from belonging to the development community and getting software code at no cost for their own projects. This is a very big reason why GPL'd software is very successfull were the NetBSD/FreeBSD crowd realy has not progressed in nearly the same manner. For example a large number of companies that use FreeBSD code in their projects will never release code for bugfixes or improved functionality, while ALL the Linux-using companies are compelled to release code back to upstream because of the GPL.
A number of people who contribute to the Linux kernel and develop things for linux have grown comfortable with the current status of Linux licensing. They are using stuff like DRM and encryption and hidden interfaces and stuff like that to be able to 'commercialize' Linux and make devices more userproof for a veriety of reasons while giving themselves a edge over their business competitors.
They would not be contributing code to the Linux kernel otherwise. It would not be economicly feasible to them that they contribute code back to the kernel and not be able to restrict access to their devices and such from end users they sell these things to. Other competitors using closed source software would be able to put them out of business, or so they fear.
They also often have software patents portfolios and do use them to prevent people from making products that would compete to well with their stuff, and they are used as a sheild to protect themselves from other people's patents.
For Linus and friends it is a betrayal to those contributers. They value their code, they value their input. They aren't about to welcome changes to the licensing structure that would change the rules and make what many people have been working on for a long time completely irrelevent to their businesses.
GPLv3 it is felt, would undermine a lot of Linux and related software development. It would drive away developers and encourage the use of propriatory software. As a result 'Open Source' as a community would suffer.
Over 70% of the code in a Linux distribution is GPL code. The vast majority of it is GPL compatable.
HOWEVER no were NEAR 70% of the developers, in my estimation, value Freedom by FSF's definition.. especially when it may hurt their livelihoods.
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