Interview with Andrew Tanenbaum (LinuxFr.org)
Posted Nov 18, 2011 23:52 UTC (Fri) by pboddie
In reply to: Interview with Andrew Tanenbaum (LinuxFr.org)
Parent article: Interview with Andrew Tanenbaum (LinuxFr.org)
You can't know. Why would you want to?
You can't know. That's the point. Why would you want to? To put your finger on the amount of effort going into forks that won't benefit the community.
Of course, people can fork copyleft-licensed code - it's the privilege everyone who gets the code has, after all - and in the event of that code reaching the community, it's possible that the community just decides that it isn't worth incorporating, but at least that avenue of potential incorporation of the work exists.
In general, the incentive to maintain forks is dependent on an organisation's size and willingness to collaborate. If you're a small organisation who doesn't want to share your code, you might favour permissive licences, but you're going to be kept busy maintaining your private changes on top of the community's work. Thus, enlightened organisations try and share changes even with permissively-licensed projects that don't insist on such sharing.
In contrast, large organisations who don't want to share can simply pick up a project and outrun the community by throwing developers at the code. When the licence permits the ability to maintain a private fork, a significant fork of the original project is thereby established. And that avenue of potential incorporation is removed, so there is nothing the wider community can do about the situation.
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