Time problem, or perhaps not
Posted Dec 16, 2012 22:04 UTC (Sun) by man_ls
In reply to: Time problem
Parent article: Fontana: What open source licensing could learn from Creative Commons (Opensource.com)
Given that relicensing is such a difficult feat in Free software, it is no wonder that people are not keen to adopt new licenses for their existing projects. True copyleft licenses are not backwards-compatible, and giving a "version x or later" carte blanche to organizations is not palatable to many developers.
Actually, the proliferation of Free software licenses is currently quite a problem, bearable only because 80+% of projects use the well known GPL(v2 or v3) and most of the rest use MIT or (2/3)-clause-BSD; corporate licenses account for a small percent of all projects. Now imagine if there were many updates with small but significant differences. (If the differences are not significant, then why bother?)
For many people even the GPLv2 works well enough so not everyone is willing to upgrade. Now imagine if there was a new set of licenses (GPL, LGPL, GFDL, and Affero) every year: a new schism for every ideological detail which is embedded in them. Not nice.
But the main reason for the slow upgrade cadence is the lack of perception of existing problems. With the GPL it has taken many years to update it, and apparently both v2 and v3 work well for their users. Why keep updating it?
The real cadence in Free software is not measured by its licenses but by its projects and communities. 8 years ago SourceForge was all the rage when now it's a shade of itself; people used Subversion and git didn't even exist; the most used distro was Mandrake (I believe) and the first Ubuntu version had just been released, while Android (a newcomer in 2004) is now used on hundreds of millions of terminals worldwide.
Meanwhile, in the world of CC licenses they may be updated frequently and are used by more and more people, but there are not many news of interest that I can think of. 8 years ago they were used by some people and now they have many more users. Yawn.
to post comments)