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[TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Simon Large <simon_at_skirridsystems.co.uk>
Date: 2005-08-18 23:53:32 CEST

Hi folks,

Some time ago there was talk about changing our license to something
other than GPL, and having spent a lot of time looking at the
restrictions it places, and reading Richard Stallman's rants about all
non-free software being unethical, I am getting pretty sick of it
myself. I saw this link and decided he had lost the plot:
http://www.stallman.org/harry-potter.html

In fact, if we were to observe the GPL conditions strictly, we could not
release TSVN at all because most of the other component licenses are
(according to RMS) incompatible with GPL. For example GPL will not allow
you to include a component which has an additional requirement which is
not in the GPL (such as having to display a notice like "includes
software developed by CollabNet").
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#OrigBSD

The Apache 2.0 license seems pretty straightforward.
http://www.apache.org/licenses
Subversion distributes the 1.1 license, but 2.0 is easier to use and
stronger on patent protection. It is also used by most of the external
components of subversion. It is not as strongly open source as the GPL,
because it is permitted to redistribute copies (modified or unchanged)
without source, although the distributor still has to retain the license
and copyright notices, so the work is still attributed to its original
author. I can't see that this is a huge problem, and the licensing
conditions are a whole lot more relaxed than GPL. My personal feeling is
that if it is good enough for Subversion then it is good enough for us.
But then it is not my code which is at stake. Stefan, what do you think?

Simon

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Received on Thu Aug 18 23:53:11 2005

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