[linux-elitists] Re: The GPLV3 Position... (and a suggestion to Jon Corbet)

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Tue Sep 26 14:44:10 PDT 2006

Licensing history question.

Has any project with real users ever successfully
moved from a license with fewer restrictions to one
with more?

It seems like adding a license option (Mozilla and
Qt with the GPL) works, or removing a term from an
existing license (old/new BSD) works, or going to
a license with fewer restrictions (Ogg Vorbis going
from LGPL to a non-copyleft license) works, but going
to a license with more legal language always breaks
something -- often for an intermediary, not the
actual user.  And that means a fork, whether or not
the change resulted in a move across the "this side
is Free, this side is Not" line.  (XFree86, ssh...)

Prediction: GPLv3 will apparently sink without
a splash.  Until people start noticing totally new
Free projects that start off from a clean slate using
GPLv3 so that they can borrow code from Eclipse,
"GPLv2 or later" and Apache.

Don Marti                    
dmarti@zgp.org           LinuxWorld: August 14-17, 2006, San Francisco

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