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Re: As the GPL fades

From: Rick
Subject: Re: As the GPL fades
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 06:05:03 -0600
User-agent: Pan/0.133 (House of Butterflies)

On Fri, 05 Feb 2010 12:31:42 +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:

> ------
> As the GPL fades
> Jay Lyman, January 28, 2010 @ 3:17 pm ET
> We’re continuing to see signs that the dominant GPL open source license
> may be fading from favor among commercial open source software players.
> The latest move away from the GPL comes from content management software
> vendor Alfresco, which is moving to the LGPL after originally releasing
> its code under the GPL three years ago. The reasoning for the shift,
> according to Alfresco CEO John Newton, is the company sees greater
> opportunity beyond being a software application, particularly given the
> emergence of the Content Management Interoperability Services standard.
> Alfresco won mostly praise for its move, and it does make sense given
> where open source is going these days.
> I believe the emerging trend away from GPL and toward more permissive,
> mixable licenses such as LGPL or Apache reflects the broadening out of
> open source software not only throughout the enterprise IT software
> stack, but also throughout uses beyond individual applications,
> frameworks and systems. More and more open source software vendors are
> pursuing opportunities in embedded use or OEM deals whereby open source
> software often must sit alongside or even inside of proprietary code and
> products. Similar to what we’ve seen in the mobile space — where open
> source software and development are more prominent than ever, but end
> products with accessible code are not — open source is broadening out,
> but it is doing so in many cases by integrating with proprietary code.
> We also see some debate about the community and commercial ups and downs
> of GPL as organizations contemplate the balance of the two and the best
> way to achieve commercial success with open source software. As Matt
> highlights, we are seeing a choice of non-GPL licensing in order to more
> effectively foster community and third-party involvement, but we also
> continue to see GPL as a top choice to similarly build community.
> While the debate about community versus commercial benefit may not
> necessarily be prompting movement away from GPL, I believe another
> recent action may indeed do so. The latest series of GPL lawsuits are
> aimed at raising awareness, profile and legitimacy for open source
> software. While those bringing the suits — primarily the Software
> Freedom Law Center — have exhibited a reasonable approach and settled
> with past lawsuit targets, these suits and publicity may still serve to
> steer organizations making the choice to other licenses, including the
> LGPL, BSD, Apache and the Eclipse Public License.
> Another factor is the GPL thumping that took place during the SaveMySQL
> campaign as the European Commission contemplated Oracle’s proposed (and
> now closed) acquisition of Sun Microsystems and the open source MySQL. I
> voiced my concern that the SaveMySQL campaign might jeopardize or
> de-value open source software projects and pieces in M&A, but I believe
> I’m actually in agreement with SaveMySQL leader Monty Widenius that the
> deal and process may end up tarnishing the GPL and its reputation in the
> enterprise.
> As stated above, much of the movement we’re seeing away from the GPL has
> to do with the desire and opportunity to place open source software
> alongside, within, on top of or otherwise with proprietary software.
> Non-GPL open source licenses are also more flexible in terms of
> integrating and bundling with other open source software licensed under
> other, non-GPL licenses.
> We anticipated this fade of GPL as covered in our report, The Myth of
> Open Source License Proliferation. Given its clout, durability and
> continued popularity in commercial open source (and with help from
> continued growth of GPL-licensed Linux) we believe the GPL will endure
> as a top open source license. However, given their flexibility and the
> ability to combine with other code, we see a number of other challengers
> — Apache, BSD, EPL and LGPL — rising while GPL dominance wanes. We’re
> also watching to see whether the AGPLv3 for networked software will
> provide new life for GPL-style licensing and community building in
> emerging virtualized, SaaS and cloud computing environments. ------
> regards,
> alexander.

Is the GPL being used less, or are more people writing proprietary 
software based on non-GPL OSS licenses. Big difference.


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