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Re: The Great Licensing Discussion

Personally I prefer GPLv2 over GPLv3. I'm somewhat agnostic about GPL vs
BSD -- I do like GPL v2 a lot, and like its mechanism for protecting end
customers -- but I also work on some BSD-licensed projects and have no
qualms about a license switch.

I would agree with your assessment, Chris, about derivative works -- if
you're extending a class, then yes, that would be derivative and need to
carry the GPL, but just talking to an API doesn't count in my book. And
there's lots of cases of web services sample code being released under
entirely different licenses than the code behind the interfaces they
talk to -- both commercial and proprietary. So I think it's entirely
appropriate to create code samples and release them under the BSD license.

I do think it would be confusing for end users to have to deal with
multiple licenses within the code base, though. I think that having
parts of LSMB under GPL with other parts under BSD and the collection
under GPL -- that's way too confusing to have to explain to anybody.

This makes me think that the only reasonable way forward for the project
as a whole is under the GPL. It's fine to release client API libraries
and samples under BSD, but I don't see how you change the license of
anything in the core project without a huge amount of turmoil.

I would think that if that's a direction you would want to go, I would
suggest setting up a foundation to control the copyright of the code,
and have all contributors sign a contributors licensing agreement that
assigns the right to offer additional/changed licensing terms to the
foundation. This way it would at least be possible, when all the legacy
code is no longer in the project. But it strikes me that one reason to
go BSD is to avoid the need for doing a foundation ;-)

Some of my thoughts on the matter, anyway...


On 12/20/2011 01:32 PM, Chris Travers wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM, John Hasler <..hidden..> wrote:
>> I'm not a current contributor but as user and potential contributor I'd
>> prefer to see the project stay with GPLv2 and away from GPLv3.  BSD is
>> ok but I prefer GPLv2 (or LGPL, or GPLv2 with stated exceptions).  IMHO
>> GPLv3 is overreaching (it's patent clauses may constitute copyright
>> abuse), unduly restrictive, overly complex, and nearly incomprehensible.
> That more or less sums up my view of the GPL v3.  I would also say
> there are a few areas of the GPL v3 I *really* don't like.  These
> include the forced compatibility with the AGPL v3 (section 13).  I
> also dislike Section 7 paragraph 2 (removal of additional permissions
> by non-copyright holders).
> Best Wishes,
> Chris Travers
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