With open source software on the rise in the enterprise, more projects are looking beyond the ubiquitous GNU General Public License. The number of projects licensed under GPLv3 - completed a year ago - have increased fourfold, though GPL's overall share of open source enterprise licenses dropped from 70 per cent to 65 per cent, …
GPL is two-edged sword. Lots of "free" code available to tempt you, but none of it usable in a commercial proprietary product - I wonder how many commercial products are using GPL-licensed software as part of their stack and selling it on without including the source for their entire product?
"It seems that with more revenue-based businesses turning to open source, folks are getting wiser to how licensing has an impact on how their software is used"
When I read this I thought it was going to be a very interesting article. But then it just quoted a couple of stats and finished. A bit of analysis would have been nice.
How do projects with multiple licenses get counted?
@AC Tricky Badger
I agree GPL is problematic. I have been involved in a couple of small open source developments. One was a library, and GPL seemed too restrictive. Not much point writing OS libraries that other people can't use.
OTOH, if you are writing an OS application, where you might want to include GPL'd libraries, I am not entirely certain how GPL fits in with a less restrictive application license. Seems easier just to GPL the whole application and avoid any problems with fundementalist loons.
I guess it depends on your motivation for writing OS inthe first place.
GPLv3 ... increased fourfold
Okay, I'll bite.
How much of that fourfold increase is on sources from FSF, i.e. things like gcc, binutils, gmake, etc., that were automatically slapped with GPLv3 on the next update?
Compared to how much non-FSF software switched to GPLv3 from GPLv2?
Inquiring minds want to know!
"but none of it usable in a commercial proprietary product"
Ah, that old canard. Maybe you've never heard of the LGPL? Many fine bits of free software give you the option of using either the full GPL (if you want to extend/modify the code) or the LGPL (if all you want to do is use the code, unmodified, as a library to link against). As the GNU website puts it very succinctly: "using the Lesser GPL permits use of the library in proprietary programs".
As for your suggestion that many commercial/proprietary bits of code have GPL code in them without following the rules, well it's hardly the fault of the software license that there are greedy/lazy developers out there who see no problem selling plagiarised code for profit. Is it?
@By Just Thinking
> Not much point writing OS libraries that other people can't use.
That's what LGPL and GPL With Linking Exception are for.
> I guess it depends on your motivation for writing OS in the first place.
Do you think RMS and FSF might not have ulterior motives?
Steve-erino with horns because that's as close as I can get to a Beastie icon. But in this case Steve-o with horns is a good thing.
El Reg really needs a separate BSD Beastie "Real OS to the Gods" icon to complement the Tux icon. And honestly, since Beastie already has horns, and Billie and Steve-erino have both horns and halo icons, Tux should too. Fair's fair. I'll hold my breath while waiting for you to comply.
"Maybe you've never heard of the LGPL?"
I have indeed heard of LGPL but the point is that that is not GPL - it's a different licence. And to modify your rebuff slightly... many fine pieces of software DON'T give you the option of using either.
There is a general mood amongst what I would call "hobby programmers" - and unfortunately that covers a lot of "professionals" - who are always wanting to stay on top of the latest frameworks etc. and who see OS as the One True Way, but who don't actually consider the licence implications when making technology choices on behalf of their employers. I've seen it time and time again - a lot of so-called professionals just assume GPL=FREE and crack on, nick it, and sell away.
Ah that old chestnut
>> but none of it usable in a commercial proprietary product
As has been pointed out, GPL doesn't mean you can't sell things. I could burn off a couple of Openoffice.org CDs and start selling them £20 a pop if I was really desperate for a bit of lolly, although some people might question how easy it would be to a) sell something that people can download for free or b) commit to a legal sale where you are probably liable as the seller for the quality of the goods (despite what the legalese says)
I do have to wonder if AGPL, LGPL are counted as GPL or not. They are different licenses, but they are also derivied from the GPLv3.
I license all my works as GPLv3 or AGPL, that includes perl and python libraries since you don't really need LGPL for none compiled modules (as none of my works would have to be included to produce a dependant work)
Its all in the (GPL) family
We use GPL2, GPL3, LGPL and Affero at work and everyone considers them to be GPLed projects except that each license has its own use.
As long as the copyleft provision is strong and people can benefit from my work like I benefited from my predecessors (standing on the shoulders of giants and such), then its all good.
The rest is equivalent to counting pubes on angels.
>I've seen it time and time again - a lot of so-called professionals
Ive seen time and time again people get paid good salaries and be total lunkheads and take bad decisions.
Stupidity in others is none of my beeswax. There is too much in the world to get upset over.
We get it, You dont like GPL but would rather use a BSD buffet. Fine.
But please dont insult our intelligence by claiming peolpe choose GPL arent thinking ahead.
If that is the case, no license in the world can bring common sense to those people.
Of course Black Duck, "a Microsoft Visual Studio Industry and Windows Embedded Partner", is a reliable source of information right ?