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    The whole article reads like pro-corporate propaganda, from the title to framing the discussion in partisan terms like ‘anti-collaborative’. There is copyleft, which ensures collaboration; and there is MIT/BSD which does not. And you are complaining that you can’t share code with other people? Seems the problem would be solved by picking copy-left in the first place.

    I would venture to guess that they come up with arguments like copy-left being ‘anti-collaborative’ to make their decision more palatable for others. They don’t like copyleft because they want to exploit and leverage free labor without strings attached. It is sad that MIT/BSD Licenses are more popular these days judging from Github.

    Do people think we would have Webkit today if it weren’t for the (L)GPL? Apple didn’t shared the code in a timely manner even when they were required to by the license!

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      Personally I prefer BSD licenses because I want my open source software to benefit everyone, not just hobbyists. Many workplaces can’t easily comply with the GPL and I’d prefer that they get the benefit rather than not. I guess in the end I’m in it to write cool code that helps people rather than trying to push an ideal.

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        Personally I’m not generous enough to be happy for my volunteer work to help someone else get rich without contributing back.

        It’s cool that others are though! The thing that throws me the most is how bent out of shape people get over other peoples choice of license for their personal projects.

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          Personally I’m not generous enough to be happy for my volunteer work to help someone else get rich without contributing back.

          That statement assumes the only people benefiting from proprietary software are the suppliers. That couldn’t be more wrong. There’s plenty of users that find a need for that software. People using permissive licenses may be aiming to benefit them instead of the executives of supplying company.

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        I think it’s more than fair to say it’s pro-corporate, but I don’t know if it’s a propaganda so much as… well, opinionated. Certainly there is a reality to what is best for companies profiting from open source is not always best for the communities and individuals.

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          I would say other comments from the author as pro-corporate w/o being propaganda. But this one is full of loaded language. Liberation from what exactly? OSS co-opted the Free Software movement and stripped it of its core values to make it palatable to corporations. Now they want to pretend that Free Software is oppressive/exploitative?

          P.D. The article kinda triggers me, but I don’t think I have crossed the lines of civility.

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            “Liberation” is in the eyes of the beholder. I wouldn’t write an OSS project in GPL unless I had to just because it would tie me down in a way that seems unnecessary. Advocating for looser licenses isn’t just for those who are pro-corporate.

            Of course, all of this language is very extreme, but that’s the environment we are in. Mostly, it’s an environment created by Stallman and the FSF wherein proprietary software is regularly referred to as slavery.

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          did not know that Webkit was LGPL. and that Apple did not respect the license.

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            WebKit was LGPL because they forked it from KHTML. They since done all they can to migrate to BSD. Apparently I was mis-remembering about Apple not releasing the code in a timely manner. They did respect the license. They weren’t keen on sharing though.

            Do you have any idea how hard it is to be merging between two totally different trees when one of them doesn’t have any history? That’s the situation KDE is in. We created the khtml-cvs list for Apple, they got CVS accounts for KDE CVS. What did we get? We get periodical code bombs in the form of them releasing WebCore. Many of us wanted to even sign NDA’s with Apple to at least get access to the history of their internal vcs and be able to be merging the changes incrementally, the way they can right now. Nothing came out of it. They do the very, very minimum required by LGPL.


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              I don’t think code bombs should be regarded as compliance with the license. Proper VCS history is an integral part of the “preferred form for making modifications” of almost every codebase I’ve ever worked on. One of the FSF’s standard examples is that if you have a perl script that generates C code you have to publish the perl script, not the generated C code - to my mind publishing just a snapshot checkout of your VCS codebase is the same kind of thing.

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                It’s unfortunately not uncommon, even amongst so-called “open source companies”. If I’m not mistaken, the kernel source distributed by Red Hat for RHEL is just a dump rather than a set of the individual patches. Working out what has been changed from upstream requires a fair amount of time-consuming spelunking.

                And of course there are those vendors who release nearly obfuscated drivers (eg, Broadcom). Look at broadcom/brcm80211/brcmsmac/phy/phy_n.c from the Linux kernel. Yes, it’s compliant with the kernel license. The spirit? Not so much…

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            To me it reads like the project was essentially dead for business and licensing reasons he described. Multiple parties worked to acquire & relicense it in a way that got adoption in other projects. I’ve since seen articles and comments where people are going to use it that weren’t originally. It appears his model of things was accurate as far as RethinkDB goes.

            Do you have counter-evidence that using the AGPL commonly results in the adoption or commits that the other licenses were getting?

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            Well, good timing. I was just having a discussion with colleagues about AGPL and how little we (I) really understand the minutiae of some software licenses. The discussion over at HackerNews devolved pretty quickly into the licensing discussion, although it’s recently been overtaken by comments from the leadership team.