The response titled A view from the “other side” is also worth a read.
This guy got caught violating GPL and now complains that open source software doesn’t make it as convenient as possible for his employer to resell their code. This is not a compelling rebuttal.
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That rebuttal isn’t a “silly argument.” It’s an experience report. My own boots-on-the-ground experience is that I’ve spent a lot more time—per instance—trying to figure out how to comply with GPL licenses than I do with proprietary licenses. You can say “but GPL is easier” until your blue in the face, but that doesn’t change my experience (nor does it change the experience of the author of that rebuttal).
None of the comments “debunk” anything. They just give more examples, where—surprise surprise—sometimes proprietary license compliance really is a lot more complicated than GPL compliance. I’ve personally never had that experience, but that doesn’t somehow invalidate the experience I have had.
Not sure what point you’re trying to make. If it’s not even possible to license the software, then that I means I’m going to spend very little time worrying about compliance.
It feels like you are completely off point here. I’m talking about how much time I have to spend on license compliance (so is the rebuttal), not whether I can actually use it or not.
Almost all of my experience with proprietary products is this:
Pay them either once or recurring.
Use the software. That’s either local or bundling it into something I distribute.
The software also works correctly more often since they won’t get paid if it doesn’t. There’s certainly ridiculous licensing schemes from abusive companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc. I just don’t buy from them except desktop Windows since it’s straight-forward. Been on Linux a while but I’d probably need some Windows if I was running a company. There’s an alternative for about everything else from open source or paid-but-easy suppliers.
There’s different types of proprietary software. Much isn’t intended for mass market at all. The mass market stuff is what I’m referring to. It’s easy to acquire and use. You’re grasping at straws trying to avoid that point.
As I understand it, it goes like this:
For GPL 2: You release Item W that uses Project X on date Y. Customer: Purchased Item W and wants the source code. If customer asks before Y + 3 years, here’s the source code. If after, sorry, no source code (really! It’s in the license!)
LGPL 2: You release Item W that uses Library X on date Y. Customer: Purchased Item W that uses X, and wants source code. If customer asks before Y+3 years, here’s the source code to Library X. If after, no source code.
GPL 3: You release Item W that uses Project X on date Y. Customer: Purchased Item W that uses X and wants the source code. Same as above (three year limit) plus you have to give the customer the ability to reload modified Project X source code on Item W (the Anti-Tivoization clause).
LGPL 3: You release Item W that uses Library X on date Y. Customer: Purchased Item W that uses X and wants the sourec doe. Same as LGPL 2, but you have to have a way the customer can relink the source code to X and update Item W with the modified code.
The main problem with the GPL is that the entire project needs to be licensed under the GPL if any GPL code (now matter how much) is used. the LGPL is a bit easier to deal with (LGPL 2) since it doesn’t “infect” the codebase, but it does require the ability for the user to update and replace the library (shared libraries make this easy). The version 3 anti-Tivoization makes it hard to comply with though.
What you see as a problem others would as a feature. The author could simply not give you the opportunity to use the code at all.