Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Open Source vs. Free Spoftware: brown nosing vs. doing what is right

Yeah - been reading Eric Raymond's replacement Russ Nelson over on Slashdot. I used use the Open Source 'artistic license' for my little open source offerings. After the fiasco of the OSI approving Sun's lame open source license, I have been rethinking the whole Open Source (MIT, BSD, Apache, etc). vs. Free Software (GPL) thing. So many businesses have been co-opting non-GPL licensed open source software, that I think it it is time to come down hard in favor of the GPL.

Now, I feel like a little bit of a hypocrite: I just released a commercial product with a few useful features added because I included Apache licensed utilities. Believe me - I am thinking about that - been thinking of releasing just my AI stuff as GPL (*), but not quite there yet. Anyway, I have been working hard on a new Free Software project in Python, and I am absolutely going to release it under GPL.

(*) I have been considering releasing under GPL with an alternative $$ license for commercial non-GPL use - but that also seems not quite right to me, although it would nudge others to use the GPL.

PS. from Slashdot:
If the CDDL is a weapon against free software, why isn't the

Mozilla license a weapon against free software? The two of them
differ only slightly.
-russ
Wow! - I find this scary that the guy taking over OSI does not understand the ramifications of deleting the "..and other open source licences" clause from the Mozilla license to create the CDDL - wow! What good is access to source code to you if you can not use it legally!

PSS. I did like some of Russ's political comments on Slashdot: for example, "Trail of Tears" (happened near where I live in Arizona - US government (or at least one local general) murdering Indians: ugly).

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