Re: [rms gnu org: Why you shouldn't use the Library GPL for your next library]
- From: Miguel de Icaza <miguel nuclecu unam mx>
- To: "Michael K. Johnson" <johnsonm redhat com>
- Cc: gnome-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: [email@example.com: Why you shouldn't use the Library GPL for your next library]
- Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 18:47:50 -0600 (CST)
>>>>> "Michael" == Michael K Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> One of GNOME's distinctives has always been that you can, if you
> wish, develop non-source-available software to the GNOME
> standard, and even if no one ever does so, I think it is
> important to preserve that freedom.
I do not think Richard's message is aimed at that.
The original discussion on the gnu programming mailing list (and the
spirit of his message) is that people blindly use the LGPL if they
write a library. His message raises the awardness that the L on LGPL
is not there to be used automatically in libraries.
So he gives a rationale to use each one.
I am not suggesting changing the licenses for any of the work we have
* An example
I have been considering making Gnumeric a library. If I ever do this,
it will be kept under the GPL. It is way too much work to give away
under the LGPL.
I think the same applies to other high-end pieces of code or
* Why I do think the GPL is good for making money
It has been discussed in the past that putting the GPL on a library
and keeping the copyright is a good way of making money for free
The programmer releases the code under the GPL, and benefits most
users. When a proprietary company wants the code they can work out an
arrangement with the author to get the code licensed under other
terms and pay the author in the process.
The programmer makes money, and the company gets the software.
And this is the same model followed by the new Qt license. Troll
Tech will still be able to make money from proprietary software
developers, while contributing to the free software community by
making their software open-source (their license is pretty much
GPL-ish in spirit).
An example of this are Donald Becker's device drivers. Be has to
pay Donald to get a license of the device drivers under a non-GPL
license. Had Donald licensed his device drivers under the LGPL, he
would not have gotten any money out of that deal.
I think this opens an interesting window of discussion. People
often ask "how do you make money by writing free software" and my
answer so far is the stock argument of "you sell support".
When looking in retrospective, I think "Boy, I really do not want
to spend a life providing library support". I would be very happy to
not have to provide support and rather only write software which I
like much more.
It is time to invent strategies to make money out from free
software, and this is definetly a possible strategy to follow. This
is one of the methods that were suggested on the Licensing BOF at
Usenix last year and I am pretty excited about the possibilities
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