[Zope] OT: Re: [Zope] Zope and the GPL poison pill

Bill Anderson bill@noreboots.com
Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:08:11 -0600

Andrew Kenneth Milton wrote:
> +-------[ Dario Lopez-Kästen ]----------------------
> |
> | >From: "Toby Dickenson" <mbel44@dial.pipex.net>
> | > If that is your motivation then you may find that you get *more* back
> | > by not using the GPL. My contributions to Zope (both personal and on
> | > company time) are fairly significant in total, and would not have
> | > happened if Zope was under a GPL license.
> | >
> |
> | but is that because you personally don't like/endorse the GPL for
> | what-ever-reason or is it because the GPL actually prevents this? and if so,
> | could you please elaborate?
> There are a variety of reasons.
> First and foremost is that the GPL is not corporate friendly, which means
> that larger corporations are unlikely to take on GPLd products in any form.

An unproven assertion. I have personally witnessed a very large corporation prefer GPL to other licenses, such as BSDish
ones. Even after legal was through with it (a few times because legal recommended it).

> Unlikely does not mean impossible, but until the NASDAQ picks up again, I
> would say most people will be wary of non-commercial friendly products.
> So if you have something useful, then what will probably happen is
> said corporation will likely throw money at it and reimplement it,
> market it better, and make proprietary changes and move on. This has
> already happened with a BSD licensed product (the license was incidental,
> but, it did happen). This can happen to any Open Source product.
> The second reason is that GPL attracts fanatics.

As Does BSD. Just look at the BSD zealots that go to GPL forums with flame throwers on their back. Nearly everything
attracts fanatics.

Just look at the subject line. ;^)=

> Just look at any
> discussion forums where the issue comes up. You cannot have a calm discussion
> and mention the GPL.

Not true. I have personally had more calm conversations, including honest disagreement, than not.

> I have already seen one GPL project have to re-license its code to a
> company who despite the ranting of some and the calm assurances of others
> was not convinced that they could even comply with the GPL.
> Mozilla -- MPL license.

Dual license with GPL.
Sun relicensing StarOffice under a dual license with the GPL.

Two very large and notable cases of the opposite. Python MAY go the same way.

> Zope -- ZPL license.
> Perl -- Artistic License (GPL - controversial bits).
> While the GPL guarantees that other people's code will also be open
> source, it doesn't guarantee that they will contribute those changes to
> you (i.e. stop forks 150 Linux distros can't be wrong).
> The BSD code doesn't prevent this either (OpenBSD anyone?). MPL does.

One thing to note, and it is important, is that multiple distributions of Linux OS is irrelevant to the matter of the
GPL. The Linux Kernel is under GPL, but that does not require the entire OS built on top of it to be. Technically
speaking, a Linux OS Distribution is a compilation. To say that more than one linux distribution consittutes a fork is
false, and rather misleading.

It is also interesting to note you left out all the GPL work being done by corporations. Corporations such as HP, SUN,
and Phillips.

Now, lest anyone here presume I am a GPL zealot, visit my products page before making yourself look foolish.

In any event, the original question at the top of this post was not answered. As demonstrated, it is a matter of
personal preference. It is even more likley, that in this particular case, the contributons wuld not fall under GPL or

Do not meddle in the affairs of sysadmins, for they are easy to annoy,
and have the root password.