On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 11:39:31AM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
So the question with respect to copyleft-next is whether the
that the reason for the decline in copyleft's popuarity is because the
license is too complicated, or for the reasons which Rob has
articulated. If the answer is a little of both, is there anything we
can do to make sure that copyleft-next doesn't make the problem of
splitting the copyleft community worse? (i.e., by introducing a new
license which is both GPLv2 and GPLv3 incompatible)
So is the concern is about future versions of copyleft-next and the
default 'or later' approach (in existing versions of copyleft-next)? I
have an idea of how to solve that but I have to think about it some
more to make sure it makes sense.
Rob is probably right that 'seems to prevent code reuse' is *one*
reason for the (putative) decline of copyleft, but I think he may be
taking it too far.
[quote from Rob Landley:]
> These days the GPL largely serves to _prevent_ code
> re-use, and people have responded to the percieved problems with
> "GPL-next" initiatives where they fragment copyleft further with
> Affero variants, by using creative commons on code, and so on.
Wait, I think he's unfairly lumping copyleft-next in with other things
(maybe some of the discussions around CC 4.0?). :)
> In the absence of a universal receiver, most developers have
> switched to universal donor licenses: MIT/BSD or even public domain.
> I'm sorry, but Richard Stallman _screwed_up_. GPLv3 suceeded
> Sun's CDDL failed: it split copyleft into incompatible warring
> factions which are collectively shrinking in market share because
> none of them are as useful a "The GPL" was.
I don't buy this really, if he's suggesting that there's a tendency to
use universal donor licenses because of the absence of a universal
receiver. I will note that by 2009 it was clear to me that (at least
in the mainstream Linux world I was dealing with a lot) "GPLv2 or
later" was being consciously chosen -- or maintained instead of
Samba-style relicensing -- over GPLv3, by copyleft-ecosystem projects,
because developers seemed to see "GPLv2 or later" as a
most-of-the-time universal receiver. This is undoubtedly one of the
reasons why adoption of GPLv3 specifically was more limited than some
thought it might have been. But I don't think it explains why, say, so
many GitHub projects use the MIT license or the like.
When Rob says RMS 'screwed up' ... well, the FSF *could* have
developed mechanisms in GPLv3 to address this matter of real/perceived
conflict between GPLv2 and GPLv3 (or LGPLv3, where the issue attracted
the most attention when the licenses were being drafted), but chose
not to. However I think he (Rob) has an exaggerated view of the
problem, even though I've dealt with such matters from time to time --
maybe a few times over 5 or so years.
> Expecting GPLv2 to be replaced by GPLv3 is just delusional.
Nearly 6 years from the release of GPLv3, *this* is clearly correct,
barring some sort of bizarre future nostalgia movement that for some
reason favors GPLv3 but not GPLv2. That is about as likely as a
revival of advertising clauses. :)