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Apache or GPL?

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Matt Asay today switched his license alliegiance, to Apache from the GPL. Before anyone starts in with the Arlen Specter jokes, let me say that based on the criteria he sets out, adoption, his argument makes sense.

Once an open source product is released into the market, users don’t really care what license it uses.

If you are looking to businesses to fund further development, a good argument can be made for Apache or even the Eclipse license. Google likes Apache, IBM Eclipse, and your user-in-the-street could probably care less.

What counts on this question for me is not adoption but development.

rest here


There have always been two schools of intellectual property thought in free software/open-source circles, and boy have they had their flame wars over the years. Things have been calm lately, but recently, Eric S. Raymond, co-founder of the OSI (Open Source Initiative), has thrown a match on the gasoline again in an essay entitled, The Economic Case Against the GPL.

Raymond argues that open source is a more "efficient system of software production." Raymond is using the term "efficiency' here in the precise sense economists use it. Of two systems of production, the more efficient is the one which produces more units of output for a given input of factors of production." As Black Duck Software recently revealed in its study that showed that open-source software is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, the facts are on Raymond's side.

But, Raymond doesn't stop there. He believes that the GPL causes FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and that, in turn, this "slows down open-source adoption."


Has the GPL out-lived its usefulness?

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