Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 11:18:12 -0500 From: Rich Felker <dalias@...ifal.cx> To: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: License survey On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:48:59PM +0400, Solar Designer wrote: > Oh, and this does start to look like a bikeshed, so I think I won't > comment further. I think Rich merely wanted us to vote, which we did. :-) This is totally a bikeshed, but sometimes the color you paint your bikeshed matters when you live in a city full of biker gangs and painting it the right or wrong color will determine who likes you and who wants to kill you. :-) And indeed, my main goal was to get a sampling of the opinions on licensing from the community, and I think I've been successful in that. Surely a lot more successful than any other time I'd asked for input/opinions on this list. A few thoughts I had myself on the matter... One thing I like about copyleft and having external copyright holders is that the rules apply to me too. If, for instance, I were working in embedded systems as a job, and my employer asked me to prepare a derived work of musl for purely-closed use, I could simply tell them that's not possible without the consent of other copyright holders. But with no copyleft, or if I'm the sole copyright holder, the choice is pretty much to do it or quit (and if I do it, then of course there becomes a contamination issue if I later try to make similar improvements to the open version). Another issue (I suspect Solar will feel differently than me about this one) is the possibility of offering a non-free, closed version. If I'm doing a BSD-licensed project and asking others to contribute under BSD license, it feels like I'm taking their contributions to build something I could turn around and make closed/commercial derivatives of for my own benefit. And in a way it would be wrong to deny myself the right to do this if everybody else who receives the code has a right to do it, but the original author and/or project maintainer is in a unique position of authority and trust that makes it much easier to commercially exploit the code. For these and of course all the more well-known, conventional reasons, I tend to favor at least some sort of copyleft, but I also see that a lot of the community and potential user base is worried about the ugliness of LGPL with static linking, etc. I don't think there's a quick and easy answer for what's best to do, but I'll keep everything in mind as we move along. Rich
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