gpgme license

Jan-Oliver Wagner jan at
Fri Aug 16 18:59:01 CEST 2002

On Fri, Aug 16, 2002 at 09:59:48AM -0400, marius aamodt eriksen wrote:
> the gpl doesn't understand that certain companies have no choice but
> to integrate proprietary software - the reasons may be out of their
> control, or something not having anything to do with software, or
> computers at all!  in the end, i write free software so that people
> can enjoy it and modify it all they want; i want people to use it.  in
> my mind, if anyone makes modifications (for improvements) it is common
> courtesy to give back the code *if their situationa allows for it.*
> and that's what happens practically - people, and even companies, give
> back code if they can.

The GNU GPL can not 'understand' anything. It is a text for legal purposes.
You probably mean the people who developed the GNU GPL does not
understand those corporate needs. I think they do, but did not want
to cover this issue with the GNU GPL.
GNU GPL and BSD are not meant as replacements for each other.
It (usually) makes sense to license code with GNU GPL and it (sometimes)
makes sense apply the BSD instead (and there are further licenses
in between like the GNU LGPL) - it is good to have this range.

It is my experience with many projects and consulting that companies
releasing Free Software prefer GNU (L)GPL over BSD since GNU (L)GPL guarantees
them that no other company can improve their code without giving
back all improvements/changes once it leaves their house.
Thus, the BSD license also reveals a drawback.

About using code:
If a company chooses Software X under GNU GPL it can be sure that
it will benefit from any improvement around the globe.
If a company chooses Software Y under BSD it hopes that all other
users will publish their improvements.
In pratice you might seldomly observe a difference but for strategic
planning it is.



Jan-Oliver Wagner     

Intevation GmbH	          

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