[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [OT]: Mathworks fighting the GPL

From: David Grundberg
Subject: Re: [OT]: Mathworks fighting the GPL
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 19:44:28 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090812)

dbateman wrote:

David Grundberg-3 wrote:
Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
Apologies for the offtopic chatter, but I just noticed this as I was
trying to look for Emacs's Matlab mode to see if I could get some
ideas for Octave mode. It appears that the Mathworks only allows the
BSD license on their servers now, which affects much free software
under other licenses (in particular GPL) that they were hosting.

It's difficult to find exactly what happened and how because they seem
to have spread the word about this relatively secretly by email to
people with code on their servers, but they do have a FAQ:

This happened July last year.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm deeply disturbed that
Mathworks is now actively fighting against copyleft.

- Jordi G. H.
The permissive licensing is bad for the contributor to the benefit of Mathworks (or anyone else making proprietary software). People should decline using matlabcentral, it's in their own interest. This draws to memory the X Consortium, which demanded permissive licensing from it's contributors so that the software could be restricted at will.


Different situations can make different licenses the better choice, and the
X-consortium in their goal to produce a reference model of an X server for
all developers (proprietary or otherwise) correctly chose the BSD license. I
contributed to XFree (chips driver, xgamma extension) under the BSD license
and my contributions were taken back into the Xconsortium version and I have
no problems with that. But that is just the reference design, anyone can
make their own improves to the reference design under whatever license they
want, and of course XOrg has under a GPL license (basically killing XFree

However, in the case of MathCentral of entirely removing any chance of the
user selecting their own license (MathCentral is dominant in the matlab
world for the distribution of user add-on), I agree that MathWorks is
imposing the BSD license for their own benefit. It will be interesting to
see how the Tim Davis code on MathCentral is treated (eg CXSparse, UMFPACK,
COLAMD, etc) that Tim deliberately licensed under the GPL and then sold the
code under different conditions to MathWorks (all these packages are part of
Matlab and Octave for that matter). I assume he'll promptly remove his code
from MathCentral rather than letting MathWorks steal from him


Interesting read, thanks!

Tim Davis' profile on matlabcentral reads:

"... Note that The MathWorks now requires files posted here to appear under a BSD License. I'm unable to change the licensing of some of my code (GNU GPL and LGPL). You can now find UMFPACK, CHOLMOD, SuiteSparse, etc. on my web page."

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]