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Re: Mathworks-hosted GPL'd software

From: Aleksej Saushev
Subject: Re: Mathworks-hosted GPL'd software
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 02:18:45 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (berkeley-unix)

"John W. Eaton" <address@hidden> writes:

> It's unfortunate that this person decided that his best option was to
> switch to the BSD license, especially given that he thinks that doing
> so is more likely to result in someone else "paid to write codes"
> coming along to maintain the code.  I don't know why that wouldn't
> also happen if the code were distributed under the terms of the GPL.
> There are plenty of examples of community maintained software
> distributed under the terms of the GPL, aren't there?
> It seems more likely that if someone "paid to write codes" has an
> interest in maintaining his software, they will not hesitate to also
> relicense the code and make it proprietary with no notice or
> compensation of any kind to the original author.  That is after all
> what the MathWorks FAQ about the new licensing scheme tells people is
> legal and so seems to be encouraging people to do.

If you're afraid that someone "steals" your code, you shouldn't release it
at the first place.

There's simple explanation why it happens so that BSD licensed code
receives more attention when it comes to maintainance. When you are paid
to do some work, what code can you reuse to save your time?
Obviously only the one that is free. "Free" as in "free," not as in "GPL," 
there's no "free" in "GPL." Thus we spend our time on source code
distributed under BSD and MIT/X terms rather than GNU terms, we talk
to original developers and maintainers and contribute to those projects.

There's very little point in "stealing" what is free. In the most frequent
case you can't add to it enough value so that you can redistribute it for
material return. The gain is negligible, if exists at all. Everyone just
goes and finds the same free code you started from. On the other hand
you give out bug fixes and other code you don't intend to maintain,
because all this maintainance takes your time.


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