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Re: The sad decline of copyleft software licenses? :(

From: Marinus Savoritias
Subject: Re: The sad decline of copyleft software licenses? :(
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2020 23:00:33 +0200

On 9/22/20 8:39 PM, Pedro Lucas Porcellis wrote:
The second criticism is kind of a sign of the times if you think about it.
30 years ago when GPL there was the big war of us versus them. And evil
corporations and all of that stuff. Not that these dangerous corporations
don't exist now of course. The danger of corporations is more than ever. But
the people have changed.

I don't think those people have changed. They just adapted to the
current environment. By marketing "open-source" libraries and components
you can have cheap and free labor. "Don't worry, people will fix that
React bug for you, while you don't really respect people's freedoms,
keep spying, storing user's data, doing unethical things, and even
fucking up things outside the non-digital world, I mean, look at
facebook and Google, etc.

I was talking about the developers. The companies of course haven't changed. The backend has become more free software though among other stuff. Not copyleft though.

People nowadays are far more collaborative and diverse. The simple number of
programmers and licenses and software that we have is hundreds of time more
than 30 years ago. Expecting people to stay only in the GPL ecosystem, which
is not that big to begin with, is basically driving people away. I can't
think of a single programmer that I can convince to use GPL with all of the
legalities and considerations of dependencies it can have.

Again, that's just a lack of understanding and lazyness of today most
developers. If a developer randomly picks a permissive license this
person can trade that for GPL. The key difference is that all
derivative-works will keep enforcing that premisse while building a
chain of respect.

I guess it depends how you look at it. For me its a lack of outreach and connection from FSF and GNU to the rest of the developer community.

One big success story of Copyleft license is the Activity Pub ecosystem if
you know it. Mastodon, Pixelfed, Peertube, WriteFreely and more all under

The thing we have to keep in mind with Copyleft is that it is still not the
time for it in my opinion. We live in a time of extreme corporate
propaganda. And fake openness everywhere. While at the same time they lock
into their ecosystem. Two big examples is the Web with the Google-Chromium
monopoly and systemd.

That's EXACTLY why we need Copyleft. We need to push forward and show
that companies and products can be built around licenses like the GPL.
For instance, sourcehut (AGPL) is one of the most promising examples of
a company built around a complete free and open-source ecosystem, and
which truly enforces and contributes more and more towards this goal.

Agreed. it would be a good idea to show that GPL can be profitable.
Personally I don't really care about companies that much though.

1. Is FSF and GNU as a whole happy with the current situation? We
technically have more Free Software than ever. But the Copyleft and user
abuse is as high as it has ever been.

2. Is FSF and GNU the center of thing anymore? Do we want it to be? Because
I can tell you that there are Copyleft Licenses outside of GNU. Few but
exist. And there are developers that left GNU for some reason but still work
on Copyleft software. And of course the young developers that haven't heard
of FSF or GNU. Or don't want/bother to join.

I think this is about perspective. FSF and GNU still _works_. They're
being undermined because we live in a society where we enforce _non free
software_ and make it even harder for people who wants to write free
software, after all, _in order to write free software we need to write
proprietary software first as we need to pay some bills_.

I think this is all deeply related to how we structure ourself as
society and depoliticization of the free software movement.

I hope it made sense, I wrote in a bit of a hurry while writing
proprietary software for companies that literally throw thousands of
pesticides in my country's food.

I think its also because FSF and GNU have a trouble of being relevant. They are not known so much among devs and if they are they don't like them or they don't care. I think its a lack of outreach as I said above.

What do you mean depoliticization?

Marinus Savoritias

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