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Re: People calling the GPLs 'evil licenses' - action plan?

From: Jim Garrett
Subject: Re: People calling the GPLs 'evil licenses' - action plan?
Date: Wed, 18 May 2022 16:26:17 +0000

   Just a thought about rhetorical approach and wording: the phrase
   "proprietary fork" could be useful. Also, center the viewpoint of
   prospective contributors.
   "A permissive license allows software companies or other entities to
   make a proprietary fork of a project. This means someone (Developer A)
   could generously contribute code, then Microsoft (say) could take the
   project, add their own enhancements, and release a competing version.
   Developer A contributed expecting she would benefit from others'
   contributions, yet she is walled off from Microsoft's contributions.
   She's being played, basically. We want to choose a license that
   encourages participation, and we think guaranteeing access to future
   contributions without the possibility of a proprietary fork best serves
   "It's obvious why proprietary software companies prefer that projects
   use permissive licenses, but when picking a license, I'm not
   particularly concerned with what Google, Microsoft, or Apple prefer, or
   what best integrates with their software stack."
   I add this second bit because I think there's "word on the street" that
   permissive licenses are more popular and preferred by more, um,
   entities. But this is like gossip ("people are saying... "). Trace this
   to origin and I think we would find a few big players loudly and
   consistently slandering strong licenses.
   Jim Garrett

   On May 17, 2022 10:15:15 PM EDT, Aaron Wolf <>

FWIW, as a link anyone can use, I put together this some years ago, aiming to be
 fair and neutral enough while advocating copyleft:
That's probably the ideal link to share in this  case IMHO
On May 17, 2022 2:27:30 PM PDT, Dennis Payne <> wrote

     Having one person consider GPL an evil license isn't a big deal. I
     wouldn't waste a lot of time trying to convert him. Nor would I send
     them a link to long essay explaining the situation. wolftune's
     is the simplest. However since you already sent him an offensive
     article, I doubt any argument will have much effect at this point.
     On Tue, 2022-05-17 at 23:52 +0800, andrew via libreplanet-discuss

     Andrew  Would
     [2] suffice to
     indicate extending an existing Expat (MIT) project into a project
     based on the original work but licensed under the (A)GPL?
     Andrew  ugh, forgot to place the agpl in it
     ChrisWarrick    ask a lawyer
     ChrisWarrick    (and consider a less evil license)
     Andrew  Not asking for legal advice, just general practice
     Andrew  And I don't consider the GPLs to be evil, I use  them for
     bigger projects while I use public domain (unlicense) for smaller
     ChrisWarrick    licenses are legal stuff, so you are asking for
     Andrew  asking stuff like 'does the US have any laws' is legal but
     isn't asking for legal advice imo
     ChrisWarrick    your question is “am I interpeting and using the
     license correctly”
     Andrew  i guess
     Andrew  and why do you think the gpl is evil?
     ChrisWarrick    GPL, and especially AGPL, makes your code less free
     than MIT/BSD
     nedbat  Andrew: this is a classic debate
     Andrew  ChrisWarrick: PM me, thanks
     Andrew  because I want to prevent people from proprietizing it
     ChrisWarrick    but at the same time, you’re benefitting from
     Nguyen’s work
     Andrew  yes
     ChrisWarrick    but he isn’t able to benefit from yours
     Andrew  they could use the AGPL/GPL, and they could ask me for an
     Andrew  the greater danger is people taking expat code and
     proprietizing it, hindering free use altogether
     ChrisWarrick    what is wrong with proprietary use though?
     Andrew  i'll get back to you with an article tomorrow, thanks on
     Andrew  meanwhile,
      explains part of it
     Andrew  dont agree to all of it, i see a lot of use of permissive
     licenses, but not for the project working on now
     ChrisWarrick    do you have a less offensive article?
     Andrew  I'm working on that
     ChrisWarrick    okay
     I hope this is clear enough on what I need ... well, how do I
     the GPL to them?

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