[LAU] [semi-OT] Licences and your opinion and experience

Robin Gareus robin at gareus.org
Thu Nov 14 13:02:33 UTC 2013

On 11/14/2013 01:20 PM, Carlos sanchiavedraz wrote:
> Hello dear all LAUers.
> Time ago I did some research about open source/free software licences:
> types, pros and cons, etc. I'm reviewing it and, given that I follow
> and love many of the great projects and applications coded by members
> of this list, I would love to here you're opinions (pros, cons) and
> experience in practice and why you chose X licence for your project(s)
> (business model or enterprise view in mind, 'cause you like it...).

Software concerning infrastructure and inter-operation should *provide
freedom to the developer*. Less restrictive licensing (eg. MIT, BSD,
public-domain) is important to promote standards (in particular network
or communication protocols.)

Application software aimed at end-users should *protect the freedom of
the user*. Here GPL is appropriate. It ensures that any user will be
free to run it (which must include the freedom to modify it e.g. to make
it work on future systems,...) amongst other freedoms. From a developer
point of view the GPL also provides continuity and allows software to

Personally I either choose the MIT or the GPLv2+ license for all of my
projects. The former for libs, the latter for apps (with the usual
exceptions, mainly due to re-using code and inheriting licenses). The
reason for those two is that they're the only two licenses that I have
read, understand and agree with.
I have no intention to spend any time reading all of the others licenses
cover-to-cover, and I believe that any developer who is using a given
license should at least have a basic understanding of [the implications
of] the license which mandates reading it completely.
I keep an open eye on [new] licenses but have not had any reason to
investigate any of them any further.

> I see that the most commons are GPL2 (some don't like yet the v3) and
> GPL3. And nowadays with so many services in the cloud also AGPL, and
> MIT or Apache as well with HTML and Javascript libs and artifacts.
> Thanks as always for sharing your work and knowledge.


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