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

Carlos sanchiavedraz csanchezgs at gmail.com
Mon Nov 25 17:54:35 UTC 2013

2013/11/14 Carlos sanchiavedraz <csanchezgs at gmail.com>:
> 2013/11/14 Robin Gareus <robin at gareus.org>:
>> 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
>> evolve.
>> 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.
>> 2c,
>> robin
> Well and clearly explained.
> Thanks so much, Robin.
> --
> Carlos sanchiavedraz
> * Musix GNU+Linux
>   http://www.musix.es

I've made a quick search in Sourceforge to see the number of projects
with each licence and related to Audio:

* GPL2/GPL2+: they are a vast majority, maybe just because It's older
than v3. Here you can see some of the projects that we love at Musix
and myself: Ardour (in its own repo), Qsynth, Qjackctl, (all the rncbc
stuff), Rakarrack Hydrogen, LMMS

* GPL3: Here we have Guitarix (also has GPL2 and BSD), Virtual MIDI
Piano Keyboard

* AGPL: not much

You can check also the chapter "Adoption"[1] Wikipedia as part of the
article on GPL. There you can read:
In 2011, four years after the release of the GPLv3, according to Black
Duck Software data, 6.5% of all open-source license projects are GPLv3
while 42.5% are GPLv2.[45] Google open-source programs office manager
Chris DiBona reported that the number of open-source projects licensed
software that had moved to GPLv3 from GPLv2 was 50% in 2009,

I thought at the beginning that choosing GPLv3 was the way to go
nowadays: It's newer, and takes into account problems like
"Tivoization", patents and stuff.
And also AGPL is one for me to consider because many of my projects
could benefit from its protection against being "cloud-servified"
against your will, let's say.

But then I see that big projects (reference for me in the FLOSS world)
like Ardour, Jackd, Qjackctl, Qsynth, Rakarrack are GPL2+ and others
just GPL2, so I wonder if they just keep going on with what was chosen
in first place (backwards compatibility I guess) or they just don't
like GPLv3 yet even with those mentioned potential benefits.

I'd be very appreciate to know in particular the experience of these
projects I mentioned and that of people who actually make a living
developing floss software and have a business model that supports
and/or benefits from it.

Thanks so much anyways you all.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPLv2#Adoption

Carlos sanchiavedraz
* Musix GNU+Linux

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