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Re: [OT] - Interesting politics and the GPL

Jamin W. Collins wrote:

> I understand the concept of the BSD style license(s) (I think), but fail
> to see why it would be acceptable as a license for anything federally
> funded.  With a BSD style license, anyone is free to take the result (at
> any stage) and create a closed (possibly enhanced) proprietary
> implementation.  Why should this be allowed for something paid for by
> the public's tax dollars?  The public has already paid for a good
> portion (if not all) of the item through federal funding.  Now it can be
> incorporated into a proprietary application and the public winds up
> paying for it twice?

Well, remember that corporations are taxpayers too. One could reasonably
argue that it is just as improper to deny them the full use of publicly-
funded code is it would be to deny any individual American citizen.

Still, a protection against "embrace and extend" seems warranted, to
prevent the public's property from effectively becoming the private
property of Microsoft or some other predatory company. That's why I
would favor a more LGPL-like license over BSD or X.

> While some see the GPL's requirement, that any enhancements/changes be
> released if the modified version is distributed, as restrictive.

That's not the problem so much as the "if you link to GPL code, you must
release your code as GPL" part. The inability to incorporate GPL code,
even unmodified, into closed-source products is the bigger issue.


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