Re: what's the killer app for GNU/Linux systems?
John Hasler wrote:
If you explicitly release it into the public domain you have licensed it.
If you "release" it with no license at all it will never become popular
because no one will distribute it.
Maybe not, maybe so. If they did, how would I know or stop them?
Certainly just because you say they wouldn't, doesn't make it true.
The reality is, the only reason anyone would be worried about
redistribution is largely because of both the real issues *and* the FUD
created by the endless GPL debates, right?
Look at the (much) bigger picture here. If licenses weren't ever made a
big deal (by "evil" corporations and GPL fans alike), they wouldn't be.
Again, I'm a GPL fan to some extent. I am *not* arguing against it.
I'm simply stating that licenses are only as important as people think
they are, and if someone's code is posted without one, and you can
reasonably be assured that they simply don't care about that code, you
could read it, use it, modify it, or do whatever you want with it --
with virtually zero chance anything "bad" will ever happen to you.
Whether or not you *wish* to do that, is completely a personal decision.
I respect yours, and I agree that *I* would never do it, but we
open-source zealots often don't realize that our own attitudes create
much of the FUD surrounding software distribution worries.
RMS (and the GPL group) use FUD just as much to their advantage as do
the commercial interests. Would Stallman or any of the regularly
interviewed "open source early visionaries" even have positions of
prestige/respect if they hadn't helped spread FUD about licensing?
You're helping that along by saying "no one" will distribute unlicensed
code. ALL code was once unlicensed... and TRULY Free. I realize that
is never going to be true again, but we should remind ourselves from
time to time that licensing and the so-called "need" for it came about
as a result of the "battle" between open and closed source projects
itself. The code itself was always (and is) still Free if posted in a
Copyright (like all other laws), automatic or otherwise, is only
important if enforced. Plenty of unenforced, badly written laws on the
books. So really -- the chance of Copyright enforcement then must be
weighted, just like any other business or personal decision.
Roll through any stop signs without coming to a full and complete stop
in your car lately? You broke the law. Anyone see it (or care)?
Just like everything in life, the stakes may be high or low. If you did
it in an empty intersection at 2AM... that's a different level of risk
than doing it in plain view of a peace officer in rush-hour traffic.
I'm not recommending anyone break the law, or have no personal
integrity. I'm only saying that it happens every day without a shadow
of a doubt. Code copying included.