a broken lcd lost in the green on black

why i don't like the gpl

the gpl is a fairly popular open source license, and in all honesty it did well for bringing open source code and code freedom into the world. this won't be one of those expositories on the obnoxious character of rms, or a holier-than-thou soliloquy, but rather conveying my argument that we can do better than the gpl, at least for those interested in actual freedom.

the gpl is one of those pesky "copyleft" licenses that is viral in nature. it forbids changing the license, and any derivative works are required to be licensed under the same license. this imposes a restriction on the software, and therefore the code is not truly free. for my personal code, i release under a dual license: users have the choice of public domain or the isc license, choosing whichever affords more freedoms. unfortunately, even the isc is encumbered with a mark of virility:

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above 
copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

this is why i release under a dual license. i would rather users have the freedom to do whatever with my code. if someone can take it and incorporate it into a great commercial product, that is a good thing because the software is being used actively.

2011.09.14