I believe everyone should be able to audit & change the software they run, or hire someone else to do so.

That does not mean I don't believe in paying devs (paywalls, especially softpaywalls, seems like the best way).

And it does not mean I believe all software must be public for all to use, feel free to keep code for internal use or share your code only with your customers.


Something that people don't seem to realize is that you can 1) sell FOSS software at all; and 2) even the strongest copyleft licenses don't make you release your code publicly, all they require is that you make the code accessible to the users of your software and that you can't prohibit them from redistributing the code you gave them if they chose.

@nytpu @alcinnz I'd love a LGPL that required the code integrating it to be code supplied to customers with a dead author clause that upgrades to this modified LGPL or GPL.

@nytpu Also that the copyright owner(s) is not bound by the license. They can do whatever they like with modified versions of their code, including release them under a proprietary license or sell excemptions from copyleft requirements.

@alcinnz @LovesTha

Weird edge cases: both the Reciprocal Public License and the Sybase Open Watcom Public License do require the public release of modified code.

This kind of copyleft is so strong that it isn't Free Software anymore: Debian, Fedora, and the FSF have duly rejected both licenses. But for some reason they are accepted as Open Source by the OSI.

Reciprocal Public License has few other issues other than requirement of source code to be released in public.

My explanation for why FSF consider these licenses non-free is simple, since the person modifying the software for their own use and not distributing the software to third parties. There are no infringing on those third parties' four freedom there's no reason for them to release the source code.

As for Why X licensed is acceptable by FSF/OSI and not the other, it's not the first time nor the last. The best example of this is the Original BSD license AKA BSD clause 4 which is approved by FSF but not OSI, because of the advertisement clause. (I still considering Original BSD as the best BSD license)

@nytpu @alcinnz People also tend not to understand that you don't have to agree to the GPL in order to download and use GPL-licensed software.

@mathew @nytpu Right!

You only need to agree to the GPL to redistribute your possibly modified copies. Because as per normal copyright law you wouldn't be permitted to unless you had a document like the GPL stating that you that you can! In other words if you didn't agree to the GPL & redistributed those copies you have no right to do so.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

masto instance for the tildeverse