Slashdot links to this CIO article, which quotes Linus Torvalds on the importance of the General Public License (GPL):
“FSF [Free Software Foundation] and I don’t have a loving relationship, but I love GPL v2,” said Torvalds. “I really think the license has been one of the defining factors in the success of Linux because it enforced that you have to give back, which meant that the fragmentation has never been something that has been viable from a technical standpoint.”
“The GPL ensures that nobody is ever going to take advantage of your code. It will remain free and nobody can take that away from you. I think that’s a big deal for community management.”
Zed Shaw, the guy behind a lot of code and several books, shares his thoughts on why he is now switching from simpler, more permissive licenses like BSD and MIT, to GPL. Most of the Linux people and GPL fans would easily guess the reasons, since they’ve popped up in pretty much every license related flame war. But it’s nice to hear from someone who did actually experience the theory, and who really knows what he is talking about.
I’ll always be an open source developer, but quite frankly, we’re dying off because the companies who use our software do not give back. The irony of the situation is that, in order to improve my motivation to do open source, I have to charge for it.
I obviously won’t ever charge an open source project, since they are honoring the unwritten contract: If I give, you give.
But the days of quick-flip corporations and ingrate programmers making money on my software are over. My new motto is:
Open source to open source, corporation to corporation.
If you do open source, you’re my hero and I support you. If you’re a corporation, let’s talk business.
Welcome to the GPL camp, Zed.
id Software has released the source code for its Quake III Arena for the public under the GPL. That is even before Quake 4 has been released! If you’re interested, you can download the source code here.
Now game writers all over the world can unite and produce some really cool games for Linux, Windows, and Mac. Yeah!