Zed Shaw : Why I GPL

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.