[erlang-questions] Open source licenses, which one to choose

Brian Granger <>
Wed Apr 9 19:02:59 CEST 2008


>  If you are happy with attribution (credits), i think
>  the FreeBSD/OpenBSD... licenses are the normal to use.
>
>  In the *BSD camps the GPL is thought of as evil since it
>  many times prohibits (at least makes harder) (commercial) use.
>  Unfortunately it seems to be a religious thing.

Being in the *BSD camp myself, I have to disagree with this statement
(about us not liking the GPL because of the commercial applications).
The biggest problem is that GPL code can't be used in open source BSD
style projects (the GPL would require releasing the resulting work
under the GPL license).  Perfect example:  Erlang is not GPL.  Thus
Erlang cannot be distributed with code that links to or uses GPL code:
 readline and FFTW begin examples.

If you were to release your project under the GPL, anyone who wants to
use it may have to release their code under the GPL (even if it is
open source (BSD, MIT, etc.)) (unless you include a special runtime
exception, but that gets pretty subtle).

Bottom line:  if you want your code to play well with other open
source project that don't use the GPL, pick something like the
BSD/MIT/MPL.

Brian



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