[erlang-questions] [OT] Re: GPL vs. whatever [was: Erlang UUID]

Daniel Dormont <>
Sun Mar 18 17:05:24 CET 2012


In the simple case, it's pretty straightforward:

BSD - I can make fixes in your code and send them to you, and it's cool
because both of us could release our own proprietary version based on those
if we want

GPL - I can make fixes in your code and send them to you, and it's cool
because neither of us can make our own proprietary version

Except that, as mentioned above, some companies use the "dual-license"
approach so that they and they and they alone can produce a proprietary
version of their own code. I assume RMS must find this terribly ironic, but
it is only the GPL and not BSD that enables this. But in this case,
upstream contributions are a problem unless the contributor is required to
give permission to the original author to dual-license the code. But if you
were a potential contributor to such a project, wouldn't you think twice
about it?

Dan

On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM, Kostis Sagonas <> wrote:

> On 03/17/2012 07:24 PM, Jon Watte wrote:
>
>> The problem with GPL, even for a business that releases the source, is
>> that it becomes a lot harder to accept contributions from the rest of
>> the world. With GPL 3, the IP provisions make that pretty much a
>> non-starter for a business operating in the US business climate. Thus, a
>> GPL release (or AGPL release) from a commercial entity into the world
>> pretty much guarantees that it will be a one-way street, where fixes
>> won't work their way back up-stream.
>>
>
> I really do not understand what sort of situation and/or business climate
> you are describing.
>
> Suppose I use a software X from company/organization/some developers which
> was released under GPL and I find a bug in it and correct it. What exactly
> is it that prevents me from sending the fixes back to the
> company/organization/**developers of X for possible inclusion in the next
> release? Similarly if I enhance X with some additional functionality. What
> does business climate have to do with sending bug reports, bug fixes or
> enhancements? Why is this a one-way street as you claim?
>
> Kostis
>
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