[sf-lug] [Balug-Talk] license count != software popularity (Re: Open Source less popular than Free Software)

Jesse Zbikowski embeddedlinuxguy at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 12:17:31 PDT 2007

On 9/26/07, Asheesh Laroia <asheesh at asheesh.org> wrote:
> http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT7188273245.html

Yes, this points to "problems created by license proliferation".  I
think the FSF encourages the use of GPL wherever possible.

> any notes on the main FSF or GNU sites that indicate that they think
> license proliferation is bad.

How about,

"The mere proliferation of different free software licenses is a
burden in and of itself."

- GPL FAQ, http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html

"The proliferation of different free software licenses means increased
work for users in understanding the licenses"

- FSF License list, http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/

google turns up many more examples.

> If you count the organizations making licenses, then it's at least true to
> say that more organizations use licenses

How many organizations "make" licenses is irrelevant to how many "use"
them.  License making may seem like a glamorous high-profile activity,
but it's for the most part pretty unhelpful, and how many
organizations do it is generally of little concern to the
Free/Libre/Open Source Software community.

> that are exclusively Free
> Software rather than ones that are exclusively Open Source.

A license is "Open Source" if it meets the "Open Source Definition",
whether it is OSI-approved or not (IMO).  I would be very interested
if you can find (or write) a specific license which meets the "Free
Software Definition" but not the OSD, or vice versa.  I can't find
much concrete difference other than rhetoric.

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