Friendly reminder that copyleft licenses are not here to prevent you from doing anything you want but to compel you to give what you build upon the community efforts back to the community.

@Alda I used to think non-copyleft free software was crazy but ended up in non-copyleft projects. Which use another way of getting contributions back: Be an awesome community with an awesome codebase which people *want* to be part of because they cannot achieve as much by themselves.

So now I think both models have a purpose. The license is just a means to and end. Projects should pick one which best serves their goals.

When contributing I always respect a project's chosen license.

@stsp Are you saying that copyleft project have less awesome community with a less awesome codebase whit people who doesn't want to be part of because they are forced to contribute back by the copyleft ?

@Alda No. I'm saying people and companies can be willing to contribute back for other reasons than legal coercion. Which applies equally to copyleft and non-copyleft projects.

Whether or not a project should use legal coercion in addition to those other reasons is a separate question which depends on the ecosystem and goals of the project.

@stsp Yeah well, copyleft doesn't prevent awesomeness but protects from capitalism so… you know… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@Alda It does not protect anyone from a broken and corrupt political system. Humans cannot eat or take shelter in source code.

Copyleft just means anyone with sufficient time, knowledge, and resources can demand source code from someone else in court if desired. It's a legal tool and conflating it with political tools can be deceptive. Politics may well change the legal environment copyleft relies on (in a good way by e.g. restricting copyright, in a bad way by outlawing copyleft licenses).

@Alda And just to make this really clear: I do not object to developing copyleft code. Quite the opposite: I've recently started working as a dev of GPL code for the #osmocom project, with a company run by the same person who runs 🙃

@stsp Well I can certainly know more about the real political views of someone (not the one they advertise) by asking them their position on copyleft than by looking at their source code contribution.

I don't really care about any legal application since the rich have just to throw more lawyers at anyone who disagree with them.

It's about what are our core values : Do we « do want I want and no one can force me to do anything » or do we acknowledge the fact that exploitation is bad and should be prevented.

@Alda Sure but in some cases use of code by other entities without their contributions is a goal.

Consider OpenSSH for example. One goal of this projext was to replace telnet and broken SSH implementations in commercial network equipment to improve the overall security of our existing infrastructure. The project does of course appreciate contributions from vendors but if you want every vendor (even evil ones) to deploy your code no matter what, then a non-copyleft licence is a better fit.

@stsp @Alda I think this articulates the reasons for non-copyleft pretty well, if your priority is security, you would want your secure software to be used by as much people as possible. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.

@stsp @Alda exactly that. Context matters and that is also acknowledged by FSF / #copyleft creators

“Some libraries implement free standards that are competing against restricted standards […] For these projects, widespread use of the code is vital for advancing the cause of free software, and does more good than a copyleft on the project's code would do.” ―

We shall take account of the real world and adjust our actions if we want to introduce _effective_ improvements.

@stsp @Alda hmm, i agree with Alda here, but you make a good point. stallman writes something good on this:

"Why you shouldn't use the Lesser GPL for your next library"

he essentially says, if your software doesn't provide an advantage over other accessible proprietary software, a permissive license is a good idea, because it makes it /less/ limited than the alternative

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