[fpc-devel] LGPL vs BSD

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Fri Aug 4 14:26:31 CEST 2006

> On Fri, 2006-08-04 at 13:59 +0200, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> > I see your point.  I think of it as how each camp can have leverage
> > over the other.
> > 
> > GPL software needs some type of leverage over commercial software as
> > they don't have the financial backing (or whatever else).  They do
> > this by forcing everybody else to publish there changes, which helps
> > the project along.
> > 
> > Commercial companies feel they need some leverage over GPL software,
> > as they invested a lot of money and man-power into some project to try
> > and create a better product the end of the day.  They want some return
> > on investment. If they had to publish all change, nobody would bother
> > buying their product, as they could just use the GPL (free) one.
> Commercial companies should find their leverage in those things the non-
> profitable section of the GPL-users can't do: Supply the support,
> documentation, guarantees that you'll provide help in case of a problem.
> And implement and sell things...

Well, that is a self chosen limitation, but it is the proper Slashdot party
line on OSS, yes. I don't agree, though the exceptions are rarer.

And keep in mind that GNU foundation itself _ISN'T_ limited to this party
line, THEY safely have copyrights signed away to the foundation, and they
can strike any deal they want. They wouldn't require this signing away if
they excluded commercial joint ventures so to say. I'm pretty sure RMS even
hinted on this in some of his replies on remarks that "GPL and commercial
intentions don't go together", since that is where I got the idea in the
first place.

> Or, in case of fpc - build those specific applications with it, which
> are not common enough for a community to write.

I prefer I could tell some vendor "implement this embedded architecture", and if you
submit this back then I grant you a commercial license to integrate the
compiler into your IDE, without open sourcing the IDE, and for that purpose
alone. (more or less the GNU mechanism)

Of course this is not really "HOT" for FPC atm. But it could have been.

The more BSD stance can be described using fpdoc. There are zillions of such
tools and liberating the license  might cause some extra adoption, and
e.g. (de-facto) standarisation of the fileformat.

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