GNU General Public License

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about GNU General Public License.

The GNU General Public License is, in the words of co-founder Eben Moglen, "the most important social document of our time", but in the words of almost everyone else, a necessary evil. Almost everyone hates the GPL with a passion, including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and Tux, because it stops them from making serious money out of FLOSS.

Before the GPL

Before RMS created the GPL, free software hackers had four options:

  • Release their code into the public domain
  • Release their code under the MIT license
  • Release their code under the BSD license
  • Release their code to Satan

BSD License

“Here you go, have it, but don't remove my name. Yes, you can still sue me.”
~ Brian Behlendorf on BSD-style licenses

The BSD License was first created with the BSD operating system, commonly available in Free, Open and Net varieties. The text of the license is below.

woh...man, that is some gooood shit...
whadda, whadda we ment 2 be doing? 
go, do wat ye want with this software
just credit the great pot at berkley man!

MIT License

The MIT License was similar, but more free than the BSD license.

woh...man, that is some gooood shit...
whadda, whadda we ment 2 be doing? 
go, do wat ye want with this software
just don't tell anyone the great pot at mit man - we want to keep it for ourselves!

GPL v3

Almost everyone hates the third version of the GPL, or, as it is commonly known: "GPLv3". Most objections are due to viral nature of the deal with Satan which takes effect upon reading it. It is felt to be unfair that just by reading it -- not just abiding by it, as required by the GPL v2 -- one has given up one's soul to Satan. The same logic has been applied to shrink wrap licensing with great success, and Satan was committed to Hell, moving with the times.

People who love GPLv3

“It's not just a philosophy, it's a whole license!”
~ Bruce Perens on GPLv3

People who hate GPLv3

“Hello, my name is Linus Torvalds, and I hate the GPLv3”
~ Linus Torvalds on GPLv3
“GPLv3 is the scurge of the coding classes”
~ Oscar Wilde on GPLv3
“One, RMS wrote it, Two, Eben messed with it, Three, Linus rejected it, Four - now I hate the GPL too”
~ R. Kelly on GPLv3
“Ppmmmmmfppp mfffmmmn mppfpmppfpmffmffmpmffppfppp fppmffffpmffppp pmpmffpppmpmfmm (pmpmffpppmpmfmm, fm mppfpppmmppfmm mmpm ffmfmmfmmpppff fmpmmmfpfmmm, mpmmpppfmmpppppmpmmffpppmfm ppfppp fmpmmmfmmfmpmpp) mmpfmffm”
~ Kenny on GPLv3

See also


Unix
Debian | Fedora | Gentoo | Lindows | Red Hat | Rinux | Segfault | Slackware | SteamOS | Ubuntu | Uncyclux | Xandros | Xubuntu
BSD - FreeBSD | NetBSD | NetBDSM | OpenBSD
Darwin - OSX | Tiger Linux - Arch | Only For MacSolaris
Applications and Documentation
Vi | Emacs | Firefox | GIMP | GNOME | GFDL | GPL | I18n | KDE | ls | man | man uncyclopedia | rm | FVWM | X Window System
People and Organizations
Free Sockpuppet Foundation | GNU | St. Ignucius | SCO | Richard M. Stalin | Linus Torvalds | Tux
Personal tools
projects