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The GPL Impedes Linux More Than It Helps? 386

Anonymous Coward writes "Linux ought to be even more successful than it is. On ZDNet, Paul Murphy ponders the reasons why. For one thing: The GPL impedes Linux more than it helps. Licensing issues, coupled with patent and copyright FUD, have caused developers and VCs to think twice before committing to Linux. Murphy also suspects that desktop Linux is stuck on stupid." From the post: "Basically, legal issues, or the threat of legal issues, caused some key applications developers to back off Linux while the general negativism of Linux marketing caused many of the individuals whose innovations should have been driving Linux adoption to hang fire until MacOS X and Solaris for x86 under the CDDL came along."
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The GPL Impedes Linux More Than It Helps?

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  • Actually (Score:4, Informative)

    by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:03PM (#13713915)
    The author admits that the headline was inadvertently applied from a post he intends to do tomorrow.
  • True to an extent... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:10PM (#13713983)
    The GPL claims to protect the user's freedoms, but that's plain wrong. The GPL protects other users freedoms at the expense of any one individual's ability to use a piece of code completely freely. Corporate lawyers have a hard time coming to terms with that, and for good reason. The GPL is as much an ethical statement as a license, and it's not something that a commercial producer of software should take lightly. The modified Artistic license and modified BSD license are much more user friendly, and if Linux and most Linux software used those instead adoption would probably be greater. It's not clear that would be better though.
  • Re:linus on GPL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hope Thelps ( 322083 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:17PM (#13714067)
    i dont think linus is to keen about the GPL, he never actively promotes it.

    Yes, saying things like "Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did." [] is almost hostile.
  • by Entrope ( 68843 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:18PM (#13714076) Homepage
    The GPL protects other users freedoms at the expense of any one individual's ability to use a piece of code completely freely.

    That's absolutely wrong. The GPL allows you to modify and to use GPLed code in any way you please. What the GPL does not give you is the right to give the GPLed code to someone else without giving that person the same rights you got.

  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:30PM (#13714178) Homepage

    Because OSX isn't for everyone. I use it everyday at work, but when I get home I much prefer using kde on my linux box.

    I understand this. I got a powerbook last January or February. At first I was amazed at the eye-candy .... but then I started turning things off, like the icons that enlarge when you mouse over (cool at first, then annoying). I found myself missing things that I discovered I had really come to depend on (like multiple desktops -- in OSX you can get 3d party apps which work OK but not perfectly). Then highlight to select -- no dice (at least universally). No sloppy focus -- keep foreground up and scroll a different application in the background (e.g., terminal in foreground, firefox with Howto in back) -- linux does it but I haven't found a way in OS X 10.3.

    Anyway, as the year has worn on, I'm liking OSX less and less. I've played with Tiger on other people's computers, but I don't see any improvement - just gimicks. These annoyances really start to add up -- I suppose it's time to check and see if the trackpad issues have been resolved yet. That's the only thing that's held me back.

  • by freshman_a ( 136603 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:31PM (#13714821) Homepage Journal

    Not to mention, most BSD systems use a heavy amount of GPL code these days

    Really? Care to show me where this "heavy amount" is at?

    What would your favorite BSD look like without any of it?

    Well, this for one: []
    What would Linux look like without non-GPL code? You'd have no OpenSSH, no Apache, no PostgreSQL, and no X.

    ...they're not willing to let the competition or some company to take their work, close source it, and sell it as something new and better to make bundles of cash.

    I can't tell you how many times I've heard that argument before from the anti-BSD folks. Again, care to show me an example of where this actually happened?
  • Re:Linux and GPL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Intron ( 870560 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @03:15PM (#13715369)
    You work for MicroSoft throwing FUD? See the glibc README - its LGPL not GPL. LGPL allows linking with proprietary software to build proprietary applications. This has been discussed many times, many years ago. IBM believes [] that you can build proprietary apps with gcc, and their lawyers are better than yours.
  • Curious.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by sp0rk173 ( 609022 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @04:02PM (#13715854)
    When was the last time you used a BSD system? Generally speaking the only GPL programs in the base system are a handfull utilities here and there, and GCC. You better believe that once they can, the BSDs will switch to Tendra and away from GCC. OpenBSD has by far the least number of base-system GNU utils, FreeBSD the most. And still, the majority of the base system in FreeBSD is BSD licensed.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents