Drew Devault drewdevault.com

My personal journey from MIT to GPL  ↦

As I got started writing open source software, I generally preferred the MIT license. I actually made fun of the “copyleft” GPL licenses, on the grounds that they are less free. I still hold this opinion today: the GPL license is less free than the MIT license - but today, I believe this in a good way.

As someone who has spent tens of thousands of hours developing free software, Drew’s thoughts on these matters are well considered. After reading this, I had to ask myself why I still prefer MIT. Ultimately, I think him and I differ on motivation. He states:

I give people free software because I want them to reciprocate with the same.

I give people free software and I want them to reciprocate with the same. However, I don’t do it because I want them to do it. I do it because I want to give the world a gift. Full stop. What about you?


Discussion

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2019-06-27T21:24:09Z ago

I give because I want to give back - I feel I owe it to the people who have shared code before, irregardless of the license they used. It would be lovely if people felt the same and reciprocated, but to attach conditions to trying to balance the scales seems inappropriate to me - I could give 1000 times more than I have and not come close to the benefit I have already received.

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