10 common misunderstandings about the GPL
August 30, 2006 Leave a comment
Here's a decent article regarding common misunderstandings about the GPL. My single bone of contention is #1. The GPL most certainly is viral. Not in the way they indicate in the article, but saying it isn't (when it is by design) in an article meant to dispel misconceptions seems..well, confusing. The article prompted me to re-read the GPL FAQ and I have indeed cleared a couple things up mentally and will admit I was partially prone to one of the misconceptions myself (#8). In the end, I can see why some people choose not to use the GPL. While they claim not to be anti-commercial (you can sell GPL software!), this is not something many software company are going to want to deal with. Of course the loophole to that is to distribute your product with something like trademarked logos, which means it can't be simply redistributed without ripping those out (ala RHEL->CentOS). As I was reading the FAQ and misconceptions, one thing became clear to me – plenty of people, some of them well intentioned and some of them not, are definitely violating the GPL. I wonder what the actual compliance rate is?
GPL, Open Source, FSF, GNU