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Does GPL still matter?

Aug 11, 2009, 14:33 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Edwards)

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"Jeff Haynie reached a crossroads last summer. Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, a firm that develops open source cross-platform application development software, made a decision filled with implications for his company's future. That decision: to toss away his upcoming product's Gnu General Public License (GPL), the best-known and most popular free software license, in favor of what he viewed as a more business-friendly alternative. "We initially started the product with a GPLv3 license and we decided last summer to move the license to Apache," Haynie says.

"Haynie isn't the only business-oriented open source community member to have made, or at least pondered, a move to a GPL-free future. A June study conducted by Black Duck Software, an open source development tools vendor, shows that the Free Software Foundation's GPL -- although far and away still the dominant open source licensing platform -- could be starting to slide. The survey found that despite strong growth in GPLv3 adoption, the percentage of open source projects using GPL variants dropped from 70 to 65 percent from the previous year."

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