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What's next after GPL and Apache?

May 18, 2012, 12:00 (0 Talkback[s])

At the end of April, I wrote about the idea that usage of the GNU General Public License (GPL) is declining and concluded that although new, commercially initiated open source projects were indeed tending to adopt other licenses, the use of the GPL itself is still growing -- especially among projects in its core community of GNU platform development. This article explores why commercial projects pick particular open source licenses and what might happen in the future.

First, a brief historical recap: During the "open source bubble" of the mid-2000s, driven to build Web-facing solutions on short timescales, many companies used a combination of Linux/Apache HTTPD/MySQL/Perl to prototype and iterate. They were able to do this because open source specifically grants the freedom to use those packages for any purpose -- to study them, modify them, and deploy them -- all without permission from any entity.

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