You aren’t helping anyone by using the GPL

2022-12-01

Most my projects use either The Unlicense or some of the BSD licenses. I use these licenses, because they make it simple for others to use my code in their projects. A lot of GPL users would say this is actually a disadvantage, since an evil corporation can now use my code in their big evil proprietary program. I agree with them. My licenses allow that.

Then why am I still rambling about this? Well, the chance of a corporation doing using my software is rather small. On the other hand, the chance of another hobbyist like me stumbling over my code and using it in their open source project is much larger. I’d much rather let the hobbyist use whatever license they want and easily use my code than stop a developer in some corporation from saving few hours of their time.

Obviously this doesn’t apply to all projects. In projects, which are way ahead of the competition, or which do something unique, the GPL can be justified (see OBS). But most projects aren’t like this. By writing this post, I’m trying to urge you to think twice before picking the GPL (or similar) as your project’s license.

If you want to tell me how wrong I am, you can do it by sending a mail to ~mrms/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht.

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