Non GPL Python MySQL Client Library.

François Pinard pinard at iro.umontreal.ca
Tue Jun 29 01:14:29 CEST 2004


[Mike C. Fletcher]

> <rant>And developers; stop GPLing libraries which are essentially
> commodities.  The GPL is effective when you are dealing with code
> which is so compelling and unique that it is easier to buy into
> the FSF's manifesto than to switch or write a substitute. [...]
> GPL is a PITA when working on commercial products and often forces
> reimplementation... when it's commodity code that's just entirely
> wasted effort.</rant>

GPL is a likely PITA for whoever does not like it.  If one doesn't like
the GPL, then one should be congruent enough to merely not use GPL'ed
code, instead of spending sweat and blood, trying to bend it.  The
original plan of the GPL is to have so much good and attractive code
flying around, which is GPL'ed, than people will give in free software
instead of doing it all over again.  That plan went pretty well so far.

Libraries are commodities, but so is a lot of non-library software.
Developers who consider that the GPL brought good software to them, may
well choose to produce some GPL code in return, in so contributing to
the critical mass.  You invite people to stop GPLing libraries because
it annoys those who do not like the GPL.  I would rather read this as a
practical proof that the GPL serves its purpose: if people against the
GPL were not a bit bitten by it, the GPL would be useless.

Sometimes, people want the butter and the money of the butter (from a
French idiom: "Le beurre et l'argent du beurre").  They want everything
without giving anything back.  The GPL is there to remind people that
the overall game is a give-and-take.  It is something useful.

P.S. - Please do not read me as saying that the GPL is the only path to
free software, there are other good free software licenses too.  But the
GPL is not "wrong", and developers are not "bad" because they choose it.

-- 
François Pinard   http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~pinard




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