Some people don’t get the GPL

Today, reading my RSS freeds, I got one of the most stupid reasons to not use GPL.

Let’s try to look on some ways:

First, if you are doing a customized application for a costumer, you can release it under the GPL. After all, the code is what your costumer is paying for. If they later want to just pass the code to someone else, its their problem. Also, if they want to hire some undergraduate to work on it and stop paying you, its their problem: he/she probably won’t get the underlaying foundation of the program. And, if they actually hire that guy, there is something wrong on what you are doing.

Second, if you are just “scratching an itch” (like I did with MMM and TimeTracker and my scripts SimpleCVS, SqlPlus2 and AutoDarkClicker), why would you want to make them to be used to put users on vendor lock in? Yes, vendor lock-in, you read it right. I know those programs are all stupid and somewhat useless, but let’s pick something useful like dotProject: what would it happen if they release it under BSD (and they did, as version 1.x, but changed to GPL on 2.x), IBM (or any large company) pick it up, did some changes that wouldn’t allow easy conversion to the original system and didn’t distribute the source? The original authors would had to reverse engineer all lock-in stuff to still give users their freedom to change the code.

So… yeah, I don’t like BSD-like licences. You are still free to use it, as long as you realize that. But bashing GPL with stupid arguments like that is plain stupid.