[Advisors] Thoughts on a license change.

John Mark Walker johnmark at johnmark.org
Sat Aug 10 15:40:43 UTC 2013

Adding advisors list.
 On Aug 10, 2013 11:16 AM, "David Nalley" <david at gnsa.us> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> Just tossing out a question or two.
> So I'd like to propose that we consider changing to either the ASLv2,
> MIT, or BSD licenses.
> Why? So I personally strongly identify with copyleft principles, but
> my experience in the past few years are that the practical and
> irrational concerns around licensing hurt adoption and hurt
> contribution.
> Specifically, I found that several very large enterprises (~100k
> employees each) said that they never even considered CloudStack at the
> time because it was licensed under a GPL license. The dual-licensing
> bit muddies the waters a bit rather than helps. For the folks who are
> educated very well in open source, it's great. For folks who aren't as
> sophisiticated in OSS licensing it's merely confusing.
> Second - there's the potential damper on contribution. Despite how
> long GPL has been around, much FUD still remains around copyleft
> licensing; and that keeps people employed by large corporate users
> from contributing (at least that has been my experience) The more
> enlightened understand that it isn't going to virally apply to
> anything that they develop, but there is still a substantial number of
> companies that simply don't get it.
> Finally - I don't see a downside to becoming more permissively
> licensed aside from the work involved. Moving to a single, liberal
> open source license has the potential for us to increase our community
> size, both user and contributor. And from a weird marketing angle,
> it's also likely, as a one time event, to drive some interest in the
> project, as relicensing events tend to be geeky news that attracts
> attention.
> Having done it once, I know it's a ton of work to get all of the
> contributors to agree to relicense. That said, what are the collective
> thoughts on this?
> --David
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