Sponsored By Aspose - File Format APIs for .NET

Aspose are the market leader of .NET APIs for file business formats – natively work with DOCX, XLSX, PPT, PDF, MSG, MPP, images formats and many more!

I hate the GPL "Viral" License

Edit:  It looks like the tool in question has a specific allowance in the license to allow you to package the tool as-is like NAnt does.  Still, could you use a different license that won't make the lawyers all jumpy? 

I know I'm gonna get scorched for this, but I hate the GPL "Viral" OSS license.  My team is looking at some technical alternatives for an integration issue.  One of the more promising alternatives turned out to have a dependency on a GPL-licensed solution.  No lawyer worth his/her salt is going to let you use any OSS tool licensed under the GPL.  I know it was an idealistic thing, but in the real world the GPL just makes your code unusable inside of any commercial (read most) endeavors. 

I very specifically licensed StructureMap under the Apache 2 license to make sure it could be used without restriction.  I'd much rather that people actually use StructureMap than conform to the GPL's idealism.  It's not like I'm ever going to make a dime off of it anyway.

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
  • http://clock.org/~matt Matt Hargett

    Many companies have used GPL’d software as the basis for their business, and done very well for themselves by realising that software sales alone makes for a poor business plan. If you’re building a library or some other kind of reusable component, the LGPL is well-suited and gives most of the advantages. But if you’re worried about people seeing the letters G, P, and L and then running away screaming, that’s pretty ignorant in itself and persists ignorance.

    Also, any lawyer worth his/her salt wouldn’t let most people agree to most of the click-through and shrink-wrap licenses out there. Of course, you probably know this since you have a lawyer review every software license before you agree to it. Right?

    If you have personal reservations and opinions about licenses, that’s fine. You may want to be more explicit about it and not insult highly experienced IP lawyers as a result, though.

    PS: I love the TDD/XP posts! :)

  • http://weblogs.asp.net/thigley Travis

    Wow, FP! I was expecting a zillion comments. Just wait till someone posts this on slashdot! Jeremy I agree with you on this.