Recently, I collected some data from Sourceforge, hoping to find evidence for the importance of copyleft. But I found something surprising: although there's plenty of evidence that many developers believe in the power of copyleft, the one measure I could derive of how much copyleft actually works showed that copyleft made no difference whatsoever!

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snotbutter's picture
Created by snotbutter 8 years 12 weeks ago – Made popular 8 years 12 weeks ago
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yamanu's picture


8 years 12 weeks 19 hours 12 min ago


Freedom as a popularity contest

BSD is elitist, that's why it's not that popular. I prefer the GPL license, but I chose BSD systems, because the community in it's elitism is more coherent, and it shows on products.

Sometimes you have to take side, sometimes you just don't care. Mostly you don't know and walk the path most taken in belief that it's the most safe.

In short: smart is not popular and people don't make rational choices (see: Edward Bernays).

Ferk's picture


8 years 12 weeks 15 hours 17 min ago


It's about freedom!

To say "Copyleft doesn't work" or "Copyleft has no practical advantages" is totally wrong...

Even if it does have no impact on activity, the purpose of Copyleft is not that.
The purpose is to assure that the software you write is not used against other people's (and your own) freedom!

It does work and does have the practical benefit of no privative software derived.

brunomiguel's picture


8 years 12 weeks 10 hours 26 min ago


I've reached a different

I've reached a different conclusion: people assume that, by choosing a free license, a strong freedom defense is set up to their project or contribution. The choice of a particular license, I think, reflects the opensource or freesoftware ideology support, but they most of the time assume that it will born and be free.