From: "Austin Ziegler" <halostatue / gmail.com>
>
> I do maintain and will always maintain that my applications and
> libraries released under an MIT-style licence will always be freer than
> anything released under the GNU GPL, any version.

Freer?  Yes, if you are talking about the individual freedom of
anyone extending your libraries and applications to close the source.

Not so free when the authors of modifications to your applications
and libraries decide after some years to abandon the project and
refuse to open the source, stranding the userbase at wherever
development left off.

id Software are my heroes.  They've developed a series of world
class cutting edge game engines (DOOM, Quake, Quake II, Quake III)
which they have released open source under the GPL.  Typically
they've open sourced the previous engine right about when their
next game is released.  (Quake III was just open sourced last
August, when Quake IV came out.)

I'm trying to think how to explain the current situation with
Quake II in the fewest words.  The back-story is, that the first
license under which id released the "game" module code back in
February 1988, was not sufficiently clear about keeping the source
code open.  The license did stipulate that id retains the copyright
and that all modifications were to be distributed free of charge.

But what we have now, is an 8 year old game, with a still-active
community, still wanting to play various modifications of the
game.  But some of these modifications are closed source, long
abandoned by the authors.  Some no longer run at all, others have
bugs that could be easily fixed if the source were available.

I'm a "pick the most appropriate license for the situation" kind
of guy.  Ruby/MIT/BSD style for some things, LGPL for others, even
GPL if the circumstances make sense.  I think GPL is ideal for
what id Software has done with their games.

But I wouldn't agree that the only definition of "freer" worth
considering is one that allows authors modifying our libraries
and applications the freedom to close the source.  Because for
the eight-year-old Quake II community, these abandoned closed-
source game modifications aren't feeling very free at all.


Regards,

Bill