Richard Bucker

GPL or MIT

Posted at — Jul 4, 2016

I classify BSD and Apache as MIT licenses. They just don’t care what you do with thrie code. I think there is some attribution that is required but that’s it. And in this post I’m going to take a birds eye view of MIT and GPL.I’ll start by saying that I do not like any of the GPL licenses and for the most part it just not matter why although when you compare the different licenses only the GPL expects me to actively do something when consuming GPL’d source which goes beyond simple attribution.So far as I can tell the MIT license only requires attribution.If you ask me to choose between the two I will always choose the MIT version. Both as a consumer and as a publisher. Sure I’d like to get credit for my code. Sure I’d like to get paid if something I did was the root of some else’s billion dollar enterprise. And for that matter I have no idea why RHS is so hell bent on the GPL other than he is simply so invested in it.If you’re a good programmer and you release good software someone will take notice and you’ll get a killer job. And if you write mediocre software it may not mean anything at all and may be how you interview or what you really know.There was a case where Linksys was taken to court because they violated the GPL. The lawyers got rich whether it was from the plaintiff or from donations. You certainly never hear of Microsoft or Google suing for appropriating some GPL code. It’s bad press. It’s bad business. It’s just bad!So when you GPL your thirteen lines of shell script you’ll have to ignore my snickering.One more thing. The MIT licenses is one paragraph. ┬áThere are 3 versions of the BSD; 1, 2 and 3 paragraphs. They require someone with common sense. The GPL requires a team of lawyers. In fact I do not know any enterprise business that does not have a team of lawyers strictly to comprehend the GPL.