If copyleft was worthless, corporations wouldn't put so much effort into propaganda to convince you it's bad.

@be Behind the scenes, whether you use MIT or AGPL on a project really does make a difference to corporate copyright lawyers.



as in, they'll take what they want, regardless?


they'll shun the project regardless because not-invented-here & similar risk aversion?

I'm not sure either quite holds but I figure I should start here.


@idlestate @bob @be Companies that do SaaS typically won't use AGPL, because it means they will need to publicly release any modifications to the code running on the server. That kind of transparency means they can't get away with doing sketchy stuff so easily.

It's not that AGPL is highly enforced though. It's that corporate lawyers are highly averse to anything which even theoretically could result in a successful lawsuit against them.

@bob that said, when working inside corporations I have regularly advised against *GPL variants for proprietary codebases as the risk is too high. I'm not convinced that a lot of that code is any good, nor of value to the wider community other than direct competitors, but nobody wants to spend years in court arguing the point if it can be avoided up front.

As a good open source citizen, I try to encourage said corporations to actively get involved (as corporations, not just inviduals) but often it just seems too confusing to explain to people.

"If you don't weed the commons, nobody else does either" seems not enough.

@dch @bob It's true that a lot of proprietary code is trash. In the distant past I both wrote and reviewed a fair amount of it. However bad public code looks, private code is usually much *much* worse.

I am reminded of the Pieter Hintjens comment "we aspire to something better than trash".

@be do corporations put effort into such propaganda? Aside from Microsoft/Oracle etc (aka obvious capitali$t$) are there well-known examples of this?

@be I’m missing something here. That article seems factual enough, and hasn’t been rammed down my throat, which seems a necessary part of propaganda. How’s this bad or disingenuous?

@dch Consider why that page is publicly accessible rather than on Google's internal intranet

@dch @be GitHub’s license picker defaults to MIT and downplays copyleft in favor of MIT or Apache.

To be fair, they also downplay the BSD licenses too.

Aside from that, it’s mostly internal stuff, and people don’t really question the why when they leave.

@jollyrogue that's an excellent point. Perhaps it should default to "none selected" and have a randomised order @be

@dch @be Yeah, or “all rights reserved” to mess with their code harvesting. 😄

@be Where's that “so much” effort? The only “propaganda” against copyleft I've seen is the Google policy you linked, which only applies to internal Google software. I need at least 10 links to elaborate propaganda campaigns against copyleft in order to believe it's a problem.

@be As a Red Hatter since many years, I disagree. At least from my experience. As a Red Hatter. Obviously. :)

Red Hat is one of the few corporations that have understood the value of copyleft. The only other I can recall is #AutoMattic and #adacore … are there any other relevant one?

@be @paoloredaelli I’d still see my friends at SUSE in that corner. And NextCloud. Odoo. Many more.

Oh my! I forgot them all! 😱
Nextcloud and Odoo are relatively young but I'm inexcusable about Suse. 😰
Actually I never tried it as I went from #Amiga to #Redhat on x86 then #Mandrake for a while then #Debian and #ubuntu. I must still have somewhere the RH and Mdk original boxes, manuals and CDs

@be I saw a HN comment that claimed a major motivation behind the "copyleft is virus" propaganda campaign during the early 2000s was due to the fear that, if an employee ever sees copylefted code online, gets "inspired" by it, consequentially the entire company software would be at the risk of copyleft violation and source code disclosure. This anti-copyleft hysteria largely went away after people realized the risk is negligible.

Unfortunately the situation was pretty ironic in hindsight, since it's actually the entire free software community that is living constantly under the same threat caused by leaked proprietary source code, not the other way around...

@niconiconi @be It took them a while to figure out how to flip the script.

@be @theruran They could be better, and they could be less capitalist friendly.

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