Any reason why the GPL3 license is used so widely in OpenGenus projects

opengenus
question
license

(Saurabh) #1

Hello!

I noticed only recently that the GNU GPL3 license is used pretty widely across the projects of OpenGenus. Any particular reason why a more permissive license (such as MIT or APL2) is not preferred?

Regards


(Arnav Borborah) #2

It’s probably because we advocate open source/free software and want credit to be given where it’s due. The main project, cosmos is just a list of algorithms, so GPLv3 might be a little too restrictive. In the end, it’s Aditya’s choice that matters here. Doing a relicense isn’t feasible either, since Aditya didn’t make us sign a CLA when we started contributing, meaning he would need the permission of all 700 contributors before the relicense is legal, otherwise someone can sue for copyright infringement.


(Saurabh) #3

Thanks for your reply.

While giving credit where it is due is something that is beyond doubt an absolute necessity, also something that several other (more permissive) licenses incorporate, advocating open source/free software is a completely different ballgame. It’s the latter part that I would like to have a discussion about.

As some might say that the GPL protects the freedom of software. While that is true in a certain sense, since works that incorporate GPL licensed code need to be licensed on the same terms, but it also imposes a restriction on commercial works from using the software, because it would mean for them to release their entire source code if they plan on distributing it (which they of course will, as it is commercial). IANAL and I’m sure the internet has better explanations, but you see where I am getting at.

There are non-copyleft licenses which would allow the freedom to be used and distributed in commercial software while at the same time retaining the identities of their ancestry of contributors. But there is a drawback to this large amount of freedom as well, as some might feel. If that piece of software is developed further internally in an organization without contributing to the open-sourced side, then it will not help in its development.

Any thoughts? Looking forward to hearing @aditya’s opinions as well.


(Aditya Chatterjee) #4

Thanks for bringing this up. :smile:

Initially, we choose to move forward with the GNU GPL3 license because it resonated well with our core visions as compared to other available options.

Some of our general long-term visions:

  • Give contributors at OpenGenus maximum power while keeping our community safe and healthy.
  • Our vision is to make OpenGenus self-driven by our contributor :family_man_woman_girl_boy: base that is to make it as decentralized as possible.
  • Ensure maximum positive impact of the work we do and ensure complete access to anyone in the World that is avoiding all barriers like paywall, unstable internet connection and others.

The license comes with a lot of additional terms and only a custom license for OpenGenus will make our point clear and suit us best.

As Arnav pointed out, changing license of our released projects is a bit tedious. That being said, we will certainly consider a better representation of our vision for our upcoming projects which will be released in subsequent months.

For this, we need to concretely figure out the restrictions and freedom we want to assign keeping in mind the welfare of our community in general. It is important to have a custom license to ensure the long term welfare of our human-centric community and will be a fruitful endeavour to move forward.
It is more like:

The current licenses are meant for projects :books: while we envisioned it for our community :family_man_woman_girl_boy: .


(Saurabh) #5

Thank you for replying and sharing your opinions.

I like the idea of having a custom license and hope that it reflects your views and the views of the community. Good luck!