The Sustainable Software Community Bet

From “Software Freedom Ensures the True Software Commons”

I’ll take a bet with anyone who’d like. Let’s pick five projects under the Affero GPL and five projects under the Commons Clause, and then let’s see which ones survive longer as vibrant communities with active codebases and diverse contributors.

There are people in software who tend to downplay the importance differences between the various open source/free software licenses. Those same tend to also push the MIT license very heavily.

But the license is the primary value statement of any given software project and as such is a strong indicator as to software health.

Which is to say that I agree with Bradley M. Kuhn who I quote above. I’d even extend it to the MIT license.

There’s a strong tendency for infrastructural MIT-licensed projects to be strip-mined—everybody takes, and nobody gives back. They become resources that, at best, are occasionally propped up by whichever strip-miner is most likely to suffer major financial losses if the project collapses completely.

These projects may survive but they almost never end up being communities.

Baldur's Notes @baldur