Open Source Licenses and Community Growth

You may have been reading Matt Aslett’s analysis of the trend to permissive licensing as well Gordon Half’s discussion of this trend. I enjoyed reading them and agree with the overall trend. I don’t quite agree with the predicted downfall of Copyleft licenses, though, and I love the irony of it.

Strong copyleft licenses play an important role in dual-core licensing as in single-vendor open source software. Copyleft is a tool by which vendors ascertain their (effective) ownership over some piece of software. Thus, the invention of copyleft benefits a specific commercial go-to-market strategy.

If you are a student at FAU and would like to further analyse this trend, please talk to me. We have a large database on open source project data and we’ve been looking for a competent student for a while to correlate various factors and how they contribute to open source community growth.