Permissive Licenses are Counterintuitive


Permissive licenses, in my view, allow corporations to entirely ride on the back of the work of individuals without giving back. In some cases, they then close down this software and make massive profits, still not giving back in any sort of way to the maintainers.

I always see people in the community complain every time there is a major exploit in a FOSS library or when maintainers suffer burn out about how we should be funding our developers. There is no incentive for a corporation to do anything for anyone and if they can exploit us for free labor and code they will 100% do it and continue to.

I think healthy boundaries like copyleft licenses help mitigate that exploitation and give us real power in how firms use the software we make. The corporations know this too, which is why they avoid copyleft like the plague where it's possible.

I don't think it's freedom to allow anyone to do whatever they want with your code. To me it's freedom for your software to be used by anyone and everyone and the only way to ensure that is for it to remain open source.

In contrast, I do understand for developers at companies that make open source software the firm typically prefers for software to be permissively licensed. There's also the fact that we live in a capitalist world and we need to make money. If every little thing is open source & copy left my donor dollars (or lack thereof) aren't enough to pay someone's rent.

There is also the issue of corporations not following licenses, especially in places like China where it's hard to take legal action. Some people also do not have the financial means to fight back against license violations. Even with all of that, I still think it's far better than the alternative.

What are some reasons people choose permissive licenses and what are some flaws in my thinking? I'm willing to have my mind changed, but at the moment I just don't see a reason to choose them in almost any circumstances.

submitted by /u/SamFost_
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