A thread about making the next version of the Java API of WURFL more OO, something that Java developers are certainly fond of, has spun in a thread about licensing.
I think a few developers have been caught by surprise. In short Luca wants to make the new API GPL, instead of the current MPL. It is still not clear which version of GPL and I think it is not yet definitive.
The problem that was raised is, of course, that changing the licence to GPL will compel all developers selling their software based on the WURFL API to open-source it and use the same version of GPL. Luca mentioned how mysql does not have this problem and how big companies like Google can use open-source softwares, but not release back to the community. This is of course a different case from mysql, because the API would be tightly embedded in the software and the licensing issue would affect mostly consultants, not companies doing internal development (like Google, in Luca’s example). If you think that WALL might be licensed in the same way, it might be even worse as WALL will certainly be a core part of any mobile application.
There is a solution to this, of course, a dual-licence. Also, special discounts are announced for companies buying consultancy.
I am curious to see how this will end. I hope the community will be able to find a feasible solution that will keep everyone happy.
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/message/27489 (Luca)
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/message/27500 (my reply)
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/message/27502 (Luca)
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/message/27504 (Vjekoslav Nesek)
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming/message/27505 (Jose Alberto Fernandez)