A history of open-source licensing from a lawyer who helped blaze the trail (Ep. 473)
The home team is joined by Heather Meeker, a specialist with a deep history in the world of open-source software licensing. Heather tells the home team how the open-source landscape has changed since the 1990s, how access to air conditioning helped nudge her into a computing career, and how, when her dad worked in a computer lab in the 1960s, his work was considered so esoteric that she used to tell people he was a spy. (Can we bring that back?)
Heather is a General Partner at OSS Capital, which provides VC backing to seed-stage COSS (commercial open source) startups. Her law practice focuses on intellectual property and open-source licensing, and she serves on the IEEE-ISTO Board of Directors.
Connect with Heather on LinkedIn or explore her work on her website.
Today’s Lifeboat badge goes to user keshlam for their answer to the question Why do we need abstract classes in Java?.open source, the stack overflow podcast
most corporations use open source software to save a buck $$.
Congratulations contributors for bolstering corporate greed for free!
Well, yeah. And? *I* work at a company, and *I* use open source software when I can. It means I can make stuff faster, and the stuff is often better, which is good for both me/company and for the people that use the stuff, and it does no harm to the people who already released their work for free. Seems pretty win-win, to me. Sometimes I’m even permitted to contribute the fixes I made, on company time, back to the parent repo.
the NASDAQ has been doing VERY WELL in recent years.
I’m curious what Heather Meeker considers the “about six licenses anybody uses”, because without going down the rabbit hole of counting every version and variant as unique I’m having trouble getting a list that long. BSD, GPL, and Apache are the 3 that come immediately to mind. Splitting LGPL out as a 4th seems reasonable since while related it was created to expand the allowable use cases. I’m not convinced splitting GPL2 vs GPL3 vs AGPL really should count since the only major functional differences are the latter ones trying to close loopholes people disliked being used with the former.