GPL divide still lives, one year on

If the GPL just becomes a freeware license while "commercial" versions of the same programs are offered under commercial licenses, does the GPL risk becoming a freeware ghetto?

GPL V.3 logo
More proof time flies. GPL v. 3 is one year old.

To "celebrate," Black Duck Software looked at some of its own license resources , including its list of V.3 licensees,  concluding that the divide between V.2 and V.3 licenses still lives, one year on.

Black Duck founder Douglas Levin said inertia is on V.2's side.

“We saw rapid conversion out of the gate on established GPL projects to V.3, more so than adoption by newer projects. It seems that V.2 is, simply put, good enough or preferable for some of the bigger projects."

Black Duck logo
Levin predicted that, barring a sudden change of heart by one of these larger projects. V.3 acceptance will slow to just 10% per month this year. Sounds small, but that's 183% for the year, when you compound it.

Black Duck estimates that 58% of projects, including Linux itself, remain under V.2. A total of 2,345 projects are now under V.3.

One other trend is for projects to divide between the GPL and either a BSD or commercial license for paying customers. MySQL, SugarCRM and Pentaho are all doing this.

If the GPL just becomes a freeware license while "commercial" versions of the same programs are offered under commercial licenses, does the GPL risk becoming a freeware ghetto?

These and other questions will be answered by the market as we enter the second year of the GPL V.3 era. (Or error, if you're still a fan of V.2.)

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