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MIT License Rationale

Last post 04-11-2015 2:17 PM by Neb Ikhet Ipet. 0 replies.
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  • 04-11-2015 2:17 PM

    MIT License Rationale


    as was announced on the blog, SharpDevelop's license was recently switched from LGPL to MIT along with the version change from 4 to 5.

    As opposed to various (all?) other license-related enquiries in this forum that ask about to what extent SharpDevelop code may be used in one's own projects (e.g. this, or this), I am more interested in the reasoning behind the license change. The background is that I am preparing to release an open source application (programmed in SharpDevelop, of course ;) ) and facing the decision whether to use GPL, LGPL, or MIT for its license, so I would like to learn about the thoughts of the development of a project that I love and use almost on a daily basis.

    I could find some information along these lines from the time of the previous license switch (from GPL to LGPL back then) in this old FAQ from 2005, where a rationale is provided:

    SharpDevelop is a framework that is meant to be extensible. Just because we are shipping a lot of functionality out of the box doesn’t mean that others can’t or shouldn’t write addins for SharpDevelop. We want to foster an ecosystem of third-party addins, no matter under which open source license or even commercial.

    The only such statement concerning the license switch to MIT seemed to be in a GitHub announcement:

    The change to MIT was largely due to our desire to make do without the JCA.

    While that is understandable, the aforementioned FAQ from 2005 also had a question why #dev did not switch to BSD license, and the answer was:

    Frankly, we do not want to see our code end up filleted to suit in various commercial applications.

    Given that there is little to no difference between MIT and BSD licenses (as is outlined e.g. in this comparison), I am interested in learning whether the #dev team changed their opinion expressed in the last quotation, or whether the concern about a presumeably cumbersome JCA simply started to outweigh the other concern (or of course if there were any other reasons or points in favour of the MIT license).

    Thank you very much!

    Edit: Please let me know if there is anything unclear about the question, so I can improve it.

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