Ownership in Software

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Thu Apr 22 19:52:22 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 22 Apr 2004 at 11:22, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:

> > > I'd really like to find out how many freshmeat projects are under
> > > the GPL versus other licenses. That would answer this question
> > > once and for all (esp. if they can weight them with activity).
> > 
> > You've got lies, damned lies and statistics, and here they are:
> > http://freshmeat.net/stats/#license
> > 
> > 69% use the GPL, and a good second is the LGPL with 5.58%. The
> > third, the original BSD license, has 3.85%.
> And at sourceforge (which unfortunately also supports proprietary
> software, and is a banner for some of it):
> http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat
> GNU GPL'ed projects are almost 36840 while the second most used, the
> GNU Lesser GPL is at little more than 5619. The third best is BSD
> license with somewhat more than 3704, bla bla bla.
> These sites may not register _all_ projects, but they have larger
> samples than most "credible" surveys I've seen.

I'm amazed it's so large. I was concerned that many of the GPL 
projects might be unfinished so I fetched all production/stable from 
freshmeat - out of 8218 stable projects, 5216 are GPL which gives 
63%. On Sourceforge the same is out of 10031 there are 6669 GPL which 
gives 66%.

I tried finding out the percentage of licenses in the FreeBSD ports 
collection as they're all active & useful packages and most 
importantly they carry dependency info. Unfortunately, it would seem 
their description doesn't carry license info :(

However, the above isn't as it seems. Libraries such as zlib are 
heavily reused and so their weight should be much higher and I think 
total source lines under the license should also be taken account of -
 therefore, every copy of the Linux kernel would have portions 
removed as they're under a more permissive license than the GPL (eg; 

However I think it's safe to say at least 50% of all most popular OSS 
is GPLed.


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