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Still open for freedom

Published on Thursday, 28 June 2007
The truth hurts. Considering there are more and more people inside the Joomla oligarchy who cannot or will not cope with bad press about their decision to enforce the GPL on third party developers, something that the GPL itself does not allow, I'm left wondering what's been won ?
Not much, if anything..

The wider community should not need to adapt. The wider community is, of course, responsible for creating extensions, free, open source extensions that work for Joomla! that are outside the realms of the GPL. The Core Team should act like men instead of mice and acknowledge that they have failed to plan, prepare or understand the backlash they have created. The current censorship does not bode well for project management, as it exposes the underlying fears the Core have towards any new information that breaks down their case.

Now I originally wrote a licencing primer covering GPL and other licences for Mambo back in 2003. That licencing primer also exists on Joomla! to this day, in regards to what third party developers, both commercial and non-commercial can do amongst Joomla! and under what freedoms they can release their work. After all, it is their work. By the Core asserting all works must be GPL, there is a subtle trend towards the work third party developers being the property of the Core. This limits the freedoms by which the third parties can develop. Why should an open source, egalitarian project seek to limit freedom ?

At the end of the day, these types of free extensions will begin to disappear from the Joomla! ecosystem:
  • donation / subscriptionware
  • Creative Commons
  • Mozilla Public Licence
  • Apache Public Licence
  • free other "open source" licence
all in the vain effort to preserve the purity of the GPL. That means around 20 percent of the projects on JoomlaCode will need to stop development. That means around 40 percent of the extensions on the Joomla! Extensions site will likewise be purged.

By taking away information and freedom, how does that benefit people ?

This is something I will be raising in the coming months through forums such as Still/Open as the need for design and art to be appreciated requires that the person creating that art should not be censored or locked away from speaking that message.

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