On Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 6:11 PM, Tyler Romeo <tylerromeo(a)gmail.com> wrote:
However, I will not assume good faith for every other software company out
there that may take MediaWiki, modify it or improve it in some way, and
then begin selling it as proprietary software. It's nice to think the world
is an ideal place where everybody shares their source code, but
unfortunately we are not living in the ideal, and in fact that is the
entire reason the GPL was written in the first place: in response to
companies acting in bad faith.
the GPL (any version) doesn't do anything for the most likely scenario of a
company offering their 'improved' version of MediaWiki as a service. To
actually have real leverage in this case, we'd need to use the AGPL.
However, the AGPL would make it even harder to split out code into
libraries shared with the wider open source community, as very few
third-party users would consider using AGPL-licensed libraries. Even the
consequences of using AGPL-licensed network services like RESTBase seem to
be less clear than I expected, which is why we are in the process of
relicensing the main server code to Apache 2 as well (modules are already
If we were an open core company hoping to sell commercial licenses on FUD
I'd advocate for AGPL. Since we aren't & are actually more interested in
collaborating with the outside world I think that Apache 2 makes more sense
than both GPL & AGPL. Re-licensing MediaWiki is not going to happen any
time soon as there are so many copyright holders, but we could try to
re-license library code where possible. I also think that we should
strongly consider using the Apache 2 license for new projects.