New poll: do you use GPL-licensed open source software at work?

by Volker Weber

I have heard some arguments about how and why companies can and cannot use software licensed under the GPL. Time for a reality check. To the best of your knowledge, do you use open source software at work which is licensed under the GPL? A prime example is Linux. There are three answers:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I have no idea

The results:



What's your definition of GPL here? A wide definition including GNU LGPL?

Armin Grewe, 2009-07-07

Agree - I would and use LGPL but never GPL based libraries.

Mikkel Heisterberg, 2009-07-07

Use only as usage for end users, like usage of Open Office or Firefox? Then yes.
In development: no, there only licenses like Apache are allowed (understandable)

Thomas Muders, 2009-07-07

I can' think what problem a company would have with GPL if it simply wants to use software. You can general get a support contract if that's what you need.

Now having GPL code anywhere near anything you are developing is a different matter.

Kerr Rainey, 2009-07-07

That would be another interesting poll. Do you like to benefit from open source without contributing to it? :-)

Volker Weber, 2009-07-07

An interesting poll indeed. Another might be; what level of contribution to you feel pays your debt for the open source software you use?

Kerr Rainey, 2009-07-07

I do not think that Openoffice and Firefox are GPL licensed products. Openoffice is LGPL and Firefox has a Mozilla license. So maybe you should change your poll, or adapt your blog entry.

Ralf M Petter, 2009-07-07

Ralf, I did not talk about Firefox, but I removed OpenOffice per your request.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-07

@volker Sorry volker i have messed your blog entry with the response from thomas. we use GPL software in our company and i see no problem to use GPL Code in my applications because we do not want to distribute our application.

Ralf M Petter, 2009-07-07

I would agree, using it is probably ok, but packaging it with a product you ship (e.g. using GPL libraries in your own product) is obviously only possible if you release your product under GPL as well (which for some companies is totally compatible with their business model).

Ragnar Schierholz, 2009-07-07

Yes, if "using" means as an end user.
Absolutely No, for anything we develop.

Oliver Stör, 2009-07-07

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