There’s yet another GPL war currently being waged. I’m tired of these and I’m not going to continue that war here. However, I really do love the GPL and figured now would be a great time to try to explain why.
First I think it’s important for you to understand a little bit about me to help you understand where I’m coming from on this. I’m an idealist. Always have been. I think that I can have my cake and eat it too, without preventing anyone else from doing the same.
I’m also a capitalist. I have no problem with people making money. I encourage people to! Making money isn’t a bad thing, although I do think there are methods of making money which are.
So there you have it. I’m a strange blend. I’m an Idealistic Capitalist.
The idealist in me loves the Internet. It has brought with it freedoms that never existed before and brought opportunities to people that never had them before. Almost ten years ago a good friend of mine, James Pearson, went to Nepal and worked with Mahabir Pun and the Nepal Wireless Project to bring the Internet to places that didn’t have it. I encourage you to read their story, but to sum it up they hiked through the Himalayas putting up antennas to relay a wireless network out to small villages. The benefit to the schools in the area was enormous. Can you imagine having access to the information on the internet when previously you were a day or more walk from the nearest city? Think about how that increased the quality of education! Think about how they could leverage that to actually fund their school and get supplies they needed! This is the Internet I love. This is the Internet I want to protect.
The thing about that whole story is that the truly transformative part, the inspiring part, was all about the users. It’s the people in the villages, the teachers, the students. These are the people the GPL tries so hard to protect and empower, and this is why I love the GPL so much.
The GPL focuses on protecting users instead of creators and often times to the detriment of the creators. I’m a creator and I’m okay with that. I’m willing to work harder, put in some extra hours, and go the extra mile, to make sure that the Internet I love continues to grow and thrive.