Steve Dekorte suggests that the GNU General Public License indirectly helps giant software houses to maintain their monopolies by failing to enable smalltime software developers to compete in the commercial arena, and the BSD license has the opposite effect.
The FSF considers all proprietary software, whether by bigtime or smalltime developers, equally undesirable, so this wouldn’t faze them. But it did get me thinking about different licensing possibilities.
The most interesting one that hit me (while I was thinking through this stuff in the shower) was the concept of a Free Abandonware Public License.
This would be a license which like the BSD license would allow you to use its code in commercial products, but which like the GPL was viral, and “infected” those products with certain restrictions. To wit, when one “end of lifed” a commercial product containing FAPLed code — ceased selling or supporting it — one would be required to allow people to freely copy and trade that product, as if it were “freeware.”
Perhaps it would just make free trading and copying legal; perhaps it would force it into the public domain, or perhaps there would be some intermediate option like coercing it into the Free Abandonware Public License. Releasing the source might or might not be required.
This would allow people always to have the latest version of their product for sale, but would serve the GPLish goal of creating an ever growing pool of “free” (under some definition of the word) software.