Reddit chooses CPAL for open source license (Verdict: good move)

The open source CPAL license helps both the developers of the code and those who consume it.

Reddit launched itself as an open source project today and chose the occasionally controversial CPAL license for the release.

There doesn't appear to be a goal of monetization as much as there is a goal of ubiquity through proliferation. If that were reversed there is no question that the GPL is a better choice.

I happen to think CPAL is exactly the right choice and here's why:

1. It's one of only 3 OSS licenses that take the "network" into account (CPAL, OSL, AGPL) whereby usage can be considered distribution.
2. It doesn't require that code be given back
3. It enforces the brand of the developer (in this case Reddit) which actually has some benefits.

Matt has been mostly against CPAL (see this post about Facebook ) but I have been trying to sway him into realizing that the license doesn't dissuade developers. His argument (which makes sense to a point) is that they should put code out under Apache or something completely permissive. That however, limits what the code developer themselves might want to do in the future.

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Software
About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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