Subject: Re: AFPL vs. GPL-like licenses?
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 15 Jan 2001 08:23:59 -0800

Robert Feldt <> writes:

> I'm relatively new to open-source licensing issues and would like some
> "expert" opinion/advice on which license to choose for a new project. I
> have previously released some stuff under GPL without seriously giving
> thought to what the different licenses really "mean" but for this larger
> project I'd like to KNOW what I'm doing.
> I understand that SW released under Aladdin Free Public License
> (AFPL) (see for example
> is
> not open-source or free software but I would like to know what is the
> current view of AFPL it in the open-source community. What are the
> drawbacks of using such a license? Will developers be put off and if so,
> why?

You neglected to mention what your goals are.

If your goal is to make the software available to the public, but to
retain commercial control over it, then the AFPL is perfectly

If your goal is to build a community of unpaid developers around the
project, then the AFPL is not the best choice.

Considering that most projects do not get significant outside
contributions in any case, the AFPL may be a good choice if it fits
your philosophical goals.