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Author Topic: Choosing a Bitcoin License  (Read 143 times)
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April 20, 2019, 02:12:01 AM
 #1

- Have there been any discussions about licensing Bitcoin client versions?

- Do you think other licensing will limit alternative customer development?

- Will a license reorganization ever happen if Satoshi returns?
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April 20, 2019, 03:30:02 AM
 #2

this is a free world and you can choose any license you like for the client that you create and people are free to not choose those that don't have a permissive free software license! there are even closed source clients (like Coinomi) around that some people use.

...that is for "clients" though. the Bitcoin itself as a protocol/technology can not have any license but the MIT license that it has.

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April 20, 2019, 05:04:31 AM
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 #3

Adding some more points to pooya87's answer,

- Have there been any discussions about licensing Bitcoin client versions?
Yes, by satoshi himself back in 2010.
Foremost, the client or a wallet is one which doesn't hold our coins. They securely generate our private keys and store them. For in order to spend the coins, we do it through private keys. Hence you can code your own wallet either as a GUI based or command line based and get your own license. But the original satoshi client (i.e Bitcoin Core) is a free software released under MIT License which allows anyone to modify, run and distribute/redistribute the software. Licensing the core client other than MIT License will hinder the adoption of the project significantly reducing the price also.

- Do you think other licensing will limit alternative customer development?
Yes,licensing the client other than MIT License will limit the adoption and development. satoshi has once spoken about the Licensing of the client and why he doesn't want to go with GPL or other licenses.

If the only library is closed source, then there's a project to make an open source one.

If the only library is GPL, then there's a project to make a non-GPL one.

If the best library is MIT, Boost, new-BSD or public domain, then we can stop re-writing it.

I don't question that GPL is a good license for operating systems, especially since non-GPL code is allowed to interface with the OS.  For smaller projects, I think the fear of a closed-source takeover is overdone.

- Will a license reorganization ever happen if Satoshi returns?
No, I believe it doesn't happen since satoshi is not willing to do so. MIT License is very less restrictive when it comes to Free software and hence it is good to continue with MIT itself.

 
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April 20, 2019, 06:43:30 AM
 #4

The advantage for MIT over GPL to increase adoption is that with GPL you have to release your derived work under a compatible license. One point is that it must be open source.

Some companies are ok with it but many prefer MIT because they dont have to open source their code. For such a basic protocol like Bitcoin this is neccessary to get as much adoption as possible.
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April 20, 2019, 07:32:03 AM
 #5

Yes,licensing the client other than MIT License will limit the adoption and development. satoshi has once spoken about the Licensing of the client and why he doesn't want to go with GPL or other licenses.
Hey, In the BTC ecosystem there is private soft, but these developments in a standard situation can be compatible with the GPL license. The main problem is that the restrictions that may impede alternative development cannot be called licensing, since this is the way to the absence of an independent library.

If there is no way, create one. t.me/phenomteam
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April 20, 2019, 12:54:01 PM
 #6

The advantage for MIT over GPL to increase adoption is that with GPL you have to release your derived work under a compatible license. One point is that it must be open source.

Some companies are ok with it but many prefer MIT because they dont have to open source their code. For such a basic protocol like Bitcoin this is neccessary to get as much adoption as possible.

That's only true if you publicly redistribute your modification. You can use GPL code internally within a company with proprietary modifications with no need to publish anything. MIT license is basically "new" (current) BSD license where you have no such obligation.

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April 20, 2019, 03:31:49 PM
 #7

- Do you think other licensing will limit alternative customer development?

That depends on your perspective. While most people agree MIT is license with biggest freedom, few argue it could hinder software development/improvement since big companies (which viewed have good development because they have lots of professional and backed with lots of money) won't share any improvement they made.

I like the idea of GPL, but looking at it's disadvantage and complexity, i prefer MIT just like most people on open-source community.

- Will a license reorganization ever happen if Satoshi returns?

Most likely no, especially if Satoshi suggest license such as GPL which is controversial on open-source community.

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