Once you GPL something, you relinquish all control of your source and what people do with it. It's a one way thing. You can't un-GPL something later on, or otherwise try to get it back by adding proprietary elements to it. Because those will also fall immediately under GPL if you do. You could create proprietary add-ons I suppose. Some places do that. Or try. But that still doesn't hand control of your originally GPLed program back to you.
Once someone GPLs something, they don't really need to un-GPL it. In fact, that would be marketing suicide even IF it was possible to do that.
You could create proprietary add-ons I suppose. Some places do that. Or try. But that still doesn't hand control of your originally GPLed program back to you.
...or proprietary Operating Systems hence the frying pan analogy.
If you're saying a company could GPL something and make it free in order to deep-six a small competitor who didn't have deep enough pockets to compete against a free product...well, why would they want to GPL the freebie? Why not just give it away, keep the proprietary license, and then start charging for it once the competitor goes out of business? You don't need to get involved with GPL to do that. Microsoft used a similar strategy to price Novell out of the market after Microsoft released NT Server. They just made the original release dirt cheap compared to Novell and used the opening they created (and what money they did get) to drastically improve NT until it was as good, and later, better than Novell.
Because then you're missing a huge chunk of the Open Source cult. Microsoft is the most exposed competitor defending their turf.
Tons of these other applications like Chrome and Firefox weren't going to just usurp IE or hell even convince Netscape users to just move to them.
They needed some symbol of goodness. An invisible enemy to rally the righteous. Something like WMDs to start the descent of war.
After that, they need to be faster and more rapid at building the community. It doesn't matter if they can't Un-GPL something. It's not like you can't create and sell commercial GPL software. What you really want is people believing you not only won't do no evil but you want slave add-on makers developing improvements for your frying pan all while the brand is mostly going towards the pan.
FSF keeps saying this
They also said alot of other things, sometimes it feels like they create a strawman where they expect the person talking to not have known what they are talking about so they can re-direct it into canned responses when GPL is far from needing a FAQ but a distinct separation between bandwagons and core philosophers understanding the difference between each of their actions and reactions towards the GPL.
GPL something and it's code is no longer yours. You've given it away to the entire World. Forever.
Again, same thing happened with the clock. Same thing happened with the Bible. I don't really know why this is such a hard thing for FSF sometimes to understand.
They set the GPL to prevent this issue, not to beat this issue like a dead horse.
Even back then, pre-GPL, you could give something away to the World forever. What Stallman originally understood was that it wasn't enough. There was a potential flaw. GPL wasn't bringing something new. It was defending against something old. The fact that today it's been sort of reversed just mostly due to the convenience of many open source software compared to the original days, doesn't mean open source suddenly becomes the liberator rather than the templar.
It's a lot like some hardcore Linux users. They are so closed to converting users into Linux. Just a little bit more attitude towards gratis than closed club house preacher and RTFM could have easily been WWWTM (What's wrong with this manual?) ...and Linux users would have an easier time converting people just a tiny bit and making up for all the shortcomings of Linux but only a few do that and we get this circular argument where valid arguments become cliche arguments just because the source of the concept becomes hijacked by the wrong fundamentalists on a cult level.
Finally...+1 to what mwb1100 said.
Edit: Woops. Sorry for the rant about FSF.